31. Busted! (B.A, Argentina)
Anyway, during the gig I somehow got arrested by the Police. I'm not going to divulge what I was doing to get arrested, other than it was a fairly typical weekend activity for young fellas on a Friday night, that is frowned upon in some countries more than in others.
So, I was hawled off to the comisaria, interrogated by ten different cops (none played bad cop though), asked for my personal details including my parent's names and addresses, fingerprinted 21 times - 21 because I was a foreigner so they needed extra copies for whatever reason, and then asked if there was anyone I could call to help me out. At about this time my cellphone started ringing, it was Pablo at the gig wondering what happened to me. So he and Juan turned up at the station and Juan acted as my official interpreter even though the police thought my Spanish was bastante bien (good enough). Juan told me my offence wasn't serious enough to need a court appearance, but that I would have to spend a night in the cells anyway until they contacted my Embassy. I borrowed a denim jacket off Pablo - until then I'd only had a shirt on so was freezing, and sent into the holding cells. But not before the cops had stripped me of my belongings, including my belt and shoelaces.
Although the night was bad, the next day was much worse. The jolly Inspector the night before had told me I'd be out by about 12pm, after they contacted my Embassy. But guess what, the Embassy is closed on Saturday, I could have told them that. And it was still damn freezing - the cells received no sunlight and being concrete stayed cold all morning. Pacing for warmth was awkward without shoelaces and a belt. I found a coin one of my pockets that the cops hadn't confiscated, and set about scratching Kiwi Was Here in the wall of my cell, which became A Kiwi Was Here which became A Kiwi Was Trapped Here For 12 Hours. By about 10am a crack of sunlight had appeared high on one of the exterior walls so I climbed up on my (unlocked and open) cell door to receive the light on my face. After about 5 minutes a cop told me to get down, and asked me if I'd like to take some sun. Very much, I said, but rather than let me out to sit in the sun I was locked inside my cell. Now the boredom really set in. The worst part was not knowing when I was going to be let out - no one was telling me anything and besides, no one was walking past my door to tell me anything. With every jangle of keys I'd be peering out between the bars trying to see if the cop was coming to my cell or that of my neighbours, which was always the case. By about 1:30pm I was getting really pissed off. Still cold as I hadn't stopped shivering, hungry and thirsty as I hadn't eaten or drunk anything, tired, but mostly plain bored, I kicked the door of my cell to get a cop to come. The cop told me they were still trying to contact my Embassy, but no one had answered yet. I started singing to pass the time - my favourite guitar singalong songs, well the ones that I could remember anyway. The acoustics of the square concrete cell were most pleasing. My neighbours never joined in but I suspect they didn't know the words to my songs in English. Finally, at 3pm a cop came and told me that my friends were here (Juan and Pablo) and that my 12 hours was up, I could leave. I signed for my possesions and we were out of there - first stop a gas station, where I bought some breakfast. Then I realised that the cops hadn't given me back my silver ring, but I really could not be bothered going back for it and besides it was probably gone for good anyway.
Oh yeah, at every Sunday asado at Juan's house I always have another crazy gringo story for him and his friends - things that have never happen to them despite them having lived here all their lives - starting with the time I fell from a moving subway car, to my fake peso story, to the time I rode in the cop car looking for car theives. But this time I told them - OK, there's gonna be no more gringo stories. This is the last one!