It was around 2:00 am in Heidelberg, Germany, and I was tired of hanging around drunk people all night. I had a head cold and was abstaining from drinking that night (probably the only time I was there that I abstained from drinking), so instead of hanging out in a stuffy basement where I wasn’t having fun I decided to go enjoy the cool crisp spring air of modern Europe. That was mistake #1.
Now I’ll be the first to admit that I was somewhat of a hippie in college. My uniform of choice was long hair covered by a backwards “Wisconsin is Cheesier” baseball hat, a hemp necklace, large-gauge pierced ears,and my dad’s old plaid shirt and vest which were about 10 years older than I was. I looked like someone who carried a bong around in their over-sized pants pocket.
That was mistake #2. As I was walking around the high rise complex where I lived, I noticed some flashing blue lights. Like any good human, I wanted to go see what all the hubbub was about. As I approached the police car I was a little disappointed to see that it was just a cop sitting on the hood of his car with another sitting in the passenger seat. Being the polite American I was I made eye contact with the one sitting on the hood and nodded at him, which was mistake #3.
“Kommen sie hier” he politely but firmly told me. Not wanting to get deported half way through the semester, I obliged. I walked over and he asked me a couple questions in German, but being under the eye of German authority made my already mediocre hold on the German language even worse. When he saw I was having trouble understanding him he started speaking to me in English. The rest of the conversation went something like this:
“Where are you from?”
“The United States.”
“What are you doing out here?”
“Just going for a walk, I was getting hot at the party I was at and needed to get outside”
“Show me your ID please.”
“Of course, here you go.”
After he looks at it he returns it to me and says: “Can you please empty your pockets on the car?”
I emptied my pockets on the car. He then had me take off my vest and hat and looked in their pockets and folds. Then he patted me down. Of course he didn’t find anything, and I was thinking I was off the hook when he pulls our a flashlight and says:
“Please pull your pants forward so I can look inside.”
Not wanting to make things worse for myself, I pulled the front of my pants and underwear forward while he got a good look at my American Glory in the front. He did the same thing while I pulled my pants towards the back so he could look in my butt crack.
Not finding anything he proceeded to explain his search, telling me that people would come to the fields behind my apartment complex to do drugs. After wrapping up his paternal speech he said “Okay, you can go now. And remember, no drugs.”
I started walking around the corner away from him and immediately went back to the party to tell my friends about what happened. We all had a good laugh because, let’s be honest, being frisked while studying abroad in Germany is kind of an absurd experience. And like good friends, they never let me live it down.
So just remember, if you find yourself taking a late night stroll on the streets of Heidelberg: No drugs!
I am a Father, Husband, Cowboy Philosopher, Volunteer Firefighter, and Professional Dilettante. I am nothing and I am everything. But when it comes to our relationship: I only wish you wonder and happiness.