THE MONTHLY CROATIAN SEX COLUMN
by Milana Vuković Runjić
“GREETINGS FROM THE LAND OF THE SOBER”
THE EVENT WITH THE POLICE
This very evening, as I drove home after a little party in town, a policeman jumped out of the dark (and gave me a pretty bad fright) to warn me that I almost broke the speed limit, that I didn’t really produce my driver’s license fast enough, and, he could bet, my seatbelt was fastened only loosely. Luckily, after he had a closer look he recognized me—the joy of living in a small country is that everybody knows you, especially if you write a column—and therefore decided not to throw me in jail but to leave it at a fine. Another lucky thing is that I don’t drink, because according to a new law in Croatia only a driver with zero percentage points of alcohol in his or her bloodstream is a good driver. This means that if you have a glass of wine over dinner it’s best if you don’t as much so look at your car for the next three days. You can’t have a chocolate candy with kirsch or swallow a painkiller or reach for a ripe peach because any of it could turn you into a complete alcoholic in the eyes of a police officer. The law seems to have hit priests the hardest as they have to sip a bit of wine during mass, which automatically makes them irresponsible drivers. In order not to have to hitchhike after mass, priests started a media campaign to keep their “priestly percentage points,” but the outcome of that particular crusade wasn’t immensely successful. Overnight, we became the Land of the Sober. Irrespective of their status, everybody in Croatia drives one, two, or three cars, and now behind every wheel you can see a stern sober face with tightly clenched lips and I fear we might see an increase in suicides, especially as we roll towards winter.
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