Saturday, 25 April 2009

Stopped for what?

Rowan and I were out last night with friends. Come the end of the evening and I’m dropping people home. With the last person in the Kombi we have ten minutes to cross town to beat their curfew! We turn left at one of the bigger junctions in Mostar almost to run over one of two police officers who’ve stepped into the road. I indicate and pull over. While you never quite know what to expect in these situations there are two things you can guarantee. You’ll need to show your licence and the papers for the vehicle. I reached for my wallet; my passenger for their seatbelt!

The office said something that was probably: let’s see your licence and your papers. I handed them over anyway. He wandered off – they always do that. I thought we were undoubtedly heading for a curfew busting delay. Surely there’d be questions about if we’d been drinking – we hadn’t – and they couldn’t fail to comment on the sorry state of the kombi. They did neither. Our quiet conversation was interrupted by an ‘izvolite’ from an officer handing back my licence and the papers. And that was it. We were off again, well on course to reach our destination before I found myself chauffeuring a pumpkin!

The footnote to this story is on my way home I was almost pulled over by the same cops. In a comedy conducting manoeuvre I was already complying with the wand waving me to the side of the road when the kombi must have been recognised and he changed his action to wave me straight on. Perhaps Englishmen who don’t argue are more hassle than they’re worth!

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