I now live in a sleepy little town on the southern tip of Mallorca where there seems to be a fantastic lack of tourists, not counting the popular fish restaurant C’an Pep. This Saturday I let the time slip away and my one small grocery store had already closed but I needed to grab a few food/wine staples from my next closest supermercado fifteen km away. Everything is shut down tight on Sundays so I have to stock up for the weekend and in the case of a random holiday which will close everything down. Europe seems crazy for their dia(s) de fiesta and I never know when they will strike and render me useless for a day or so.
Driving my white German plated Audi I head out towards the store. I turn two blocks to see the sparkling blue Mediterranean winking at me and the island of Cabrera beckoning me for a visit. I make a mental note that this is the year to visit the island which served as a prisoner-of-war camp during the Napoleonic Wars and was frequented by pirates in days of old. And in my dreams of pirates and treasure I am rudely interrupted a minute later by my friendly neighborhood policia roadblock motioning for me to pull over.
Crap, I think. This might not be good.
I gave them my best smile and was rockin a short miniskirt which seemed to deter one but not the other. I saw the cranky one had what looked like some kind of machine in his hand, was that a breathalyzer test? I have never had one of those in my life so I wasn’t quite sure if I was correct.
License and insurance please….in Spanish they naturally asked. As I rummaged through the glove box I knew we did not have anything up to date in that car, plus Spanish law states if a car from another country stays in Spain for longer than six months they must register for Spanish plates. And me, always pushing the illegal envelope had done no such thing. Handing them my Oklahoma driver’s license and the expired insurance card I tried in broken Spanish to tell them it was by boyfriend’s car, mi coche de los novios! Por favor. After much discussion and a crowd starting to watch, they told me it was illegal to drive without a Spanish license but I know the laws and said I was only a tourista. Granted, I live here but I try to leave the EU every 90 days to renew my requirements. After that was said, all was good. They can’t do a single thing to a tourista and my Oklahoma license was good to go. Oh, but one more thing, the breathaylzer test. I fumbled with opening the small plastic packet containing my blow piece and blew for two seconds. No, no, no the nice cop said, you must breathe until I tell you to stop. Alright, let’s try this again. I hadn’t had my glass of red wine yet so I registered a 0.00 and I even got to keep my blow piece as a souvenir.
The supermercado was packed, as it usually is on a saturday evening with tourists stocking up on cerveza, chips and rosado and while waiting in the check-out line I looked at my driver’s license and laughed. Thank god they didn’t look at my license very well because apparently it has expired. I have been stopped a few times by the Mallorca policia and they absolutely love that damn Oklahoma license. The first time I was pulled over the cops did a presentation on how they thought the Oklahoma police interrogated people.
“Put your hands on the car!” is what they demonstrated (and brought back some memories in a church parking lot). How could I not laugh and agree?