The Sweetest Bribe of All

Greetings from Bulgaria!

We are currently in Varna, Bulgaria - a beautiful resort town on the water, "cosmopolitan" as the Lonely Planet guide suggests - I personally think it's downright Bulgarian, and I like it. We took a ferry from Odessa to Varna, and it lasted 9 hours. The black sea was beautiful, and stunning. As you look out the window, random ships would drift by as we would pass oil rigs protruding out of the surface of the water - all of this eclipsed by the gorgeous sunset from the west along the coasts of Romania.

But this blog isn't about that womanly sunset stuff. This is about what I had to do to leave Ukraine.

So we are in the Odessa port. We take out our passports and have to make it through Ukrainian customs before we can step onto our boat and head towards our amazing business class tickets. Now in the Ukrainian AIRPORT coming from Georgia we were given forms we needed to fill out for this day that we would leave Ukraine. Now me, half being careless and the other half knowing I am an American, kinda lost the form and couldn't find it. As Chase and Ryan went through the customs check point, run by a suave looking older Ukrainian man in a white policeman outfit, I was forced to find a spot on the ground and take out everything in my bag to look for the form.

Now, I knew the form wasn't there. I just didn't have it. I probably used it to roll it up and do lines of blow off of Ukrainian women's breasts. (sorry, I needed to say something falsely shocking to make sure you're still reading. Maybe that was really too shocking. I actually have no idea why I said that) But my point is that I didn't have the form and I thought I was screwed.

So I started sighing, flailing my arms, and feigned looking very, very sad in hopes they would be guilt tripped into letting me in. I mean I don't look like too much of a hardened criminal! (Even though it WAS funny that the aloof, underqualified metal detector lady inquired to Chase and Ryan as they were passing through the detector, "Weapons? Drugs? Smuggling?")

So the Ukrainian customs guy who looked like he just had a role on The Love Boat: Odessa, comes over to me, holding my passport in his hands.

"Listen. Duty free. Chocolates. Go now and no problem, okay?"

I didn't really know what he was talking about. Was he hungry for Chocolate? Was it a Forrest Gump quote lost in translation? Was he referring to the Academy Award Winning foreign film, Chocolat?

So I stand up and look confused. He points to the Duty Free store, 20 feet away and goes, "Buy it there!" and gave a huge smile. The two assistant customs agents, who were females, smiled conspiringly.

So I walked to the duty free store, laughing to myself that I was about to Bribe a Ukrainian Port Official with cholocates, and spent the three American dollars for the wares.

I go back to him, say, "Ahhhh do you have what I'm looking for", brandish the box of chocolates behind my back. At the same time, we exchanged the chocolates for the passport and winked at each other.

I bribed a Ukrainian customs agent to leave the country by buying nougat hocolates.

As I was leaving, the customs guy romantically gave the chocolates to the female assistants as they gleefully smiled with happiness. I probably am culpable for helping that older customs official get laid tonight... he's gonna be stampin' much more than passports! You know what I'm saying? You know what I'm-

Ok I need to stop now.


Blogger FDSJ said...

I just read all the recent blogs and looked at the photos..all I can say is your trip and you all are serendipity personified! Look it up in wikipedia!

4:42 AM  
Anonymous Tim said...

Damn. Chocolates. I'll have to try that one next time.

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Blogger Karen said...

Hey, I met you guys at the hostel in Varna. Great Blog! enjoy the end of your travels! karen

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