Trouble with the Law

We’re three on a motorbike, when the police show up!


In Uganda, a German expat is enjoying life after a festival with his three friends on the back of a motorbike, smoking a marijuana cigarette. The police stop them and try to get a bribe. 5 hours later, he finally finds an escape…


overload bike weed pot bribe hours police escape get away German Uganda

                                            Sometimes you got to pay to get away!


Me: Ya know, “Young Male, Germany,” this is how it’s gonna be done. “Age: 18-50.” 

[talking about names written in Why Not to Travel]

Hans: Yeah, um. That’s a funny story because, ehh, the first year a friend of mine, … and we are stupid, you know?
Me: And you were living in Uganda or you were just visiting?
Hans:  I was living there for a year. Yeah. It’s a nice place. Really beautiful. Nice … nice everything. Nice people. Super cool. But, it was this night.. and yeah we had some beers and everything….

[Phone buzzes]

It was a festival, really nice one. Nice music, and then we took the motorbike with … three or four people?

Me: Mmm. On one motorbike?
Hans:  [Laughs] Yeah one motorbike.  So I had this wine bottle, and he had the spliff.  We were driving, it was nice then. And then, the streets were … free. There was nobody. And then, a big truck came after us, like the military.
Me: Shit, they passed you?

Yeah… so they came from behind. I saw them, and I had a spliff in my hand.

[Motions stubbing a spliff into his hand]

Me: You put it out?
Hans: Put it out in my hand.
Me: Kinda hurts.
Hans: Then I just threw it!  We had stopped in front of the police… and our motorbike just drove away!

[Motions the motorbike speeds away and leaves them behind]

Hans: So I was there with my friends…

They took us … to the police station. And they want to take a lot of money. 200 euros. I said no, I just had like ten euros in my pocket.

So we were discussing, discussing.  They said, “No, we just take you to court… and then you can see.”  “No, no come on, there was nothing!”  They just stopped us because we had three people on the motorbike.

… But then they found the spliff. It was bad.

Me: Then it gets a little more costly.
Hans:  It was funny because this guy said, “Oh, this is heroin!”
Me: Oh no.
Hans:  “No!! This in not!”  “You’re smoking on the motorbike??”  “No it’s not!”
Me: That’s bad, he knows what he’s doing.

Yeah, so, we went back to the police station, like four or five hours. And then they drove us through the city because of course they wanted money.

Me: Shit. After all that? After four hours?
Hans: Yeah.  From the beginning it was clear that they want money. So… we were discussing, I was discussing. I was in a good mood to discuss, you know?  And, yeah like after the five hours I said, “Here, you look, I just have ten euros.” This is like thirty thousand Ugandan Shillings. This is a lot of money there, you know?  “I have this. I will give it to you. We will go to the club.”

So… we were discussing, I was discussing. I was in good mood to discuss, you know?

There were like 14 military people. 14. So I was thinking, “OK, that’s fifty cents for each. This is really little…”

The cops weren’t happy. “OK, at least you give me money for fuel, because we drove four hours.  Give me money for fuel.”
I said, “You see, I just have this ten euros.  You just take it. Take it or leave it.”

Me: You cost the cops money!

Hans:  “No, we drove for hours, I want to have some money for fuel. This is just for fuel.”
“OK, you drive me to the club. It’s just five kilometers and there has some friends, and I takes the money and give it to you back.”

So they drove us to the club and stopped in front. I ran inside and stayed for five hours!

Me: Damnnnn!
Hans:  When I left, they were not there anymore. It was a funny experience.

Enjoy this tale of interactions with the law? Read what happens when a military escort with guns says you’re going to the border!

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