The next thing I knew, a traffic officer had pulled his car up next to me and was screeching something at me over a loudspeaker. It was either "All the boys down at the station wish you a speedy trip back to your hotel" or "Pull over." I pulled over.
In the States, when I have been pulled over, I try a little humor first. I wait until the officer walks over, then I roll down the window and say, "A Big Mac, fries and a Coke, please."
I didn't try it this time but quietly handed over my license.
"This is beeeg trouble for you, Reeeck." It was not the greeting I had hoped for.
"What did I do, Officer Sir?" I said.
"Beeeeeg trouble, Reeeeck. You were speeding."
"Was I? I'm very sorry. I apologize."
"And you went through a red light, too, Reeeeck. This is beeeeeeg, beeeeeeg trouble. You might have to follow me down to the station."
I had seen all the movies. I knew what to do next. You either reach for your wallet or go to jail and Dustin Hoffman ends up doing your life story.
"Uh, is there any way I could pay the fine right now, Officer Sir?"