After the excitement of the morning, we took a little time out yesterday evening to visit a friend in nearby Cehegín and share supper with her.
Not long after we’d arrived, at around 8pm, I got a call from the police.
“You need to come in to the station to make a witness statement. Now.”
“Now?” I asked. “Why the urgency? We are away visiting friends at the moment!”
This wasn’t what the officer on the other end of the line wanted to hear, but he grudgingly conceded that this morning would do. He clearly wasn’t happy about it, though.
So John and I rocked up to the police station between 10 and 10.30 this morning, as instructed, and then had to wait for half an hour because the interviewing officer was (of course) away having his breakfast. Nothing changes here, does it?
Upon his return, it took two hours for him to type up the report about our minimal involvement in the whole affair, and for us to sign all four copies of it. Actually, I lie – it took about an hour. But with all the interruptions of people walking in and out of his office, together with a high-volume interview going on in the next room (with which our officer was at times involved), and a climactic moment when a woman burst in wailing like a banshee about her ex-husband, it stretched to two.
Finally, just as we thought we were free to leave, he printed off four more sheets of paper each for us to sign. Citations to attend court tomorrow morning at 9.30am to repeat the whole thing to the judge.
“No!” John wailed. “More wasted time! How long is that going to take?”
“No more than three hours,” answered the officer. So – the best part of the day, then. And an early start because I haven’t the foggiest idea where to find the courthouse in neighbouring Mula, a town with which I am not really familiar. There was, of course, no offer of transport.
“No,” repeated John. “I’m not going. I have too much to do.”
The police officer fixed him with a stern eye.
“There is a multa (fine) for non-attendance,” he informed us. “Between 200 and 5,000€. And if you refuse to attend a second time…” he held his hands before him locked together with invisible handcuffs “… you go to jail.”
And I thought we were the good guys!