I write this post standing up. I’ll leave it to your imaginations as to why I’m choosing not to sit.
This evening, I got a message from my gentleman friend. He messaged me his address, told me which bus to get, and invited me over for a “beer”. This, of course, got me into a right lather of nerves and excitement.
I quickly washed and made my way to the bus stop. I started crossing the street. I put one foot on the street. I didn’t have time to put a second foot down before I heard a siren and a police van on the other side did a u-turn and pulled up in front of me. A police woman called out to me, and beckoned me over.
I tried the dumb foreigner thing, but she spoke perfect English. She asked me why I had attempted to cross the street at a place other than a pedestrian crossing. I couldn’t answer truthfully, that I had been thinking about my hot gentleman friend. I told her I hadn’t been thinking, and that I was sorry.
She turned to her colleague and they consulted in Slovene. Based on hand gestures and tone of voice, I concluded that she was finished with me, but that he wanted to pursue it. She turned to me again and asked me for my passport. I said I didn’t have it. She seemed shocked. She turned to her colleague and they spoke in Slovene again. He started shouting.
This kind of transaction wouldn’t scare me that much in Ireland, but I couldn’t stop thinking that Slovenia is one of those countries where they’re crazy enough to arm their police. She turned and asked if I had any ID. I said I had my driving license and she asked to see it. She and her colleague had a good look at it. The man started shouting at her in Slovene again. I can recognise numbers in Slovene and he was shouting some fairly big ones.
She sighed and turned to me and said that a driving license was not valid ID and I would have to pay a fine. Of €400. For not having “valid ID”. As I had been about to cross the street illegally, I would also have to pay €40. €440 in total. I reacted in complete disbelief. There was no way I was going to pay them that much.
I’ve often said that one of my goals in life was to spend a night in a foreign prison. It flashed across my mind that this was becoming an actual possibility. One phone call? It would have to be to my gentleman friend. I couldn’t stand him up without explanation. But you can’t ask someone you’ve only met once to bail you out, can you?
Of course I didn’t end up going to prison.
The police woman told me that because I was a foreigner, I’d only have to pay half, so they’d only charge me €220. What? This can’t be for real. They seemed to be just making up numbers.
I still refused to pay, acting as incredulous as I was at the thought that the police can fine you for not having ID on the streets. She asked me how much I had in my wallet. I said I had €30. She and her colleague started fighting again. Eventually, she snapped at him, grabbed my driving license out of his hand, handed it to me, said “Don’t let us catch you again.” and drove off.
I stood there feeling shaken. I had been scared.
I needed the comfort of a strong man. And for the first time in a long, long, long time, someone was available to play that role in my life.
The bus journey was only fifteen minutes long, but brought me to quite a rural part of the “suburbs”, where my gentleman friend’s house is. Next to a farm. The song playing on my playlist as I approached his house was Peter Cetera’s “The Glory of Love” from Karate Kid 2. I have a long list of songs I want to perform/have performed at my wedding, and this list changes, but the one non-negotiable is that the groom sings this song to me: “I am the man who will fight for your honour. I’ll be the hero you’ve been dreaming of”. It couldn’t have been more fitting.
He invited me inside. We sat and chatted for almost 20 minutes before he invited me to see his bedroom. And there I shall leave it, other than to say that, once again, I am too excited to sleep. And also to say that when I got home I found a hickey ON MY THIGH. Because we are BEASTS.