Sunday, August 19, 2007

Paperwork in Gunhome

Yes, it's a nine hour journey, but we have stops on the way (Bêbe forgot to mention), so I was woken up by a soldier pushing a wedge of paper the thickness of my hand into my face. Fusel shouted something from the other side of the cabin, where he had been arguing with the vodka hag about short measure, and the soldier stopped trying to shove documentation up my nose.

We're stopped in the bunker town Gunhome. Gunhome is underground, dug into the walls of the valley and only evidenced by the shot towers looming in sentinel rows on the ridge above.

The town is an armoury depot, sitting on top of a lead mine and supplying the local forces with ammunition - lead shot mostly. Which is why I didn't complain too loudly at the soldier, who has this double-barelled automatic shotgun slung low on his shoulder (that there is such a thing as an automatic shotgun was a surprise to me).

We're changing tanks. The previous goes back to the border town, and we get two bigger ones (similarly butt-plugged) and six more carriages, three full of lead ingots.

The soldier wants my camera, and the documentation is to sign for it (in red ink). So I sign it, and I ask Bêbe when I'll get it back (I'm assuming there's some secret shit I can't photograph here), but she says, no, I'm not getting it back, it's an import form. I'm kind of used to this now - I've "sold" quite a lot of my stuff for peanuts to Albonian security this last week. So I ask her how much money I'll get for "importing" it. No again, the import tax means I owe the soldier money ("Surely the government?" I ask. "No, the soldier," she replies). Bollocks.

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