Thursday, July 01, 2010

I fought the law and I won

This is what I think happened:
A fat, old and extremely disagreeable traffic policeman saw us talking in a strange language and carrying a guidebook and decided to earn a little extra income. Either that, or he was a nudnik.
So I'm walking down the street in a run down part of Tel Aviv's schmatte district, when I hear a commotion behind me and lo, there's this schmendrik screaming at me, demanding we show him our identification cards. I say we have none. I wanted to say we're tourists, but I said we are exploring.
"So what if you are exploring? Show me ID!"
I show him my US driver's license. Still he wants ID and gives no explanation whatever for is he hollering like a maniac.
Finally, he claims we crossed the street on a pedestrian red light. For a moment I thought,
there we go to the police station, kosher midnight express, so I apologized for crossing, admitted I didn't realize, even though the Magnificent Arepa assured me and him that we did not cross in anything but green. I said I'm from New York. So he tries to be clever and asks whether in NY people are allowed to cross on a red light.
If no cars are coming and it is safe to do so, of course.
I'm not so sure, he says.
I'm very sure, I say.
I think he was a little surprised to hear what he thought to be an idiot tourist talk back at him in the same screaming Israeli fashion everybody else employs, so he had no choice but to give me back the license.
To the great amusement of some bystanders.

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