Before I begin, let me preface this with: This is written for the sake of comedy. I’m writing to you all now in a state of mixed emotions consisting of but not limited to anger and excitement. This post is my reaction to a culture shock.
Tonight, we went to celebrate a friend’s 22 birthday. As we ate (with dark beer, pasta, and delicious ice cream) we decided to sit and relax with a second beer. After three hours of sitting and chit-chatting, we decide to depart and head home, considering that we are now safe to ride after our *sarcastic* whopping two beers in such a short amount of time. As we begin to ride off, one of my friends says, is that a cop behind us? I remember that, by German law, I have to have my lights on when I ride my bike at night. I correct the problem and continue. It was not even a cop behind us to begin with.
Further down our travels (about 5 minutes later) we decide to move to the left side of the street, because we are approaching an underpass located on the left side of the street. At the very last stop light, which was green, we all rushed to get through before it turned red, which it did as I was in the street. Coming out of the other side, was a cop waiting for us. He stopped us and told us that if we go through a red light, it is a 45 Euro fine… even though I went through when it was still green when I entered. He also informed us that for riding on the left side of the road, it is a 15 Euro fine. Even though the underpass that we have to take is conveniently on the left side of the road. WHAT A JOKE!
Really bulls? Really?
He knew by accent that we were American and he told us that we only had to pay 15 Euros each instead of 45 on top of it… how generous, doughnut scarfer.
His wonderful collective pals of 5 were waiting on the opposite side of the street doing to the same thing… because being a true cop, he couldn’t do anything alone, he just had to have a brigade of fellow pastry lovers to accompany him and watch from the sideline as he acted all tough informing three foreigners about policies, which weren’t even applicable to any of the situations we were in: I entered the street on green, I needed to go through the underpass.
He even tried to be cunning by saying “We’re not England, we ride on the right side of the street, like you Americans.” Comedy = FAIL.
And lest I forget to mention how useless it is to have 6 cops moping about to do the job of 2. Nope. They have to bum around as a unit and act like they’re awesome. FALSE.
To think rationally about this situation: I understand that it is important for the man to do his job… and biking laws here are more strict than auto, considering that more people bike here. People do have to ride on the ride side of the road, and going through the street when red is wrong considering that red = stop.
To counteract my rational thinking: I also understand that this was a waste of my time… and it isn’t my problem that some backward constructionist decided to place an underpass on one side of the road, and that the stop lights don’t stay green for long enough. Now I’m out 5 minutes of my precious life span and 15 Euros.
Really Bulls? Really?
It is plain to see where my anger arises, after these cops truly are a committee (which is defined in my book as: a group of individuals that can individually do nothing but collectively decide that nothing can be done). But then again, with Germany’s lower crime rate and safer nature than that of the U.S. A., they have to find something to do.
My excitement on the other hand????? Well, at least I have a new experience and a cool story, right?