Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Learning the Culture of the Cop (les flicks)

Cops the world over have bad days.
So there I was feeling good. Swinging into Monaco, taking the illegal turn I take twice a week, for nigh on 2 months now as I don't know another way of getting to where I need to go, and a cop blows his whistle. I look in my rear view mirror, I know I am in trouble. Another Flick (cop) in front of me, smiles, and then waves me through the lights, "Allez voir mon amie, il a un chose a te dire" (or words to that effect) I allez voir his buddy who starts to tear me a new asshole for crossing a solid white line. Now here is a lesson, follow closely. How not to talk to a cop who obviously doesn't want to be where he is, and is looking to make your day miserable.
Cop: Don't you know it's illegal to do that?
Me: I have been doing every day for two months and there are cops always here and no one says anything. I don't know any other way of getting to where I am going.
The cop explains the right way to go and then..................................
COP: Is this scooter insured?
ME: Yes but the insurance disk is at home I didn't get time to stick it on yet.
COP: Can I see your papers for this scooters?
ME: No.
COP: What? (his eyes are bulging now and there is a vein throbbing on his neck just above his starched white collar).
ME: My papers are home.
COP: Your identity card,...............................are you still at this address?
ME: (cringing now) No.
COP: I will have to impound the vehicle.
ME: What are you joking? I mean you can't do that.
COP: I can do what I like sir, this is Monaco not France, not Ireland, why don't you have your papers with you, I can give you a fine for 150 euro for breaking the white line, and then more tickets and more tickets, I can make you life miserable. Don't you know all over the world you have to have papers with you? I will have to take the vehicle. (the vein has spread to his temple and across his forehead).
ME: Not where I come from.
COP: Yes you do, in Ireland, France, Italy, it is the same, it is the same here in Monaco. (he is now puse).
ME: (Now wishing my French was better and at the same time I knew how to keep my shut, and already cringing because I am dead late, and it looks like my life is going to be screwed up, no bike means no work, means no money) NO it is not the same you have 48 hours to bring your papers to a police station. (My head sinks to my hands)
COP: No it's not true.
ME: Excuse me I am not a liar. I don't want to get myself into more trouble with you sir but I really didn't realise no one explains anything here,,,,,,
COP: Right you don't want to because I am talking so you keep your mouth shut and listen or there will more and more tickets, just an endless line of tickets, its takes 5 working days to do the paper work on guys like you.
ME : (only thinking, no wonder this place is fucked up, you can't read or write) Sorry really I didn't know, I am not a criminal.
COP: A tourist has to have their papers with them.
ME: I am not a tourist.
MY BRAIN: Shut the fuck up collie or you will end up behind bars, this guys wife ran off with the milkman this morning just after she bit down on his daily blowjob.
COP: You are a tourist this is not France.
ME : I work here, I teach English
COP: Where is you work permit?
MY BRAIN: OH shit,,,,,,it's at home,,.....................................

Long and short of it, I got off (I think), I still might get a ticket in the post but by his expression he thought I was a wuss and it was probably no wonder Ireland lost the Rugby as those guys are way too soft.
Moral of the story, when in Monaco, pretend you don't speak French, never answer back, and for god's sake don't break the law, there are so many cops, there is no real criminals, except the tax dodgers, and er, well that is legal in Monaco.


Indeterminacy said...

Just stumbled upon your site through blog explosion. That cop encounter sounds like a real nightmare.

This reminds me of my trick dealing with airport customs officials. Maybe there's some general rule to be drawn from it. I never want my luggage searched so I go through the red line and say I have tea or something and do I have to declare it. They think I'm an idiot with uninteresting luggage and wave me through.

I'm not sure if this is relevant.

Indeterminacy said...

Sorry. this comment thing isnt working. It posted my same comment three times.

Kerri Rachelle said...

Haha! That whole ordeal sounds like a French comedic film. Love your blog. Mind if I live vicariously thru you? I'd love to see Monaco. Why don't you post some photos of that incredibly beautiful place??? Do it for me? I'm Irish, does that count? Or maybe that counts against any rate....I'd like to link you on my own blog. I prefer to educate my readers, but I won't do so until I hear that it's ok with you! Oh yeah, Try to stay out of trouble today.

Steve said...

When you take driving lessons in France, you learn that an unbroken white line is to be treated as a brick wall; you never cross it. Never mind that everybody does it, it's the rule. I imagine it's the same in Monaco, except, as you point out, that there are more cops. If you get caught, the only thing that works is charm (it's a Latin country) and even that, not always (it's hard to summon up charm when you're going to be late for work!).
Stay cooL This too will pass.

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