Tuesday, November 18, 2008

That will be $25.00 and 5.00 €


So, I am driving around in my rental car....the Plymouth Horizon....I mean....Ford Focus. This thing has a whopping 1 hp and 2lb-ft of torque (actually, I think it has like 89hp....1.4L Gasser with no guts). Anyway, I had been saying how hard the thing was to get up to speed (Autobahn speed that is) It could hit about 80kph ok, above that, I had to keep the revs above 3,000 to get anything resembling acceleration.

Well, it is that up to 80kph part that got me in trouble. In that range, the car accelerated enough to keep up with...I dunno....my old Nissan Frontier if it had a bed full of gravel AND was towing a trailer. Anyway, I made a left hand turn, and was a little aggravated with the car, so I punched it (the gas pedal, not the car....I really wanted to punch the car though). I am screaming through first and second, the whole time the engine sounding like it is going to explode. 10kph....20...30...40..........50..........................................60 *flash* Swearing, slowing back down to 50kph.

A little further down the road the nice Polizei waiting to flag me down to give me my ticket. He starts rambling on in German, and pauses, so I say, in German, that I only speak a little bit of German. He repeats back a little, and then says "English?". Yes.

"License and regsitration"

I hand them over.

"This road has a speedlimit of 50kph and you were observed going 62kph with the speedlimit of 50kph so that is 12kph over the speedlimit." (All this time I am thinking....Yeah, I know I saw the flash.....oh, only 62...whew.....I thought I had almost hit 70).

"That will be a 25 € fine right now."

"Oh, ok, well, let me check my wallet.......oh...I only have 5€"

"Ok, how about dollars"

Look on my face must have been like ?????????????
"Um I have $27.00"

"No, that is not good enough"

"Well, I have $27.00 and 5€"

"Hmmm......" says something in German to the other Polizei, that guy kinda looks up.

"Ok, well, $25.00 and 5€?"

Since he posed this as a question, I thought he was confirming how much I had, so I said back, "I have $27.00 and 5€"

"No, the fine, it will be $25.00 and 5€"

He hands the money to the other officer, and brings back one receipt for 5€. "This is for the Euro and he will give you a receipt for the dollars" Hands me back license and registration.

Other officer walks up to the car, hands me a reciept for 25€ with the € scratched out and "Dollars" written in.

He walks around the front of the car, and is still writing so I think I am not done yet but he sees me looking at him waiting for him to say anything and he says. "Oh, you are free to go"

As I pulled away, the only thing I could think of was how I wanted to get myself a ticket before I left Germany, but of a fine-only/no points variety with me flicking off the camera. This would not have been the time to do that because I didn't even get the picture, plus I don't think the polizei would have taken to that so nicely, but it was still all I could think of.

So, there you have it. If you are pulled over by the Polizei, you have no idea how much or in what currency you will be paying your fine.

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