Monday, June 18, 2007

An Encounter with the German Police!

I (Jolene) was driving through the countryside of former East Germany. We were rolling down the main road (distant left of the picture) when a military-looking policeman stepped out from behind the yellow building into the middle of the road. He held up a "HALT!" sign and motioned us off the road. We slowed quickly and pulled off the road to discover, just out of view, four more policemen and their van.

For an instant, I was confused, trying to quickly assess what might be happening and whether this might be the feared "Stasi". But, I reminded myself, East Germany is no longer communist, and their secret police are no more. So why were they stopping us and did I have all the documents I might need?

Well, with the policeman holding a radar gun blinking "67 kph" in my face, it wasn't too hard to figure out why we'd been pulled over. There followed a curt, "Documents!". We handed over my international drivers license and passport and tried to look confused, repentant, humble, and innocent -- all at the same time. (It's not easy.) The fine was paid on the spot, a receipt issued, and I drove away -- very slowly and 25 Euros lighter!!! Case discreetly snapped this picture from a "safe distance" as we left.

Not the happiest experience, of course, but upon reflection, I note that it was the cheapest ticket I've ever paid, and it will never appear on my driving record!

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