Day 13 of Rally: No Bribing in Azerbaijan

5375 kms traveled so far
40/200 kids sponsored. Help send a rural child to school by donating at

With both 2nd and 3rd gears grinding, I’ve temporarily suspended Anitha’s driving privileges (waiting to see how she will retaliate – maybe suspend my supply of cucumbers?!!! 😱 my day is hot, boring, and unbearable (not to mention constipated) without the mindless munching of cukes!). Unable to skip shift from 1-4, I’ve now resorted to double clutching . With no tach, upshifting while double clutching is easier since I’m just letting the engine slow down, but downshifting is still tricky as I’ve yet to develop a “feel” of where to rev up to for each gear. Most important of all, I’m following the sage advice of Michael Brown: “drive it like you need it, not like you stole it” 😂🤓
Driving early in the day is quite enchanting. When we can afford to turn in early at night, we start driving early in the morning enjoying the fresh smells of the dew and deep yellow tints of the land. Mornings like these are one of the more pleasurable perks of a road trip. Today was one such morning. After a beautiful 1hr drive, we went to a border crossing where the limbic-brain-survival-instincts of fellow humans were in full display. Cars and trucks trying to cut us off in lines and a very friendly stranger shaking hands and inquiring after the Taj Mahal (like my uncle built it) all in the hopes of getting us to give him USDs in exchange for the unidentifiable bundle of notes he pulled out of his pockets. 🤑Just this morning, I had a friend of mine, who has established a school and trust that educates 4000 kids in Bangladesh, donated £250 for our fundraiser. The beauty and richness of our journey has been in the sheer diversity of experiences we encounter. Please help enrich this journey, and most importantly, the lives of rural children in India forced to live out their tender lives toiling in fields and factories by sharing our posts with friends, neighbors, colleagues, enemies, frenemies, random strangers…. and help send more children to school. (I can send you an email template – please PM me!Also, if you have ideas of how to create more awareness, we are all ears)
After 5hrs at the border, we were cruising down the highway when we were stopped by the flashing lights of a cop. He mimed we had overtaken a vehicle in the “no passing” zone. I’ve been bending road rules and passing vehicles from all sides since we entered Turkey, but this one was a complete BS claim by a cop who obviously wanted us to cough up some bribe. He dialed someone who could speak English and handed me his phone. I expressed great surprise at having been accused of breaking road rules and told him the story about being tailed by a van (which we were). I claimed I was frightened for my life and was trying to get away from the van. He asked me to pass the phone back to the cop. After a brief conversation the cop passed it back and the customer support guy on the phone said “I understand, but you crossed in no-passing zone so there is fine. You pay in bank or you pay here”. I repeated my entire tale of woe, conveniently ignoring anything remotely related to a fine, about how I’ve never broken any road rules in the 10 countries we’ve driven through so far and how we are going all the way to Mongolia and how the large monstrous van was scary. Then he asked me hand the phone to the cop, the cop spoke to the guy on the phone in local language, and the entire process was rinsed/repeated another 3 times at the end of which the cop said an exasperated “Go!”. I would’ve actually paid the fine if he had really caught me (and only me) breaking rules. There were dozens of cars, vans, trucks happily breaking rules and passing around a curve, right next to where the cop was chatting with us AND he saw the van that barreled down behind us and passed us right before he pulled us over. He ignored them all! I refuse to pay up for BS!

But sending kids to school instead of to work is no BS. We are at 40/200 kids. Help us raise awareness for this cause. Http://
(I have a good email you can forward – so PM me pretty please! 🙏🏽)