Daily Archives: March 15, 2011

Bribery & The Zombie Apocalypse

“Just because the Zombie Apocalypse hasn’t happened yet, that doesn’t mean it won’t!” exclaims Steve Kamb in his fitness article on the Zombie Apocalypse. Kamb is currently on an “Epic Quest of Awesome”: a 35,000 mile travel-ganza for a mere $418. Inspirational travel story? Perhaps. But I believe Kamb is preparing his mind and body for the possibility of future evacuation to international zombie-free zones. Who can blame him for keeping matters on the DL? Following is my first installment of international travel advice for those who can’t take nine months to globe-trot but nevertheless have no intention of becoming living dead. Ladies and gentlemen: bribery in the third world.

  • Transportation

Whether you’re attempting to lose a ghoulish tail or simply learn the ropes in a new uninfected zone, finding transportation under pressure is often a key concern. Although many handbooks advise cardio, rudimentary parkour training, and armored buses, sometimes a simple taxi will do. But how to secure a ride and save valuable cash?
We all know the economics of crisis; when times are hard, prices are high. If your driver is uninfected, taking him out is unethical. He deserves your business, but negotiations are up to you (he may need Italian spinterella—a little push). If the taxi is metered, no problem; just make sure said meter doesn’t tick unnaturally fast. If it is, just get out, or, if mobility is key, guess at a fair amount at the end and make a run for it. More often than not that meter is going to be conveniently “broken” (the driver may blame zombies, but the problem is more likely to be humanoid).
If you are headed to a new destination, negotiate prices before getting into a car. If you forget or have a sudden change of plans, exit the vehicle and toss a fair amount on the seat or through the window, with due regard to number of passengers, cigarettes you accepted from him (please don’t) and traffic (if your driver outmaneuvered several rogue uglies, don’t be stingy with a brother).

  • Cops

Obviously if zombies have commandeered a screechy police car, you are under no obligation to pull over. But in normal conditions, stay on your very-much-alive toes!
You’re more likely to get pulled over in some regions for looking western; south asia comes to mind. Foreigners, after all, must all have money like Oprah and Justin Bieber; maybe you’ll pay whatever they tell you to pay. Of course, if you are asked “to come to an understanding” and have a lot of time to kill, you can take the matter to police superiors and see what happens. Chances are good you’ll see a power display in favor of official moral policy.
But—if you’re on the run (i.e., ninja zombie hordes twenty feet and closing) and absolutely cannot stop, try dropping coins outside your car window. Heck, at fifty feet give a cop five ringgit for tea to calm his nerves (that’s the chaquin concept in Chinese, or ashaan ash-shay in Arabic). Not everyone comes to an agreement, but the same goes with border officials; grease some palms and procedures may suddenly accelerate.

  • Shopping and Entertainment

Once I went to a zoo to get a picture of me holding a baby lion. After much fanfare and transparent discussion of just how one man plans on feeding his family, I was able to slide the equivalent of five dollars under the proverbial table (Slovak pod stolom) and gain a furtive but fleeting minute in a dimly lit cage area. The Apocalypse should never prevent you from making memories, however contrived. The hopeful survive.
Money opens more than lion cage doors, however. Are you looking for someone? Need a particular good or service? A small tip to a shopkeeper or a few pieces of candy to some street kids playing ball may yield quick results (unless the kids are foaming at the mouth, in which case your candy probably won’t go as far as the arm that holds it). You might also offer more cash up front in a restaurant to accommodate your haste (perfect for those emergency night curfews).
When ready to purchase goods, remember that bartering is probably best described as a shifty form of bribery; make control of situations your priority and don’t waste your money! It will go a long way if you treat it like gold instead of sand. If something can be repaired with duct tape or sewn with floss, you needn’t replace it yet. Paying to make things faster and less painless is a way of life in many places; in the Apocalypse, it could save your life.

  • Stay Alert!

As a dedicated member of the Zombie Apocalypse Awareness Party, I know the how to’s of survival are fairly well archived. People can no longer plead lack of information should the undead begin gnawing at their doors. Move fast, make arrangements, and remember to enjoy the little things without becoming complacent! If your Plan B, C, or D involves extended time abroad, be sure to stay tuned to additional travel tips and—for the love of all things good!—please remain human.

(Creative Commons photo credit: Hryck on Flickr)

 

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