Sunday, July 19, 2009

My first Carabinieri Lollipop

I had my first experience with a Carabinieri lollipop (as we call it here in Aviano) driving home from Croatia on Sunday night.

The Carabinieri are the Italian defense, intelligence, security and military police who police both civilians and military.

We were literally within a 1/4 mile of our house, it was really dark, I was tired at this point, and Tim was asleep in the backseat. Suddenly a man in dark clothes (their uniforms are a dark navy) just walks calmly out into the middle of the road. I realized in just the nick of time that he held out his lollipop (picture a white stick with a red circle on top) to slam on the breaks. You must stop for these lollipops otherwise the other Carabinieri officer holding the M16 is authorized to shoot at you. I pulled off the road and into the small gas station as requested. My heart was pumping in my chest as I gathered my stateside driver's license, my international license, the insurance, and registration. All my documents in order, he went off to his car to check my credentials. After what felt like an eternity, the officer handed everything back over and told me to have a good night. "Grazie, signori!" Yep, thank you very much for giving me a stroke!