27th February 2011
fuck tha police
so yesterday i hired a car with a dutch couple that i'd met. i'm in the salta province which is a good area to explore by road, and the day before i took this photo from the passenger seat as i was being driven through quebrada de las conchas to cafayate. anyways back to yesterday, it was only the second time i'd driven on the right and the first time i'd driven with the steering wheel on the left. i was a little tense when i first got behind the wheel, and was slowly getting used to the differences when i approached the border between the salta and jujuy provinces. there was a police checkpoint, who took one look at the rental car, and signalled for me to pull over. rolling down the window, he asked to see my documentos and explained that i was driving without my lights on. he pulled out a piece of paper which clearly stipulated it was illegal to drive without lights on - the consequence of which would be a fine of between 300 - 1000 pesos. seeing as it cost 300 pesos to rent the car for the day, that fine seemed fairly extortionate. he told me step out of the car and as he was writing down my details he went on to say that i'd have to go to a police station and pay 800 pesos - that's over £120. i tried to argue, explaining that it was midday and i didn't know i needed my lights on, but the language barrier made it difficult to be persuasive. after about 15 minutes he asked me if i wanted to pay there, or at the police station. a little confused i asked how much i'd need to pay there and then, to which he responded "i don't know". i expected to experience corruption in the more northern countries like bolivia and colombia, but not argentina. if my spanish was better, if i had more bribe experience, if there had been at least one south american in the car then events may have unfolded differently. but with a combination of confusion and fear i ended up offering 200 pesos for the privilege of getting my licence back. hijo de puta.
here's the original
here's the original
i've posted 2 photos taken on 24th February 2011
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