I got my very first traffic violation ticket yesterday. Maybe I’ve been lucky or maybe I am a law-abiding driver (well…most of the time anyway), but the irony of the fact that my first citation happened in my own country didn’t escape me. How did I manage to get in trouble in a country where I know the rules while I never did in other countries where I was not so sure of the rules?
It’s a good question and maybe the answer to it lies in “paying close attention” even in places we think we know. But that’s not the point of this post. My interaction with the police officer and my ticket experience got me thinking about our worldwide experience with police. Having lived in many countries I’ve had my share of interactions with law enforcement (although not always about traffic violations). What is the difference between these kinds of interactions at home and abroad?
Maya Angelou once said that “people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” And I find that this is especially true for me when I deal with the law enforcement. I understand that it’s not their job to make you feel good, but can they at least not make you feel awful?
I cannot claim to have experienced dealing with the police in every country of the world and I am sure there are plenty of downright horrible experiences out there. And there are also good experiences — I’ve had a few myself. So what has been your experience where you are living now? And how does it compare to your home country?
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