A few days ago, I was home alone, writing, when the door buzzer rang. As usual, I ignored it, figuring that it wasn’t meant for us and that, even if it was, I wouldn’t be able to help whatever Spanish-speaking person was buzzing anyway. However, moments later, our actual doorbell rang. I answered the door. It was the police.
The two policemen were looking for a man I’d never heard of. I assured them a couple of times that I didn’t know who he was. I thought they’d just accept the fact that they had the wrong address and leave; I was wrong. Apparently, a man they were looking for told them that this was his address. The policeman asked me for my passport. He then asked me again if I knew the man, then began asking a lot of questions about how long we’d lived here, and who’d lived here before us. I explained that we’d lived here since October, were Americans, and that the couple living here before us were also Americans and that we all were connected to Andrew’s school. He asked for the names of my parents. He asked for my phone number. He was writing all of this down. When he finished, he read the statement out loud to me, asked me if it was correct, and had me sign it. It was all just paperwork, they assured me; they wouldn’t be calling or bothering me again. They thanked me and left.
The reason I write about this strange but ultimately uninteresting incident is this: it was all conducted in Spanish. So, despite my belief that I’m impervious to learning a language, apparently I’ve learned a little. Enough to get by. Enough, even, to handle a little visit from the police.