I've been driving for 4 months, and have been pulled over by the transit police about 10 times, which is really on the low end, compared to some of the stories I've heard. Without diplomatic plates, the transit police will stand on the side of the road, wave you down, and proceed to tell you what infraction you've just allegedly committed. Amazingly enough, these infractions can be taken care of with an on-the-spot fine paid directly to the officer. How convenient. Ahem. Right. Luckily, with a diplomatic carnet and a letter from the embassy that explains why you're driving without Nica plates or registration, the police sigh and send you on your way. It doesn't stop you from getting pulled over in the first place, though, and having to go through the whole rigamarole. In fact, when my parents were visiting, they got to experience the transit police not once, but twice! Normally, if I got pulled over with my parents in the car, I'd been in for a ticket and a parental lecture for driving like a jackass. This was a breeze, though, and I think my dad secretly got a kick out of being able to vicariously play the diplomatic status card and drive off. Pretty funny after all the times I've heard him complain about diplomatic drivers in DC. Last weekend, I ran in to someone in GSO who told me that my plates had arrived and that I should swing by to pick them up on Monday. Naturally, on my way to work Monday morning, I got pulled over one last time, about a block from the embassy. No sweat...and as a sweet example of how we look out for each other here, there were two friends driving behind me, one from MILGRP and one from RSO; one pulled up alongside and asked if everything was OK, and the other texted the same thing 2 seconds later.
In other local drama, we've finally figured out why the dog would occasionally lose her shit in the yard at night. She doesn't pay attention to the guards, unless they're eating, in which case she's their new best friend, the dog next door doesn't bother her, and despite being on a fairly busy road, we really don't hear a lot of street noise. I was secretly hoping an iguana or monkey had taken up residence in my yard, but no, we couldn't get anything that pleasant. Instead, we got a zorro. In other words, a possum. And not just any possum, but a big, fat, ugly as sin, and pregnant possum. Technically, a post-partum possum...because yes, that faint squeaking noise wasn't coming from Momma P, but from the 8 million or so of these things that she'd just dropped:
Sorry, Gollum, we don't have your Precious.
Imagine, if you will, me creeping about my back yard about 8:30 at night, in the dark, in my pajamas, with a flashlight, broom, and dustpan, trying to collect the babies and keep Rosa (the dog) from killing Momma P. They really do play dead, which doesn't say much for Rosa's hunting instincts. Momma P dropped, closed her eyes, and even make that dead, rictus-smile, complete with lolling tongue. Rosa, who at one point had the zorro in her mouth, dropped it, gave a quizzical look, and trotted off. Momma P made a quick escape to the neighbors yard, sans the mini-zorros. All in all, we found 7, and gave them to the guard who, I'm sure, had been wondering what the hell I was doing. I am wilfully ignorant of what happened afterwards; don't ask, don't tell, indeed!