So, the other day I got pulled over by the police for talking on my cell phone while driving. Technically, I was not operating a vehicle, though-- I was at a stop light, and I put my car in park while I left Husband a voicemail message on his cell. By the way, it is illegal to talk on the phone while driving in Japan.
So, I heard the sirens, and I saw the police officer on his motorcycle. He came up to my driver's side window and motioned for me to pull over. I did as I was asked. I rolled down the window, and he started yelling at me in Japanese. I let him yell for a few seconds, and then I yelled back, "Wakarimasen, wakarimasen!" (That means I don't understand, I don't understand.) Then, he lowered his voice and said, "May I see your license, please." I handed him my Japanese driver's license, my pass port, my Texas driver's license and whatever other ID card I had in my wallet. I think I even gave him my old library card. I was really nervous and didn't want a ticket.
This was our conversation:
"You please no talk on phone while you drive, okay?" he said, unsure of himself.
"Gomenasai, gomenasai," I yelled. (That means I'm sorry, I'm sorry.)
"No talk while driving, okay," he said again in broken English.
"Technically, sir, I wasn't driving...I was stopped with my car in park," I replied.
"No talk while driving, huh?" he said again a little louder.
"But, technically, I wasn't driving and talking...I was stopped," I said again.
"You no talk on phone in car!" he yelled at me. I could tell he was getting annoyed with me.
"Okay, okay, sumimasen, gomenasai, gomenasai!" I yelled back, hoping he wouldn't give me a ticket. (I said Excuse me, I'm sorry, I'm sorry!)
He looked at my IDs and looked at me. I smiled my cheesiest smile and tried to look pathetic.
"Oh, you American from Texas...I don't want problem...no talk on phone in car, okay?" he said.
"Yes, I'm gaijin from Texas, Yeehaw!" I replied. (Gaijin means foreigner- kinda like alien.)
He smiled and said, "No ticket, just warning...no talk on phone, okay?"
"Okay, okay, arigato goizai mas!" I replied. (That means thank you very much.)
He handed me back my IDs and went on his way. My heart was racing. I was so scared I was going to get a ticket. But, even in my scared state of mind, I still wanted to let him know that I technically wasn't driving and talking on a cell phone. I was parked at a light.
When I came home, I told Husband what had happened. He got mad at me for using my phone while driving. Then, I had to explain to him that I technically wasn't operating my vehicle--I was parked at a light. He didn't want to argue with me, either. He just told me not to do it again.
But, I still don't think I did anything wrong!
Just another day in Weenie's World!