Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Papers, please!

 When we made the road trip over here to Ciudad del Este last month, we were stopped twice by the National Police and asked to present all of our immigration papers. It is something that rarely happens here but was quite common in Venezuela. We were glad to show all of our papers as everything is legal and up to date.

We also had to open the trunk and allow them to see in our luggage. After the second search my husband asked the police officer why there were so many more National Police out and about than normally. He answered that there were 'malandros en la via' (bad guys on the road).

Once we arrived in Ciudad del Este we learned that the night before Interpol and the Paraguayan National Police had arrested a BIG BAD GUY in Ciudad del Este, and he was being transported to Asuncion for possible extradition to the USA for terrorist ties with Hezbollah. He was known to sell false Paraguayan ID's to foreigners which would explain their special interest in our family as we  certainly are foreign looking! It seems that some of this BAD GUY'S group might be trying to make a run for the border and we were traveling the same road.

I was glad for the presence of the National Police in protecting the  road and checking documents!

We also saw a few things which one might only see in Paraguay! I just love road trips here as they are never boring and one will usually see something never seen before or after.

We saw two men on a motorcycle transporting a large hog. It was very much alive and they had it straddled across the seat between them.

Then, as we drove through a small town, we saw a campesina lady waiting to catch the next bus. She was wearing a table cloth as a cape, had a dish rag on her head, but she had a very nice yellow leather Gucci knock off hand bag. That was all within the realm of normal but she also was smoking two cigarettes at the same time!


Eddie Buford said...

Very interesting trip. Sounds like the Arizona Law is not as bad as the Law there, huh? Glad you made the trip safely. Always enjoy your writings:)

Gigi said...

Amazing...I usually have one of two reactions when I read your blog: I sit here with my mouth hanging open or I'm laughing my head off! Today it was a bit of both!!

Gringo said...

He was known to sell false Paraguayan ID's to foreigners which would explain their special interest in our family as we certainly are foreign looking!
You don’t say! Even in Argentina, I stuck out as a gringo, because I eschewed the solid color dress shirts and dark pants that made up the dress code for men in Argentina. :)

I wonder if the search for the Hezbollah malandro had anything to do with the news from the link I provided in your Moving Day thread: the malandro in the link was Mussa Ali Hamdan. I imagine so, because the article talks about passport fraud.

Interesting when your day to day activities link up with something in the news. No solicitation of a mordida from the Paraguayan police? If there was no mordida, that really shows you are no longer in Venezuela!

(Of course, no Venezuelaan policeman worth his salt ever actually solicited a mordida. He just made an innocent suggestion that of your own free will you decided would be a good thing to do.)

Jungle Mom said...

Gringo, we have never even been asked for a mordida here! Shocking! We had been warned of the corrpution here, and I am sure it is out there, but it certainly is not as open as what we dealt with in Venezuela.
And , yes, they had captured the guy in your article the day before our trip.

Anonymous said...

You do lead quite the interesting life!

Sukhdeepak said...

It seems you really enjoyed the trip. Very well written blog.

Charles said...

Those of us who live in the U.S. are so blessed with our freedom to travel hundreds of miles w/o papers or permissions. I am sad however I see those days slowly coming to an end. Maybe not in my lifetime but they are coming

redneck preacher said...

That lady used to live in Eureka, CA I've seen the same thing there. My kids call people like that Eurekans [sic].

Good post. The Paraguy police sound polite and effective.


Jungle Mom said...

Redneck preacher, That's funny! I was born in Fortuna and my dad;s first ministry was a rescue mission in Eureka!

Z said...

Boy, I've lived away, but living in Europe wasn't THIS exciting or colorful, I assure you!! :-)
I love the two cigarettes!!

Kristi said...

ROFL...the story was interesting and then, as with many of your stories, I found myself giggling out loud. We watched Babe tonight and so naturally I thought of him when you mentioned the pig on the motorcycle. That is so hilarious. And I'm thinking the lady escaped from an institution. The National Police should probably be checking her out. ha haa


Kathy said...

I can't wait to hear what else has been happening to you folks over there!!!!

firepig said...

I love this crazy stuff!!