Sunday, May 20, 2007

Pulled Over by the Politi

We spent the day on Kvitsøy with my parents, who arrived last Friday. The last time they were here was five years ago, which was also my first time in Norway. To give us a little more flexibility with transportation, and to service Lise's parents' car, we took their Mazda back on the ferry with us. We were a little nervous that there would not be enough room on the ferry, since we only managed to reserve space for one car. There was enough room, although if there were a few more cars, someone would have been left behind. While on the ferry, Lise's brother called, asking if I could stop by to fix his wireless network. We amended our plan- I would drive the parents' car and stop by her brother's apartment, and Lise would take Julian and my parents home.

As I was leaving the ferry, I noticed a policeman standing on the median, a sight I have never seen before. It looked like he was waving me over. It made no sense-- no one else was being waved over. I made eye contact with him and pointed to myself. He nodded and pointed to pull over behind the police van. I rolled the window down, completely befuddled. I said a mere "hello," prompting him to ask if I spoke any Norwegian. I told him that I spoke a little Norwegian, but interrupted myself trying to wave down Lise as she drove by. He asked me who I was waving at, and I told him. He then asked what car she was driving, and I pointed it out-- she parked ahead of the police car. I was thinking how odd this was-- I was one minute into driving her parents' car, and I am pulled over by the police, less than 30 meters from the ferry.

I asked the officer what was going on. He replied, and I quote him as accurately as possible-- but keep in mind that I think something is slightly lost in his command of the English language. He said, "We received a call that you have been drinking. Have you?" I simply said "no," and he told me I could be on my way. That was that.

In thinking about this further, my theory is that the last car to enter the ferry, that was parked very near me, was inhabited by a very strange couple. As we were parking our car when we drove onto the ferry, we had to fuss with getting Julian out of the car. I noticed a rather trashy-looking couple pull into the last spot. Both were smoking profusely with their windows open. There is no smoking on the ferry. They took a long time to leave the car, and the attracted the attention of the ferry staff, who approached them and spoke to them about something. When we were entering our cars to leave the ferry, I noticed that the woman appeared to have difficulty walking. The thought entered my mind to help her into the car-- but it did not occur to me at the time that she might be intoxicated. My guess is the ferry staff notified the police.

I have no idea what the outcome was. I gained some respect for the police for recognizing they had the wrong person- me- without unnecessarily harassing me. But my run for having never been "pulled over" is now over. Now if only the police will have my approved visa application ready this week.

1 comment:

augiepete said...

Come on, you've never been mistaken for someone with criminal intentions?!?!?!?!?
Just Kidding!
At least Norwegian LEOs seem to be less gung-ho than the ones Stateside!!!
Say "hello" to everyone for me!!