Risky Business

My relationship with the police in this town just keeps getting better and better.

As many of you may or may not know…I may have been a little bit late massively delayed in submitting my visa application and I have been living in New Zealand somewhat…illegally. Somehow I have had more luck finding myself under the table jobs here than I’ve ever had finding a legal one in the States. Not too sure why. Either way, I have been here illegally for a while. (On a side note…I might be leaving soon! If my visa app gets denied it will be time to say goodbye to the land of Kiwis and move on to who knows where.)

Anyway, I got off work last night and was driving home with my workmate Blake. Upon finishing work at about 3am we were both hungry and craving a delicious roast from the 24 hr bakery nearby, so we hopped into her car, got our roast potatoes and gravy, and made our way back to my flat. Just as we were discussing how excited we were to eat our roast meal a cop pulls up behind us, causing a string of explicit words from Blake. I looked over, mildly bemused, and she proceeded to explain that her car had no WOF or registration, and she didn’t have her license (which was restricted anyway). Blake sighed, “We’re gonna get rolled.” and, as if on cue, red and blue flashed behind us.

We pulled over and presently an officer arrived at our window. “License and registration?”
“Uhh, no, not really. I lost my license but it should be back by now and I dont have my registration…its my mom’s car. I know I’m going to get fined and all that can you please just give me the ticket so I can get home?”

I sat silently in the passanger seat, inwardly groaning as he called the central station for her details. “Ma’am, are you aware that you have about $2000 of outstanding fines?” Turns out no, she wasn’t aware of it, but that didn’t stop the officer from arresting her anyway. To his credit, he was apologetic about it- and he did say she could eat her roast in the car- but she had to spend the night in the cells. We look incredulously at each other before turning off the car and getting out. Blake climbs into the back of the patrol car and I stand there in awkward silence with the officer as we look at each other before he finally asks where Im headed. I tell him and he considers for a moment before asking, “…want a lift home?” How nice. I hop into the back with Blake and settle in. It wasn’t until I was already locked away in the back of this patrol car that I realize both the irony and the danger of my situation. First off, it was so hilariously ironic that I was the illegal immigrant, and working no less, yet Blake was the one getting arrested. On the flip side, I have been here illegally and if the two officers in the front seat decide to question me at all I’m kind of screwed…and also already in their clutches. I couldnt have made it any easier. I decided it would be best to just talk as little as possible and hopefully they wouldn’t notice my accent.

All was well on our silent venture to my house but, true to form, my inexplicable urge to laugh at all the wrong times came bubbling forth. I willed myself to not look at Blake or anyone else and tried to supress my giggles. It worked really well until I decided to break the silence at last by looking at Blake for the first time since her arrest while offering, “Well, at least now you get to eat your roast!” We both burst out into peals of laughter as the driver, startled, checks on us in his rear view mirror before looking at his partner who sat silently shaking his head. We missed the turn for my flat and had to back track down Manchester St (which, for those of you who don’t know, is hooker ave. Prostitution is legal in NZ and there are some…lovely looking chicas on every corner) I told the officer to just drop me off at the corner and I would just walk to the house because it was on a one way street going in the opposite direction. We slowed at one corner before he sped up to the next one because there was a woman there and she “might get upset if I show up on her corner and think I’m trying to steal her business”. The idea of me being a hooker in shady business with some police officers just made me laugh even harder. We finally stop at my street and one of them opens my door to let me out. Freedom! I have escaped unscathed! I spring joyfully out of the car and thanked the officer for my lift home while Blake was being read her Miranda Rights. Poor thing. I waved goodbye as they drove off and walked home laughing.

*Blake is now out of jail…she was only there one night and after a court date she was released the next morning with a debt re-payment plan.

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