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Blog: The German Tour: part four - fahr'n fahr'n fahr'n auf der Autobahn
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Off we set for The Road, with the journey through Berlin becoming a bit of a GUIDED TOUR - Martin, it turned out, is a born and bred EAST Berliner who'd basically lived there all his life, including when the wall had come down. It was FASCINATING to hear him tell us all about it, especially coming from the Actual East Berlin viewpoint that, for some reason, we don't seem to hear very often. Everyone always says how much better things are since the city was reunited, but it was interesting to hear about some of the changes that HADN'T been for the best, and to find out how it was for the ordinary person actually living there. We were AGOG!
Tim FLEW by and after a couple of hours travelling we were about 50km from Dresden and well on schedule. All was going well... until Martin said "Shit! That police car in front is flagging us down!"
HOLY CRAPOLA. We'd all heard stories of Bands On The Road being BUSTED by THE COPS, and we PANICKED - it wasn't as if we'd got any DRUGS on us, and we were all a LONG LONG WAY from under-age, but we DID have lots of beer in the car. INDEED Martin had also had a sip or two from a bottle, which he handed to me in the general PANIC. I thought "If I'm sat here with two bottles, one of which has been EMPTIED [by me] then that Don't Look Good" so NECKED it. Martin meanwhile was demanding CRISPS. He WOLFED them down - none of us were sure why. He'd not hardly had ANY beer, but surely any he HAD had wouldn't be compensated for by CRISPS?
We followed the police car onto the car park of a service station. The police who emerged from the car could not have been BETTER for storytelling purposes - one was a big jolly moustachioed Doughtnut Fancying Good Cop who started smoking and joking almost straightaway, the other was a crop headed blonde STERN-FACED Bad Cop who looked like the STASI BADDY in a very cheap Spy Film.
He shone his torch round the car saying "PAPERS! PASSPORT!" MORE PANIC - me and Frankie had left our passports in Berlin, not thinking we'd ever need them, and we shook our heads saying "No! Berlin! Berlin!" while Tim produced his papers and was horrified to see them disappear with the police and Martin to the police car.
Next followed about half an hour of waiting around, which we later learned was all because our car had been reported to the police by a lorry drive for DRIVING TOO SLOWLY. That's DRIVING TOO SLOWLY. The speed limit is 130km/hr and we'd been doing about 100, which is "as fast as it is safe to drive" Martin later insisted in an EERIE ECHO of my MUM'S steadfast opinion, but the lorry driver didn't like it so here we were.
They had to breathalyse Martin but the BATTERIES had died in the machine. Good Cop said "He's clearly fine, let's let him go" (we got the FULL REPORT later, we were in the car being SCARED for most of it) but Bad Cop INSISTED, not least because he'd already radioed ahead to get another car to bring some batteries. He then STORMED OFF into the service station to buy some batteries with his Police Credit Card... which didn't work in their machine. There then followed a Slightly Camp Argument between the police about who should pay their own money for replacements, before Bad Cop lost and went and got some MORE.
Needless to say it all turned out well - Martin barely registered on the breathalyser, we got all our papers back, and he was told to a) get some coffee to speed HIM up and b) to always drive as fast as legally possible! - but it was FRIGHTENING for a while. It always seems so JOLLY when it happens in films, but it was much less so in real life!
The rest of the drive was done at high speed and we arrived at Ostpol for the night's show RELIEVED to have got there at all. We'd had a VERY late night, XTREME SPORTS, and a brush with THE LAW, surely the rest of the evening would be quiet in comparison?
Little did we know, it would end up in a THREE IN A BED ROMP...
posted 18/11/2009 by MJ Hibbett
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