Wednesday, February 3, 2010

On Bribes, Abduction, and Costa Rican Police Officers

I set every alarm in school off last night. I went in to finish up a class before it came due, and forgot about the alarm system. Within twenty minutes, the building was surrounded and a police officer was knocking on my window. She ran my license (I'm from out of state) and asked for proof that I could be there. All I could produce was my key, as I left my staff ID at home. The custodian had to come in and vouch for me.

By this point, I was freaking out. Honestly, it wasn't such a bad situation, but the last police officer I had dealt with was in Costa Rica, and he had tried to get me to go with him and his coworker. Alone. In the dark. In a strange town.

My bag had just been stolen. He said the only way I could make a report was if I went with them then to the police station. No, I couldn't bring the family from the States that I had just met with. No, I couldn't follow in a cab. I was travelling alone, and there was no way that I was going with them.

So it's no wonder that police make me a little uneasy. I know that police in the States are looking out for your welfare, and don't try to abduct women. I know that they don't accept or demand bribes. They would never wolf whistle at you, as they did in Guatemala. They would never hit on you.

It's just a bit of a shock, trying to readjust to life here. And yesterday was a little scary.

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