During my time in Russia, the acceptable alcohol content in a driver’s blood was 0.00%. This is stricter than in many western countries, but sometimes this severity is compensated for by the rather unusual means for its measurement, to say nothing of the lax adherence to laws that is peculiar to Russians.*
One Saturday, early in the morning, I decided to drive to a French bakery to get some freshly baked bread for breakfast. The roads were all but empty of cars. At 6:30 I drive past the square that fronts Belorussky Train Station. It surely had to be boring to be standing at the traffic cop post at this time in the morning, so the officer decided to pull me over. He greeted me politely, but did not ask for my documents. Instead, he looked me straight in the eyes and asked:
“You been drinking?”
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