Continuing my rant about policemen all over the city of Almaty who stop, hassle and then extort cash from drivers for no reason whatsoever I would like to share with you some advice I was given by Wise Old Owl, a long-time expatriate who has coped in regimes worse than this one before now and is utterly inured to coruption.
"When you're stopped," she said, taking a break in her sentence to inhale deeply from a menthol cigarette, "Just say 'Ya-Nee-Pon-Ee-Je-Nick'. It's easy."
She is as cool as a cucumber, I suspect, in most situations and facing the local constabulary would be a walk in the park. I was new to town and did not know any Russian at this point, so she explained:
"You see, the police will think you are trying very hard to speak Russian but you are completely crap at it. 'Pon-Ee-Je-Nick' means Monday. But 'Pon-Ee-My-Oh' means I understand. So you say 'I don't Monday' and it sounds like you are trying to say 'I don't understand' but you can't even get that right," she chortled.