Good cop, good cop?

It was 11 p.m on Saturday and I was on my way home.

Not feeling up to cooking when I got home, I decided to stop at the Gotico’s takeaway sushi store on calle Codols. As I approached the door I heard the unmistakable crackle of a police walkie talkie. I slowed down and took a look inside. Were the Chinese dudes inside getting raided? Would I have to settle for glutenous pork something-or-the-other from the restaurant further up?

A Guardia Urbana (city police) car was parked on the narrow street and three cops were standing inside the shop. Everyone’s body language was relaxed and the shop guys were going about their business as usual so I entered.

They all looked up as I walked in and we greeted each other. I gave my order and then tried to stand out of the way.

I was too tired to pay attention, and their conversation, although newly self-conscious, continued. Presently, the words began filtering through. They knew the sushi guys by name and they were talking about what crap tippers people can be. They’d heard of people who pay for an 80 euro meal and then tip the waiter or delivery man in cents.

“Son mother fuckers”, says one of the cops.

I smiled. It was obviously an attempt to include me in the conversation.

Three cops, eating sushi on their night shift, chatting with the Chinese workers and trying to include the Indian girl. The realisation slowly dawned on me that these three cops were actually nice guys.

What’s happening here? Have they finally started recruited human beings into the police force? People who don’t assume every non-white outsider is here illegally.

Or have I changed? It’s Saturday night and I’m a perfect law-abiding citizen with absolutely no cause to become agitated or defensive.

I guess we’ve all changed…

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