If you saw my FB status last week, you know we had an eventful drive to KL.

We left Tuesday bright and early to make it in time for Tim’s lunch meeting at the university.  The drive down there was 5 hours.  It was dark when we set off, and pouring rain.  Driving was difficult as visibility is very limited without street lamps.  Miles was asleep.  For the first 45 minutes.  Then the sun came up, it stopped raining and Miles started screaming.

After another hour, traffic was reduced to one lane and there seemed to be some kind of police check.  We were motioned off to the side of the road, where a portly officer explained: “Camera. Speeding. You know camera?”  while holding a very official looking clipboard with scribbles on it.  He asked for Tim’s license.  Oops – we forgot it at home. “Very serious offense, no license”  Tim offered a photocopy of his passport.  “How do you want to handle this situation?”  Ok, now it became clear.  How much?  “300 speeding, 300 no license” as he flipped through his scribbles – $200!!  Tim informed him we did not have 600 ringgit.  “How much do you want to pay?”

I am freaking out internally, and Miles has been quiet since we pulled off to the side.  Tim takes out his wallet and offers 100.  “OK”  Damn.  Should have started lower.  “You have enough for toll to KL?”  How thoughtful.  “Here, lower” as he pushed Tim’s outstretched hand lower to hide his blatant highway robbery from onlookers. “I help you because you are foreigner, should be happy.”  Thanks, dude.

We drove off seething, and to the resumed screaming of our little man.  The corruption was sickening!  We stormed about getting out of this country.  Then our brows unfurled and we laughed a little.  We just paid $30 for a pretty good story, and for what would have been a huge mess in the US (driving without a license).  Ah, Malaysia.

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