Friday, November 04, 2011

Slowly making my way to the top of Germany's most wanted

When I lived in Canada, I felt like I lived on the "right" side of the law.  I was generally a decent citizen and didn't have a lot of run ins with the law or most people.

Living in Germany it seems, is another story.  Here, in my every day life, I feel pretty bad ass.  At first, it annoyed and upset me that I'd get randomly told off.  Now, I sort of embrace it. 

When I moved into my place 7 months ago, I had to do a lot of drilling (one of the features of German apartments is that they come bare to the walls of any closets, storage, appliances, fixtures and usually kitchens- though I lucked out with the latter)  Because I work and live alone, my only drilling options were in the evening.  Because it involved shelving, I tried to do it when I could wrangle a friend over to check my levelness.  Cut to me drilling. At 7pm. And being told off by my neighbor.  oooook, and I'm supposed to drill when? (not on sundays. can't make noise on sundays)

Then, there was the cat owning neighbor (it should be noted that he was sporting black finger and toe nail polish) who yelled at me because he thought my dog was going to KILL his cat.  The fact that his cat is bigger than my dog and that his cat is too dumb to walk away from my dog is besides the fact.

After that, came an email from my landlord asking me not to let said dog do her business on the lawn.  He had clearly mistaken the half dead ferns in the frront yard for the English Gardens in Munich.  This time, I put my foot down.  I told him I always pick up after said dog and until people picked up after said cats, my dog was going to keep going.  If push came to shove, I wasn't beyond requesting a dna test on any animal residue found.  Thankfully, he didn't take me up on it and all has been quiet.

Two weeks ago, I got a letter with a grainy black and white picture of myself and a request to pay 25 euros.  It was not unlike those pictures they take of you when you ride a roller coaster at an amusement park and they secretly take a picture of you on the ride and try to sell it to you on your way out.  Though my German is hardly fluent, I realized it was a dreaded speeding ticket.

It's been about ten years since I got a speeding a ticket.  I've only been pulled over about four times in my life: 2 driving in the US and 2 driving in Canada.  In my very limited expertise, Canadian police are much more gentle since both times I got off with warnings (my ex boyfriend used to claim that nervously shaking while handing over my drivers license probably helped).  The 2 I got in the US, I never paid.  To be fair, they sent me notices to come down to California and Washington state, but I never showed up.  I hear that they could potentially arrest you for an outstanding speeding ticket, but I hope, unlike murder, there is a statute of limitations.  We'll see.

So when the 25 euro grainy picture showed up, I figured it was a small price to pay for never having paid a speeding ticket before.  I thought to take a picture of 25 euros and send it to the Bavarian police, but I'm pretty sure they wouldn't find it as funny as I did. 

A week later, a second grainy 25 euro picture of myself shows up.  This one was taken in the morning on my way to work and it appears I was singing judging by the open mouth and look on my face.

Great.  I was now officially a bad ass.  speeding tickets and causing domestic disturbances in my building.  Those damn Canadians.  By now, I had embraced it and started pressing my luck.  When below mentioned Halloween party was kyboshed by the cops, I got cocky. Yes, this late 30's previously quietly living Canadian dressed as Betty Boop sashayed up to 2 Bavarian police officers and said in broken German/English "You know what's criminal? Not dancing past midnight, but the fact I called the taxi company 3 times and they won't come because I don't speak good German".  The expression on his face was priceless.  Sort of like "WTF" meets "oh lord, another drunk Canadian".  The universe came to his rescue though.  While he was debating how to best answer my question, he turned and said "look, it's right there" as it turned the corner.  Would I ever have confronted a cop like that before?  Hell to the no.  But now that I'm a badass??? It just may become a habit...

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