Friday, August 15, 2008

Post Titled: "Trinken und Rad fahren ist ein schweres Verbrechen in diesem Land." (and somehow I still love Poland...)
So, to wrap things up once and for all I returned to Poland to pay my 1,000 złoty in fines. Oddly enough: due to a late train at Ostbahnhof I missed my connection and called ahead to say I'd be late for my appointment- first call: no answer and second call resulted in an absurd exchange of me English-German-Denglisch vs. Polish... You'd think that if you had one appointment with an English-speaker on a Thursday morning and then an hour and a half before that an appointment you started getting calls in English you might seem to have a clue of who it might be... but did not seem to be the case. After a lot of very simple, slow explaining:
"Checsht. Ich bin der Amerikaner... (my name). Amerikaner. I'm the American... arrested last week... letzte woche war ich verhaftet... (my name)...
ja.. appointement today termin heute
kommt 30 min. spät... Ammer... coming 30 minutes late...
amerikaner... American...Amer..ikanski...
tak tak, 30 min. spät
will be-

It went on like this for minutes. In the end I think- based on the tone- that it has been established that I was (my name), the American who had recently been arrested, and that I would be 30 minutes late, -then
instead of saying "jenki" (thanks) Stressed-out, I accidentally said "buzi" (kisses)(!!!) and it resulted in a very awkward silence, then a very quick goodbye on their side. For fear of being late I took a taxi from the Frankfurt Oder train station directly to the police station in Slubice. The waiting room was empty and there was no one behind the glass, at which point I accidentally pushed my way through he buzzer-operated locked door and found myself in the ol' detention area, got yelled at ans was ushered back out- they took my papers and I say down for an hour and a half in the ridiculously hot waiting area. Young girls kept leaving one by one, a new one exiting every minutes with papers--- took a few hours for the translator to arrive... more waiting, more confusion... the way they described it was that I would be getting some sort of hearing, but instead they completely ignored me and chatted witht eh translator...
"Trinken und Rad fahren ist ein schweres Verbrechen in diesem Land. Glauben Sie es oder nicht, Sie können bis zu ein Jahr Gefängnis verurteilt werden nur deswegen, dass Sie betrunken Rad fahren. Es ist fast dasselbe, wenn Sie trinken und einen schweren LKW fahren (zwei Jahre Gefängnis). Das zugelassene Niveau ist 0,2 ml Alkohol in einem Liter Blut (0,2 Promille). Obwohl niemand sich darum kümmert und man auf dem Lande viele betrunkene Radfahrer sehen kann (Überraschung!), von Zeit zu Zeit stoppt die Polizei die Radfahrer und fordert sie zu einem Alkoholtest auf. Die Daumenregel: wenn Sie mit der Polizei sprechen müssen, nähern Sie sich ihr nicht an betrunken und auf dem Fahrrad."
Translated: Drinking and bike-riding is a serious crime in this country. Believe it or not you can be condemned for up to one year in prison when you drink and ride. It is almost the same as if you drank and drove an 18-wheeler (which is 2 years in prison). The allowed blood-alcohol level is .2 ml per liter of blood. Although no one cares and one can see drunken bike-riders all over the country (what a surprise!), from time to time police stop a bike rider and request that they take an alcohol test. The rule-of thumb: if you have to speak with the Police, do not approach them drunk on a bicycle." or in my case- anywhere NEAR a bicycle for that matter. found at Exotic Poland

Tags for any poor stupid souls who may come across this: biking in Poland drunken biking in poland arrest for biking drunk in poland- this article in german bascially says that biking under the influence in Poland is almost on-par with drunk driving and can be punished by one year in prison


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