27 June 2006

The thing with the numberplates

Georgians have a spleen with cars and one with numberplates. If you drive a big black BMW-735 then its cool to have a number like MAF-007 or even better BMW-735.
With Vova (See his marvellous images from Georgia here: http://flickr.com/photos/vshioshvili/) I had a short conversation on that. In earlier times one had to bribe to get a cool number plate, but for 1 or 2 years now, you can officially pay an amount of money (wich goes to the state budget) to get your singulary number, if it is not registered already by somebody else. Prices (the list I saw in Rustavi) rank between 400 and 1500 Lari ~ 220 to 830 USD. Now what are cool combinations:

1. the first three letters are short for the name of the driver f.e. GIA for Gia; GIO for Giorgi, ZAZ for Zaza or DAT for Dato.

2. the first three letters stand for the wife or mistress of the driver f.e. TAT for Tatia; NON for Nona; or EKA for Ekaterina.

3. Other strange combination are: FBI, SOS, TOT (German for "dead") or TOD (German for "Death"), cool are of course three in a row like XXX or FFF.

4. In Shevardnadze-times all cars with special rights, like the cars from parlamentarians had the AAA, wich meant they never got stopped by the police. So AAA is still a very cool number. A friend of mine, who got for his car much later the AAA-107 gets quite often asked by other Georgians, if he would sell them his number. They easily offered 200 USD and more.

5. But today I saw a really cool number, and turned my car around to photograph it. I guess that number was more expensive than the car...

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