bali policeThe police corruption doesn’t bother me, especially as it is far less than I found in the US. I recall one time being pulled over in a speed trap and given a $100 and something ticket. Maybe $160. It was after midnight on a deserted road, and my driving was safe. The cop admitted that this was the way for his county to raise funds to run their police precincts expenses. New cars, equipment, and the rest come from this road tax. They were raking it in. Maybe the officer giving the ticket didn’t later directly hand over the cash at a car dealership for a private car, but the money could go towards a new car that he would spend his time in. I thought of such tickets as road tax imposed on those that chose to drive at speeds that could trigger it.

As I travelled regularly as a salesman, my yearly road tax was several hundred dollars.

I don’t begrudge the Bali cops the $10 I fork out every three months or so. They don’t hassle me. They don’t intimidate me. We wink and nod, and I give them 100,000. There are no cameras at the traffic lights mailing me tickets for being caught in an intersection as a yellow turns to red. This type of fee is less than a foreigner would pay for a legal local drivers liscence. Ya, the money goes straight to the cop. Does that make the road tax less corrupt than if I was also paying for various other road tax bureacratic levels of governance? It’s just a more efficient road tax, I think. Less costly, for sure.

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