Visiting the Polizia di Stato

police station with the emergency number 113 in a southern ItaliLee needed to file a report to get his stolen credit cards replaced. After breakfast the next morning he asked Alex and me to walk with him to Polizia di Stato. We spotted the police station across an alley-sized street. Alex and I stepped off the curb and followed Lee as we often do, because he’s a fast walker. I realized we were jaywalking and worried about it for all of three seconds. Lee distracted the officer that might give us a ticket – a uniformed young woman standing near a gate holding a wooden paddle. She was directing squad cars in and out of the parking lot. She looked like the Italian equivalent of a police explorer.

“WHERE IS THE OFFICE?” he asked in a decibel level higher than necessary. She returned a confused expression.

“I NEED TO FILE A REPORT” He barked. She was still confused.

“I WAS PICK-POCKETED!” Her facial expression changed – to relief. She pointed to her left.

“GRACI.”

Around the corner, a muscular young man in camouflage fatigues guarded the formal entrance to the station. He held a very large machine gun.

“I WAS PICKPOCKETED.”

The guard nodded his head toward the entrance behind him.

“GRACI”

The lobby looked fancier than I expected, more like a bank than a police station. We entered the glass doors to be met by an imposing metal detector. As each of us passed through, it buzzed louder than a fire alarm. We stood there waiting to be frisked or something but the officers behind the counter seemed oblivious.

“I WAS PICKPOCKETED”

One of them raised his head and yelled to somebody down the hall behind him. When a distant voice responded, the first officer pointed that direction. There, another officer popped his head out and waved us into his office.

Lee spent all of ten minutes filling out paperwork.

“That was easy.” I said, as we returned to the lobby where other people were now setting off the metal detector.

The machine-gun toting guard was still in his position outside. Lee approached him from behind. “THANKS BUDDY!” I nearly shit my pants when he patted his back. Thankfully his bazooka was pointed in the other direction. Alex looked at me and rolled his eyes.

“Grandpa.”

NEXT: Angels Singing with Lemoncello

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