Steaming white I had left the police station without noticing where I went. I was glad that I had done so, for I might have said things that would have only brought me deeper in trouble. Now I saw that I was close to Melba, Carola’s coffee place. It felt like a good idea to seek solace in a cup of coffee, it would also give me a chance to get this story of my chest by telling Andreas and Carols. Who knows, maybe they would know how to deal with such banditism, such corruption, such… I couldn’t even find the proper word for it! Anyway, as I entered the place Carola saw immediately that something was wrong. She didn’t have to ask twice for the whole story to burst out of me in my best German, and loud enough for everybody to hear. Everybody that understood German of course. Two German women showed their sympathy. They were living on the island for more than 20 years and had had the same experience. What had they done about it, I inquired. They had refuse to pay. Initially. Then the case was brought before the court. They were then fined 6 times 3 times the initial amount of the fine. Plus 1 euro. When a couple of months ago the husband of one of the ladies was in a similar predicament, he paid immediately. Three times the fine. Plus 1 euro.
They did their best to comfort me and to convince me that paying was not only the best thing to do, for all practical reasons it was the only thing I could do. That and writing about it of course. I left Carola to go to the bank to get the money. Then I realized I hadn’t even had a coffee.