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How to bribe a border police in Serbia.

SERBIA | Tuesday, 30 August 2011 | Views [909]

I just come back to Nis, Serbia after a weekend stint in Sofia with my (couchsurfing) friend Maria. On the way back crossing the Bulgarian and Serbian border I see me first actual bribing, all I hear about the police in this region is how corrupt they are - specially the Bulgarians. My driver sticks a euro note in his passport on the Bulgarian side and everything moves pretty smooth until the last control on the Serbian side. Here the car gets searched and through the windows a can see my driver and the border policeman taking two jars of generic nutella (very big ones admitted) to the booth of the police! The strangest bribe of the history. I almost could not stop laughing the last 80 kms back to Nis. My driver found it less humoristic. On a side note he had bought heaps of the generic nutella, and other stuff, in Metro outside Sofia.

Another funny story is the almost fruitless journey to Sarajevo, because the Bosnian border control are not able to grasp the concept of a credit card. I had a rare ride across the border from Croatia, and at the border we talk to the guy in the booth. At some point the object of money comes up, and I answer that I have no cash but I have my Visa. The guy in the booth clearly doesn't like me, and tells us to drive over to the side. After some time another guy comes and lead my to a room with an evil looking young lady and a man. The start asking where I'm going, why and all that stuff, and how I will pay. Again the answer is Visa and ATM. A bit stupid and irritated I say "You do have ATMs in this country, right?". It doesn't really make the lady happier and she has at this point already told me to go back across the border to Croatia get money and come back. My rescue is a guy, who joined the interrogation party later together with another guy, who thinks I'm beautiful and fantastic. He vetos the others and stamps my passport and rush me out off there to my waiting ride (luckily they had his documents as well).

I made a map of my route so far and a bit of the possible future. I will try to update it as irregular as this blog. 

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF&msa=0&msid=209099292034130817059.0004a78d738186d4f1f8c

As some know I will "work" in Chisinau, Moldova from the 20th September to 11th October in a hostel. You are all welcome to visit. Until then I hopefully stint pass Italy or otherwise just stay in my beautiful, weird and cheap Eastern Europe.

Maybe I will write some more in the morning.

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Eating chocolate and biscuits at a metro station in Bilbao, while we waited for our host

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