So we're less than an hour over the German border when the Polizei
pull us over for a routine check. We've
just returned from a weekend in
Prague and the guys in the back are quite drunk, and
stoned, the driver not trashed but having partaken. They're talking
about it in German, and we frequently pull over for one of them to take
a piss so I have no idea what's going on until the last minute.
When we do pull over I see them grabbing for their IDs, so I bust
out my passport. In two years of living there, I honestly never found
out how legal it was or was not to smoke weed, and at this point I'm
apprehensive because Germany's individual laws, division of crimes
between misdemeanor and felony, and version of due process does
not remotely resemble the U.S.A.'s and I know hardly anything about
them because I did not anticipate doing anything potentially illegal.
So they're polite, as the Polizei tend to be, and they make some
light conversation with our driver, ask him where we're coming from and
where we're headed and so forth and in the meantime our IDs have been
passed up and I'm feeling okay by then because it's obviously just a
routine stop and soon they'll page through and see my SOFA stamp and send us on our way, but what I don't realize
is that in dividing my money stashes for the trip I left a folded
20-euro bill in the back of my passport.
The lightbulb goes off as he's flipping though my passport and for
a moment I think I'll still be okay, but then he's like, "Was?" and opens it to the back. I see them conference for a
moment and the officer pulls the bill out and offers it back to me and
all the guys look at me and I go bright red and wonder what
kind of shit I've gotten myself into, but he laughs and tells me it's
okay, I'm not in the Czech Republic anymore and I try to explain with
what is left of my German and my composure that it was an accident, but
they're just laughing. I get shit about it the whole way back.