We had to pay police bribes
Elijah: How does one go about paying a bribe? Are they direct and say what they want, or do you have to hint in some way? And what is the going rate to have some official look the other way?
In our experience, as Tweva says in the “Bribes” thread, they are never direct. It’s a dance and you have to be sensitive to what is actually happening. We were motioned over to the side at intersections where police were directing traffic, and told to wait. And wait. Then told our luggage looked “suspicious” and we would have to go down to the police station for questioning and investigation. Inferring that this would take a long, long time. Our host (a local) handed us 1000rupees ($20US equivalent) from the back seat, which the driver passed out the window to the officer obviously in charge of the small contingent, stating we were in a great hurry to get to our destination. We were waved on.
Our host had to pay the equivalent of $500US in bribes to get the plans approved for a Children’s Home; more for the inspectors, etc etc. He also has to pay bribes to pick up freight shipped to him, unless it’s Registered Mail (no one wants their signature on a bribe-associated document.) It’s part of doing business in India.