We’re takin’ it and we’re calling it Chicken!

Thank you Jeremy Hotz for that title.

After a couple of days in Greece it was time to move.  Not because it didn’t enjoy Greece, or because the riding wasn’t good- I just wanted to get going, to move away from familiar Europe.  Since Turkey straddles East and West it would not only be the perfect transition out of Europe, it would also let me get settled riding away from all the comforts of home without completely leaving them behind (yes, and that fact you kind of have to go through it to get south played a part too…)

Crossing the border with the bike was fairly simple- pretty much like the last time I visited Turkey, though I had to buy insurance for the bike before I could enter since mine was only valid in the EU.  Hmmm… Foreign rider needing insurance?  Surely they’ll want driving records, current insurance contacts, etc- right?  Nope.  See the bike?  Nope.  See my license? Nope.  See 5 Euro for 3 months 3rd party liability. Yup.  Yes, I paid 5 Euro for 3 months of 3rd party insurance!

Feeling quite chuffed about the border crossing, off I went in the wild blue yond… and red.  Flashing blue and red pulling me over.  Must be a paper check or something- I was riding in the mid-90s on a 90kph road and wasn’t passing any traffic.

Nope, cue the banjos.

The guys who pulled me over were part of a well-organized speed trap and their leader was an, ah, experience.  After being informed that bikes have different limits than cars (it’s not normally enforced, but…) and giving my paperwork to a junior guy to fill out the ticket and payment ‘reciept’ ( convenient you can do it all right there with cash, huh?) I was interviewed by the senior guy.  He spoke decent english and was curious about my Bermuda based licence he’d heard of it and thought it was in the Caribbean.  This lead him to assume correctly that it’s a majority black country and with that the banjos came to the fore…

Cop: Do you have a black girlfriend?

Me: No.

Cop: Why not?  You should have a black girlfriend.

Me: Ah, okay.

Cop:  Young men like you need a black girlfriend.

Me.  Ah, okay.

The cop takes out a cigarette and offers me one.  I decline.

Cop: When did you quit?

Me: Ah, I haven’t smoked for about 20 years, except for the occasional cigar.

Cop: You shouldn’t quit.  6 years ago I tried quitting and it made me impotent.  My wife and I tried everything (yes, details were included) but I just couldn’t get it up.  As soon as I started smoking again I could go all night.  Now she buys my cigarettes out of the grocery money and told me if I ever quit she will leave me.

Me:  Ah, okay. 

Cop:  Thats why you aren’t married- you don’t smoke, so you can’t get it up.

Me: Ah, okay.

Cop: Here, take the rest of the pack and find yourself a nice Turkish girl.  They get old and fat after kids, but until then they are the most beautiful women in the world.

Me: Ah, okay.

Cop (taking my money): Thank you, drive safely, and…

Me: VROOOOOOOOOOM!

Obviously I simplified the exchange, but you get the idea.  There really is nothing more disturbing than being in a foreign country after being stopped by police in the middle of nowhere and then having that conversation- Midnight Express  scenes dacing through your head don’t help either!

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