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The (Dreaded?) School Run

21 Nov

So my morning started with this post on Facebook:

A cultural misunderstanding of hand signals and general road etiquette led to a policeman scaring the hell out of me and my kids this morning at the school gate. Yikes! Won’t be doing that again.

A friend asked for “more details please” so here they are.

Ha ha! So about my being scared sh!tless by the Romanian police this morning…

I usually drop my kids off at school by 7:30 – the earliest parents can (or else my husband takes them). Today, we were running a little late so I had to take them in because husband had a 7:35am meeting.

I find Romanian drivers to be notoriously selfish. This morning was no different. As I was waiting in line to turn right into the school parking lot, I noticed that nobody was letting the folks trying to turn left into the parking lot in. So I flashed my lights, as is the custom here, to indicate that I’m willing to let the next car go in front of me. I thought that the policeman directing (and I use that term lightly) traffic must not have liked that I did that because he gestured for me to “stop”. So I did, and I let one or two more cars go in ahead of me. The policeman had walked away at this point. I’m sitting there thinking that I’ve done the polite thing – I’ve let cars in ahead of me – and that now it’s my turn to go in. WRONG!

Now keep in mind, I’m only going 5km an hour  or so when all of sudden there is this loud banging noise coming from the back of my car. I jumped and I screamed because I thought I’d hit, or been hit, by something. Turns out, that noise was the sound of a burly 6ft tall officer banging his knuckles on my rear window! My son is asking, “Mommy! What’s wrong!”

“I don’t know sweetie,” I said.

The officer motions for me to pull over outside of the gate (yeah, he’s not letting me onto school property) and starts berating me in Romanin. I smile politely say I don’t understand.

He says, “I told you to STOP!”

“Yes sir, and I did, but then it was my turn.”

“NO! You stop until I tell you to go!”

“Ok. I misunderstood. My mistake. I apologize. But you just scared me very much.” Turns out that last bit was the wrong thing to say. LOL

Must double up my efforts to get to school by 7:30am when there is no traffic.

So that’s my story. I’m sure that while it will one day make an interesting little scene in the screenplay of my life, today it was just plain embarrassing.