Tuesday, 18 May 2010


It was too late; I had already hit the left indicator button when I saw them: cops - two - on scooter patrol. It's nearly midnight, there's no traffic and I'm on my way home on little side-streets after taking the dog to the park to do her business. Naturally I hadn't bothered with my helmet. They order me to pull over and one of them asks me in English if I can speak Chinese. So I say yes and go on - before he can let out another word - to tell them in Mandarin that no, I'm not wearing my helmet and yes it's against the law, but that it's 沒關係辣! (i.e. of no importance to anyone, least of all me). He says OK, no fine this time, but.... etc....

I usually talk to the cops in Chinese when I get stopped (which, to be fair, is a rare occurrence) largely because I want them to see that I don't take them seriously either. But I can't be bothered arguing with them - if there had been any chance they'd have taken me seriously then they wouldn't have pulled me over in the first place.

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