Freeze! Police!

Have you ever been in the wrong place at the wrong time? To me this happens every now and then. Luckily police have better things to do when it does.


Lately I've had a couple of "run-ins" with the police, and I thought why not tell you about it here.

Two weeks ago I had my appointment at  the passport agency. The one where they take your picture and fingerprints. Hey, not that kind of picture, and not that kind of fingerprints! I said passport office, not precinct!

Prior to that I had to apply for an extension of my passport. I did so online. This was the last time I held my passport in my hands. I was going to put it in my purse so I would have it ready for that appointment. Then I thought "why would I carry it around for three weeks, what if it gets stolen, or it falls out?" And I put it


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Where did I put it?

I have no clue. I have been looking for it day and night. Literally. When I couldn't sleep I was trying to think of places where I might have left it. I got up, I looked.

Nothing.

And I have looked in strange places. Like the freezer and the sock drawer. At first I wasn't going to go there, but hey, what was I gonna do? In order to pick up the new passport I needed to present the old one, even though it has expired by now.

I don't need it right now, but I will need it for fall break. And you know what happens if you procrastinate. All of a sudden it's the end of September, and where's that passport? Can't have that kind of stress in my life. Not if I can help it.

While I was waiting for my appointment two weeks ago, a strange dude was enjoying his chat with the receptionist. Cracking silly jokes, fidgeting, looking around, appearing to be somewhat nervous. He didn't seem to know his place of birth and suggested a couple of random cities. Then he was sent to the first floor for his photo shooting.
You know how I am - always taking pictures.
You can never know when they come in handy!
My turn?

Not yet, the lady told me to wait, she needed to make a phone call first.

This kitten thinks she lives there
She hung up. My turn now? Yes!

While she looked up my application on her computer, I heard people entering. She jumped  up and told me to wait once more, she needed to talk to the policemen who just got here.

Huh? 

I didn't speed, I wore my seatbelt, I parked legally, my conscious was super clean today.

Creek canal parking - only in my state's capital!
She got out of her booth and approached them. Of course I was eavesdropping. C'mon, wouldn't you?

"Yes, he's up at photography right now, my coworker is trying to stall... He's about 5'8'', a bit chubby, partly bald."

OMG she is describing the guy who was just here. What did he do?

"Allrighty, we'll just wait down here then. No other way out, right?" one of the officers joked.


There was a world map, and they looked up Manaus, Brazil, where Switzerland was going to play - and win - later that day, thanks to Xherdan Shaqiri's hat trick!


The lady made another phone call, to her colleague upstairs, obviously.

"They're here. You may wrap up!"

I went through the payment of my new passport, perking up my ears for more info, then she sent me to the first floor.

What? I might bump into that guy! What if he took me hostage?

She wouldn't tell me to go it if he was dangerous, right? I can do this! Up the stairs I went. Sure enough he just came down the stairs. He wasn't looking at me - most probably because he saw who was waiting for him. Did he know they were here for him?

"Exuse me, not so fast, what's your name?" I realized the police officer didn't introduce himself. Isn't it a requirement, let alone common courtesy, to introduce themselves first?

Anyway. Apart from that they were really courteous and relaxed.The guy told them his name.

"Do you have ID? Where do you live? Where do you work? How did you get here? Where did you park your car?" He gave them everything except an ID - "that's what I am here for, actually" he said. 

I was climbing those stairs in slow motion. At some point I couldn't go any slower, so I missed the rest of the conversation. I had my picture and fingerprints taken, and when I returned to the ground floor, they were still there. The guy pacing back and forth, one policeman on the phone, the other inconspicuously guarding the exit. 


Unfortunately I didn't have any justifying reason to keep lingering around - so this is the end of the story. At least that's the end of that guy's story as far as I was concerned. I don't know why he was being picked up. Did he try and forge documents? Was he wanted for something else, and that passport office lady got an alert when she typed his name into her computer? 


I'm not watching that much TV, but obviously it's still too much, right? I should also mind my own business. Like taking better care of my belongings, passport and all. It's not the first time I had to apply for new ID, by the way. I'll get to that in a separate blog post. Austrian AND Swiss police will be involved in that one. But first let me finish my current passport chase. 

This morning I called the passport agency and told them I couldn't find my old passport any more. "Not to worry" the lady told me. "All you have to do is provide a document stating the loss of your piece of ID. Local or state police will issue that document. for you."

Ha! Genius! Why didn't I think of that in the first place? I needed to do this the other time as well!

State police will serve you from 9 - 11:45am and 3 - 5:45pm. Not very working population friendly, but working for your husband doesn't hurt in those cases. 

The young lady in line before me wanted to press charges against her ex-boyfriend. The police officer asked for his name and address. "He used to live at my place. Now he's gone. I don't know where he's at these days. That's part of the problem." Geez, do I need to hear this? 

It made me feel grateful for the fact that I only need the authorities for administrative purposes. 

Well, apart from that night when I called the police, being terribly frightened because a scary guy in a large coat was standing at the kitchen window of my ground floor apartment many, many years ago. 
About a year later, the exact same officer who helped me back then, stopped me for a routine traffic check. He recognized me and asked if it had ever happened again. Fortunately not. At least I wouldn't know because from then on I always, always shut the blinds as soon as it got dark. "You know in those cases we use to go to the usual suspects' houses. As soon as they open the door and see us, 19 out of 20 will say it wasn't me today, I swear!" Hahahaha.

So today, with the document that the friendly police officer issued at hand (paid for by the working / tax paying population, thank you very much! She didn't even let me give her some money for a cup of coffee - "we are the police, we're not supposed to take anything from you, but thanks!") I walked into that passport agency's office like a boss. 

Here's my new passport!


While I was writing this, Christine, an online friend and fellow blogger, (check it out, interestingly enough she did a piece on a special kind of passports, too) posted these pictures of her wearing a German police jacket and was kind enough to allow me to feature them:
She plans on picking up her kids from school
in that outfit, hahaha!