Friday, February 13, 2004

For the first 45 minutes of my day, I was dealing with police stops. What a pain and 2 of the 3 stops were clearly unjustified and ended without any conflict.

The one stop that I really didn’t care for took place in the 40 kilometer and hour zone where I was clocking the American Embassy jeep doing 120. Today I was going 50 and got stopped.

The cop asked me for my doctument and after determining that I was wrong and me telling him to write me a ticket, he told me that it was not that simple, as my license was not valid in Armenia.

He asked me to step from the car and talk to his chief, who painted me to be Armenia’s 10 most wanted and was ready to impound my car.

I told him I didn’t understand how my license was not valid, since last week they wrote me a ticket. He said he didn’t understand this eighter and what they did was wrong.

I explained to him that his chief had decided last year that my license was valid in Armenia and he his chief was right at that time, but now Armenia is a member of the EU (when did this happen?) and now they have a whole other set of laws that they have to follow.

They finally asked me what I do here and after telling me, they both smiled, gave me back my documents and sent me on my way.

I’m really a bit confused. I mean I was driving 10 kilometers over the speed limit, don’t have a valid license and am clearly criminal material and they let me go. Go figure.

Today I also had a phone call from Karabagh Telecom about me reaching my limit on my cell phone and supositly have charged up 26,000 dram on my cell phone. I was really confused, since I paid my cell phone bill early just before leaving for Armenia, though I could not figure how I talked that much. On top of that, my accountant paid an additional 27,000 dram after I left. I asked the woman calling me when the last time I charged anything on my phone and was told Feb. 5th. I told her I don’t think so, something is wrong, as I’ve been in Armenia since the 30th of Jan. My accountant said that we have to review all my past bills, as we have clearly been over charged. This should be interesting how this has happened.

As for weather in Yerevan, it’s slush right now. Not happy weather.

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