00:30 AM. The police officer took a step back, looked at my car and asked for the documents while carefully observing my every move through the open window. I was feeling pretty tired after a full day of carrying furniture and setting up the basics in the new apartment. There were a couple of tools in the front passenger seat – including an electrical tester. I didn’t make any of it but as I learned afterwards, similar tools are used to steal cars…
Note to self: always keep your tools in the trunk.
So I provided my documents and the 2 officers walked back to their patrol car to check the paperwork. They stayed for what seemed an eternity and I just couldn’t wait to go home and get some rest. After about 5 minutes they came back and asked me in English:
– What are the tools for?
– Those tools…
– Ohh, those! Well, I just bought an apartment and had to install a few lights.
– You bought an apartment…?
In fairness most people in Germany rent property instead of buying so I guess a bearded south European looking as rough as I did that late at night, with tools resting in the front seat stating he bought an apartment… Let’s just say that must’ve seemed odd enough for any local to take in (you have to understand my new area isn’t necessarily a cultural melting pot).
– Yes, I bought an apartment and we’re having Renovierungsarbeiten (the nice German word for “renovating”) so I needed the tools to install some lights and now I’m going back to my other apartment.
– Thank you, have a nice evening.
I guess no real outlaw would ever come up with such an elaborate excuse if it weren’t real. The car being in my name probably helped too. Also if there’s something I learned in these 7 years living in Germany is that police officers here are always really polite and the few times I was stopped it was always respectful. This time was no different (only that my circumstances were peculiar).
So I took off looking forward to arriving home but of course my adventures for the night were far from over. Living in the city center is a nightmare when it comes to parking. There are areas reserved for us locals but try and park after 22:00 and you’re on to a great adventure. Searching for a spot at 01:00 AM is even worse, everyone is sleeping so forget about waiting for someone to leave. That night I ended up parking the car 1,5 km away – meaning a 15+ minute walk in the raining cold adding to the list of accomplishments. At 02:00 AM I was finally home ready for a quick power nap before starting more prep work (now) in the old apartment as everything had to be finished by 09:00 AM for the moving company…
(to be continued…)