Motorcycle adventures in Kinshasa

Today I got stopped by the Police while on my motorcycle.

They had no uniforms.

Motorcycle ride on the main boulevard (Boulevard du 30 Juin)

The supposed cop walked up to my motorcycle and just removed the keys.

Motorcycles are not allowed in Gombe apparently but they’re everywhere.

I am one of the few with a motorcycle with a number plate, insurance and permits to ride in Gombe. Yet I got stopped along with my driver.

Is it because I am white looking? That the cops thought they could scare me?

Luckily I bumped into a friend who spoke to the cops. He said they wanted some money. 50 dollars. Then 20. Then 10. Eventually my friend said he will pay them 10 000 francs. My error was that I’m supposed to have a document to move around Barumbu, the other commune.

I called a colleague at work to try and resolve the issue. I told the cops I wasn’t paying. That they could keep the motorcycle. I would leave and sort this out later. I didn’t do anything wrong. They told me they would take me to the prison. I said nothing.

The cop yelled at me “Ndundu”. It means albino.

They eventually gave the keys of the vehicle to my friend who gave me the keys.

I was on my merry way. They had to push me to leave. “Kende kende kende” (leave leave leave in Lingala).

I think I got off lightly. It could have been a much longer ordeal.

Everyone was laughing. This is normal apparently. Everyone knows this is the way it works. Everyone is trying to make a buck even the cops. No one is paid.

We are all hustling each other, why not hustle the foreigner?

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