Bopping with Niall JP O'Leary

Niall O'Leary insists on sharing his hare-brained notions and hysterical emotions. Personal obsessions with cinema, literature, food and alcohol feature regularly.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Driven to Corruption

Our problems with the driver had escalated all the way to Halong and the following day we had a new driver, though the old one still remained with us, just to occupy a seat. This less sullen, more smiling character, was a far more winning pilot, so we were all a little crestfallen when a policeman pulled him over for speeding. Of course, he hadn't been speeding. Cars and bikes had been passing us. However, the police here, whenever they need to supplement their pay packet, call on the traffic for funding. We were threatened with having our minibus impounded overnight (and what would we do then?), so our driver paid the bribe and we were on our way. Bribing is part of the day to day machinery here. It disgusts the locals as much as it disgusted us, but the reality is if you want to go about your daily life, drive, go to the hospital, visit the dentist, whatever, you will have to pay a bribe.

En route to Hanoi, we stopped off at a ceramic factory, where Phil demonstrated what he learnt at art school.


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