Ahh the intro to Cops. Who can forget it? I had my first non-canine-related encounter with the police today. While it was a nice study in cultural differences, I could have done without it. Today was my blood glucose screening test. For those of you who have never endured such a test, let me describe it. The doctor takes some blood, makes you drink a bottle of the most sugary substance you can think of excluding actual maple syrup. It’s sort of like drinking orange Kool Aid mixed with two extra cups of sugar. (Side note- the Kool Aid man has received multiple mentions on popular television lately. I smell a comeback). But, back to the test. After you drink this substance, you stumble down the hallway to the waiting room and try not to vomit or pass out while the baby kicks you like crazy because he or she has just received the most sugar he or she has ever had in his or her life. I tried to read news on my phone but had trouble focusing on longer stories. I got that Russia is annexing Crimea, the plane is still missing and more people have signed up for health insurance. Pretty good for a blood sugar high reading of the news. Then after an hour, they draw your blood again. At this point, I was also give an iron profusion (that’s what the doctor called it but I think something may have been lost in translation). Then I was escorted back to the waiting room where I read my Real Simple (which I have to bring with me because the French magazines are tough to read and are all about parties or what to wear to work if you are a female politician). After two hours and another blood draw, I was permitted to leave. I love my doctor but I left with multiple bandaids on each arm because of all the various treatments and tests. I was also late to get home to let the babysitter leave.
All of this meant I was ready to go. I got in my car, paid for my two hours of parking and left the garage. Now, the lanes are confusing coming out of this particular garage and I thought I had my own lane. Apparently I did not. I cut off an unmarked van, resulting in loud honking and angry gestures from a man wearing what I thought was a security guard uniform. I am getting used to the angry drivers here so I kept driving. He pulled up next to me and yelled but I was focused on driving and thought he was just trying to get my attention so he could tell me what a terrible female driver I am. At the next intersection, he was next to me and I finally looked over, ready to hit the gas if this guy was actually dangerous. Then I saw the police patch on his shoulder. So I pulled over.
At this point, he had called back up to help with this crazy driver. So four or five cops got out of their marked cars to back up their colleague. Even as he walked up, I thought, certainly cutting someone off is not a crime. I apologized as I handed over my Swiss drivers license (glad I got that thing in time). Now, maybe this is a ridiculous idea but I figured a very nice, friendly, apologetic six-month-pregnant woman would get a little bit of compassion or understanding. No. He gave instructions to the other officers who then stood around my car and watched me while he radioed something on his shoulder walkie talkie. All I could think was “I have a babysitter at home who I need to call but if I reach for my phone, I’m pretty sure one of you will shoot me (yes, police officers are armed here too).” Ten minutes later, after several people had walked by and shaken their heads at me (what did you do!?! shame! and you’re pregnant! One mother even sort of turned her child away), I was allowed to leave. When I asked what I had done, the English-speaking officer told me that I had been a very, very dangerous driver and almost collided with the police officer’s van. And I did not stop. “There will be a report. You will pay.” I was sort of hoping it would be automatic deportation just because that would make for a great story. But instead I’m left with some sort of report being filed about my very very dangerous driving and some unnamed amount of money due to Switzerland. As we like to semi-joke, it could be ten francs, could be one thousand. I’ll keep you posted. Note: I did have a small amount of blood on my face, I assume from one of my many bandaid applications. I might have called back up after seeing that. But he called it before. Ridiculous.