With the 2014 Mongol Rally just around the corner, it's about time we look to the Rally veterans; to dispense some advice which may or may not be of any use at all.
You should never ever pay a bribe to a border guard or police officer, for two important reasons: firstly it's your money, which you should be spending on beer and dried apricots, and secondly the poor sod half a mile behind you will be stopped and hassled tenfold.
The best thing to do is to play the 'dumb foreigner' card, the more you are asked for cash, the more confused you become. Past Rally teams have embellished the story by progressively pulling random bit of paper out of the glove box, or cheerfully showing the man in the big hat pictures of their pets back home.
Occasionally this doesn't work and you need to sully yourself with the murky world of police bribes. But that still doesn't mean you should break your wallet out - or that the fun should end. Why not give them whatever shit you've got lying around and try to persuade them it's really useful?
This is our top ten useless items Mongol Rally teams have paid instead of cash bribes:
10) Multicoloured zip-ties - "We gave them some computer tie wraps in a selection of colours, claiming they were expensive jewelry from Holland".
Malou Van Breevoort, The 020 Bastards - 2012
9) 1000 Uzbek Sums - "I told the Russian it was worth €20, I think 20p was closer".
Nick Dodd, Infinite Possibility Drive - 2009
8) 90p - I got a $100 dollar speeding fine down to 90p (the cop even gave me some chewing gum)".
Ian Holt, Dude Where's Baatar? - 2013
7) Cigar and a pen - "We paid with a cheap cigar that we passed off as Cuban and a pen from an Iranian restaurant. I've never seen a man happier with a pen".
Rick Wuyts, The Dukes of Desert - 2011
6) Rubber Duck - "We got off a speeding fine with a squeaky rubber duck".
Anthony Robinson, The Rubber Ducks - 2011
5) Air - "We were stopped for speeding... I think. And bribed the policeman with air; he had a flat tyre".
Jørn Innvær Olsen, Team Clueless - 2012
4) 3 Maoms - "In 2011 I bribed an Azeri border official with 3 Maoms (sweets) when he noticed our paperwork didn't quite match".
Felix Milburn-Foster, Shitting Thunder - 2011
3) A hug - "In Ukraine we bartered a £250 speeding ticket down to a hug".
Iona Campbell, Long Time No Sea - 2013
2) 'Blastoff' Energy Drink - "We told them it cost about $10 a bottle and works like Viagra".
Armand Bonne, Bonne+Jan - 2013
1) A Tim Westwood CD - "We'd accidentally brought a Tim Westwood CD with us; the definition of spectacularly shit".
Russell Bowers, The Young Offenders - 2009
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