Cultural Learnings Of… Swedish Police

SWEDISH POLICE! Buggers! Where ice T when you need him man? Ok heres how the story begins..

I got my new bike yesterday and its FANTASTIC, super light, super smooth gears, feels great to ride. So I got up this morning and headed off into the glorious Stockholm sunshine, its fabulous, warm sunshine, getting out of the city center into some greener suburbs, good times. Heres a blurry photo

So Im heading back home through the city, "iPod of Invincibility" on as usual and i duck in and out of some cars, though an intersection, regular everyday stuff I used to do to dodge the traffic in Sydney, no car, not even a 2 ton Volvo worries me. So just as Im getting over the last bridge to my apartment I hear a siren behind me and up pulls the coppers in their big van! 3 of these guys get out, sweden’s finest no doubt and hit me up. After agreeing to do the discussion in English i get told "you know you went through 2 red lights there?"

RED LIGHTS? ON A BIKE?? DONT YOU GUYS HAVE ANYTHING BETTER TO DO? Oh yeah we are in Sweden so the answer is no.

The officer asks me if I know what I did. No way, I was just riding maaaan, dont break my jive officer friendly but hes having none of my stupid tactics. He informs me that in this country, running a red light on a bike is 1500 SEK PER LIGHT and i just copped 2.

So now Im faced with a choice here, how am I going to play this one? I start into a classic australian "yeahyeahnahnahyeahnahnahnahyeah office its all good, hey relax guy" but hes not buying it. I wonder if I can use the "im poor, please dont fine me, how will i pay for dinner" routine but then I look down at my quite obviously straight off the shop floor bike and realise that aint going to fly. I try a sob story instead, oh i just come to your country, you dont want me to think bad, its not like this in australia, its been hard, this is just another blow, but I then realise this isnt Romania anymore and these guys arnt buying it either. I then try the getting stroppy approach but as you can imagine, this has about as much luck as my previous efforts. THEN I try some "good cop, bad cop" routine on myself, I apologise if I got a bit emotional just then, I thank him for his understanding and he agrees to knock it down to only 1 red light fine. Ok, this is progress! So I ask him to point out the two red lights and the second one is right in front of the house and its not even a red light.. sort of, I did ride through it technically but only so I could get through the curb to my front door… and through all of this the guy was professional and very nice to me… you nice prick! ooohhhh why couldnt you be a bastard so Id have someone to hate. So he realised I had him on the second light which wasnt really such a violation anyway, so its now one fine of 1500SEK. Yeah thats 250AUD. You heard me.

So now I accept im getting the fine realising I cant be bothered dealing with the Swedish court system and since hes writing it all out the deal is done so I start asking him some more questions… "So whats going to happen if I just skip Sweden and never pay it? eh eh!". He informs me that eventually it will get back to the Australian embassy and maybe Ill be denied entry again not only to Sweden but to other Scandivanian countries also. Good thing Estonia is still only a Scanivanian country by culture and not formally…. hmmm although it would be pretty bad ass to say I am a fugitive in Sweden and I cant enter the country again. Im on the run from the law! You’ll never take me alive cordial and polite swedish copper!

You can add this to the 800SEK I owe the road authority because I mailed back the registration papers for eurotank 12 DAYS LATE.

So I understand one could easily read this article and think I dont like Sweden, I do! Im sitting in my new room right next to central station, I have a water view, I like my job and ive got a new bike. Im just pretty sure theres no Lenin statues hanging around here. More photos of Swedish life later but heres the view from my bedroom window

By Louis Zezeran

Louis Zezeran is an Australian Stand Up comedian and comedy promoter based in Tallinn, Estonia. He was the co-founder of Comedy Estonia, Comedy Finland and Comedy Latvia. Louis writes, does gigs and performs at private events through the Baltics and Finland

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