Thursday, October 28, 2004

Waving Lollipops

I haven’t blogged in a while so here’s a little update. Right outside my window the Polizia have set up a little checkpoint. If you haven’t been to Italy (I think some other European countries are like this too) then you haven’t seen how the police will stand by the side of the road and wave a big lollipop at you. They have this white wand with red on one side and green on the other. And it’s just best described as a big lollipop. When they want you to pull over they wave the red side at you and point to the curb. I’ve never been pulled over by the police so I don’t know what they are doing. If you’re not speeding then you’re in the way of everyone else. And most street signs and lane markings are just keeping the place looking orderly. It seems like whom they stop is a pretty random thing. Now, I have been pulled over by the Guardia di Finanza. I call them the “Finance Police” but they are really more about customs and I guess fraud. The guy who stopped me just checked my truck to make sure I wasn’t carrying drugs or something illegal. Considering it was 2:00 AM and a deserted highway, I guess he had a right to think I might be trying to ship something illegal. Of course, who stands by the side of deserted highway at 2:00 AM waving a big lollipop. In his defense he did also have a small automatic machine gun if the lollipop didn’t work. So you have to take these guys seriously and thenl I saw their gunboats and armored personnel carriers. The Finance Police are pretty tough, all this hardware and they also check receipts, even for something as small as an ice cream cone you must get a receipt, which reminds me. I need to go get a gelato. Ciao.

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