Being Pablo Escobar

Being Pablo Escobar


With the student loan comes an immaculate bedroom, elections and exams, coupled a few concerts thrown in for good measure and of course a false sense of financial security. The concert in question involved a rather interesting ride to Freiburg-Im-Bresleau in Germany to see one of my favourite bands, Bishop Allen(.com). With a brilliant mix of melody, instrumental skill and lyrics they are an excellent indie band, though not so great for motorcycle riding, while ipoding and (shamelessly) singing along, I go to another place, not Mark’s happy place this time but almost the rear end of a lorry. In short they are a brilliant band and offer free music on the site, what do you have to loose? 

Plug over, what I would really like to know, and really answers to please, is how to deal with stupid police officers when they stop you for drugs? Living in another country and wanting to make the most of it, I have been going around to other countries and different places as you do, and almost every time I cross a frontier I’m instantly pinged by a rozzer declaring “Excuse-moi monsieur, je suis une officer de la Douanes. Je voudrais cherchez-vous pour drogues et je voudrais voir votre identification”. Instantly producing my passport, driving licence, health card, library card and everything else that proves I’m me I always run into problems. 

The reasoning apparently is my appearance.  Gone is clean-shaven short black hair, in is a (proper, not bum-fluff) beard and a blonde afro mullet. In the eyes of my father I’ve been downgraded from “Student” to ‘Lefty work-shy layabout eco-mentalist save the Mongolian fruit bat fly hippie”, with the only lower grade being “Communist”. Seeing as your average beat bobby may have the same ideas and views as my old man I’m normally worried. This time however I had real problems, one of the big cheeses had decided to get some exercise (it was needed – sitting on his arse all day with cheap bratwursts on offer clearly hadn’t done him or his coronary tract favours) and like any middle management type that had dreams of grandeur and directorship, but ended up marshalling a group of people that “know what they’re doing and could do the job just as well if they were left to it”, I was in for a good ‘ol fashioned search. 

This meant even my scared area, wasn’t that sacred that day, though fortunately one of the policemen knew English (his boss didn’t) so we had a little chit-chat on the evils of a 12 hour day and apologies on stopping me. While his boss, did a number on my petrol tank, drained my battery and found a gaffer tape sealed plastic bag. I have a respect and tolerance for the people doing their job, the muppet demanding to know why I have a beard then triumphantly finding and opening my bag was annoying, he should just sit behind his desk and mature on a fattish pay check. But if he wants to ‘go out into the field’ and find two day old Class A boxer shorts that’s his problem.


Author: Mark Iliffe

Traveller, Programmer, Geospatialist and Motorcyclist

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