Saturday, August 12, 2006

Breaking the Law

Ljubljana is an admirable little city, of which I will speak more in later posts. I did have my first brush with the local law last night when I absent-mindedly jaywalked an empty thoroughfare, only to see two patrolling officers in front of me. I feared the worst, which was really only a fine, I know enough about Slovenia to know that it is not ridden with institutional corruption, like Russia or Belarus. They took a high hand though, asking me in roughly-Slavic English, if I knew what a pedestrian crossing was, and then if I knew what the penalty for not using one was? Ten thousand tolars they said, alternating the above comments like the Knights that Say 'Ni' in Monty Python. The fine in reality is not so fearsome, €40.60 to be precise, and the good officers let me off, telling me that I should carry an original of my passport, which was held as security in my hotel, though they did compliment me on my foresight to carry a photocopy. Slovenia is more like Austria or Switzerland than the Balkans, or Sweden even, as a young Swedish couple I met today approvingly remarked. I'm on my last chance now though and I am standing stock still with all those Slovenians until I see that little green man...