A run-in with Johnny(Johannes) Law in Delft
Once, at the end of a day-trip to Delft, I needed to use a toilet while waiting for the train. There was a WC on the platform but you needed to pay to use with a coin; 50 Euro-Cents I think.
I put my money in but the door wouldn’t open. I took a peek into the coin slot and saw my coin jammed in the slot with another; at this point I noticed that the slot had been taped over but peeled away by somebody. I wasn’t going to let some damned toilet steal my money so I pulled out my big, bad pocket knife and set about getting my coin.
After a little bit of digging I heard some yelling in the station but didn’t think much of it; it was kind of busy. I was very focused on the task at hand and it took another few moments to realize that the yelling was going on very close to me. I looked up and saw a very angry looking policeman trying to get my attention from a safe distance. I folded my knife and put it back in my pocket.
He asked me what I was doing so I said that the toilet stole my money….this sounds really lame…I’m going to jail. The officer asked what the Hell I was talking about so I showed him the two jammed coins, the torn tape, and explained that I was trying to my money back.
He didn’t say anything. I was having a staring match with a policeman and I’m sweating bullets. The man just kept staring….I’m going to see a Dutch police station from the inside…I’m sure they’re really clean but was beyond caring at that point….and he just stared.
I considered my options: Breaking down in tears, running for it or throwing myself in front of the next passing train. They were all lousy options but the staring was unbearable. I knew I was lucky in a way: Back home a policeman would have explained the folly of my actions after I regained consciousness. No concussion here, just a man boring a hole through me with a glare that could kill.
Just when I thought my snapping point had come, he told me not to just stand there and go get the coin back. He stood there as I fished it out and suggested, to wait, if I could, and use the washroom on the train. I went on my way home and I even got to keep my pocket knife!