Fuzz(y) impressions, brushes with the law

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The fuzz, Mr Plod or just the police. Impressions are lent by what’s around you, especially the first time. My impression of the police stems from my time in New Zealand. Yes, I am a Kiwi and proud of it.

Big cars, a clean and pressed uniform replete with cap made them look official and impressive. That aside, most of them look like rugby players. I heard that most of them bulk up at the gym.

But this entry is really directed at their vehicular mode of transport. Their wheels are, the biggest object that lends the impression.

NZ police have always tended to drive big cars. Back in the 70’s it was the Holden HQ. Come to think of it, the NZP has had a long line of Holdens. Going from the Holden Commodore, Commodore, and.. Commodore.  It’s quite a lineage.

The next photo is the Vatican Police. Given the size of Vatican square, it’s a small car. The photo speaks for itself. I did actually have a brush with real police (actually an undercover detective) who seemed to appear from no-where. I just happened to be asked for directions by a Greek national (also on holiday).  I think the Crumpler photo bag gave the impression that I had drugs inside of my bag. They went as quickly as they came.

The picture of the Chinese police, was taken in Shenyang. About six of them were mounted on bicycle. That in itself is okay. I’ve seen Mr Plod on a mountain bike. But these bikes had a red light mounted on the back. What would have been more comical is a light mounted on the helmet ala The Goodies or even Kenny Everett. Though these police officers are meant in no way to appear ‘daggy’.

The ‘Shenyang flying squad’ actually compares well to their Korean counter parts. The motorbikes were a par for the course, also had the red lights mounted on the back. Come to think of it, where else could you cheaply mounted on the bike? Jon and Ponch from the 70’s TV show, CHiPs can feel safe and secure that their image and their Kawasaki motorbikes have not been tainted. I have had encounters with the Korean police. Twice. Once for jaywalking; I got a very stern non-verbal sermons. He used his fore finger as he pointed to me, then to the road. He didn’t smile once. A true professional. The next encounter was much more friendly, in getting lost on the first day in the void, I came upon the local police station. Staggering up, I asked for directions. I was ushered into a police car, driven by a youngish policeman. Sat in the front seat, it was an uneventfull entrance as I pulled up to the school. Their cars, are of course, Korean made, the policemen, from the best Police academies.

One feature of Asian government agencies is the need for cute mascots. The first one is Korean, named ‘Podori’. I don’t know what it translates into English, but the idea was to soften the image of the police force. The Chinese mascot shares the big eyed features of the Korean one except it’s female. Frankly I’ve never seen an Immigration officer smile and salute, let alone have big bug eyes.

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6 Responses

  1. Cute and loveable mascots, you just want to say oh how cute. Mascots should be friendly and lovable looking, who the heck is going to look at one that looks like something the cat dragged in. You know what I mean. Or one that looks evil.

    • But the mascot represents the organisation. The Koreans may have their reasons for presenting a cute and cuddly mascot, but what’s the Chinese’s reason for a cute mascot?

  2. It’s been explained to me that ‘podori’ is taken from the old Korean term for the police – ‘podocheon’ of ‘pochul’. The root syllable for the word is ‘po’, while ‘dori’ is added on as a young boy’s name, like ‘Jimmy’ instead of ‘Jim’, with the aim of being cute to tie in with the cartoon character.

    • Okay, so as usual it’s a play on words. The reason for the cartoonish mascot is to soften their image, is a given. But I repeat the question, does anyone know about the Chinese mascot?

      • You’ve already supplied the answer – to soften their image. Same thinking being applied in both cases. They don’t see themselves the way we see them.

      • Oh, urg. It has got to be an Asian thing.

        It doesn’t make the process of going through customs any nicer. Passengers so impatient that they want to leave the plane as soon as it hits the tarmac, and unsmiling customs officers who think your passport is a fake.

        Korean customs officials though have softened up recently; they’ve began to smile. As first impressions of their country, Korea, sparkling?

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