Subject: Re: Encounters with police abroad

I loved your seatbelt story!

My favorite encounter with the police abroad occurred on my most recent trip to Italy. Parking in the tiny marked spots under the more-than-watchful eye of the parking attendant, we nicked the door of the neighboring car. This dent matches the dent on just about every car you'll see in Italy, but the attendant witnessed the event, so had to follow through. Oh, we were visiting St Francis' hermitage in the hills outside Asissi. We promised we would provide all the important info to the other driver after we finished our morning of pilgrimage.

Upon returning to the car, we discovered the injured party was a police inspector from Milan. Ooops. Driving our car that day was my friend Shirl, who had left her driver license &other id back at the agriturismo. Ooops #2. The rental contract was in my name; but as a good pilgrim, I had left all my id also back at our house. Ooops #3. My Italian is passable &this exchange was quite lively!

I must have looked saintly enough to squeak by, tho (I had all kinds of saint medals around my neck from visits to other holy sites in the previous few days), because our inspector couldn't have been more kind or patient! He took care of all the paperwork.

We saw him at a few other churches along the pilgrim routes later in the day &his wife even saluted me with a gentle smile &nod over her hands held in a position of prayer. I guess they figured we could use all the heavenly support we could get!

Gail In Eugene.