Your Papers, Please

In the span of one week I was pulled over twice by the cops. I wasn’t doing anything wrong but they were just picking random people and hassling them looking for drugs and whatnot. It’s what they call an Allgemeine Verkehrskontrolle.

The first instance was last Tuesday morning while driving through the lovely village of Wetzen on my way to work at 8:45. They checked my papers and stuff and asked me when the last time I had done drugs. I don’t know what on Earth would make them think I have ever done them at all, but I answered with the totally truly truthful answer of, “Hmmm, let’s see. This is 2008……Hmmmm….Years ago.” He kinda gave me one of those “yeah, right” looks. I don’t understand why. He also wanted to know if I had drunk alcohol within the last 24 hours. Nein. It was two cops. The older cop was about my age and the younger one looked like his voice just changed and it was his very first day on the job. They said thanks and I was on my way.

The second instance was last Saturday night on the way back from Hamburg. The police blocked the entire Autobahn and diverted all the cars into a rest-stop and ordered them to park. They were checked for proper license and registration, first-aid kit, Warndreieck and signs of drugs and alcohol.

German cops think it is funny if you say things like, “I’m reaching into my glove compartment”, or “May I exit the vehicle?” He asked to see my Warndreieck (which I stupidly keep in the trunk, affording them a look without needing a warrant Say, what are all those bricks wrapped in duct tape?). When I asked to get out he replies, “Sure, we’re not in America.” Uh, ha ha ha. “I know, but I am American and that’s how I do it.” *looks at my license* “Ahhhhh. Alles Klar. That’s why you are acting so cautious.”

“How long have you been in Germany?”

“Almost 7 Years.”

“You speak very good German.”

Usually my standard answer to this remark is, “So do you”. However, considering that we were engaged in this idle chitchat while he was getting the breathalyzer machine set up, I decided to just say thanks.

Needless to say, I passed the breathalyzer with flying colors.

Good thing they didn’t do a cavity check though.


I kid, I kid. War nur ein Witz!

Chillmost Is Back!

We got back into Hamburg last Saturday at around noon. The jetlag killed me for a few days but I’m back in action. The last few days in Connecticut and New York were a bit of a whirlwind. Sorry if I didn’t get to see you when I was in town. There was a lot of running around.

Thanks to everybody who let us crash at your place or lent us a car or bought us food and drinks. It was good to see you all. You know who your are.