But let me back up: shortly after I started driving here I learned that the lines and directions on the pavement are basically a waste of paint. Nobody stays in their lane, people stop in the middle of the crosswalk areas, drivers stop for lights a full car length in front of the "stop here" stripe. Also, nobody pays attention to the "right turn only" arrows. Nobody. Even if the lane ends immediately after the intersection, proceeding straight from the right-turn-only lane is just a fun chance to find out whose slow car is slightly faster. Yesterday I was stopped at an intersection where I've stopped literally hundreds of times before. The light turned green and I started out, only to see a khaki suited traffic cop waving me over. Huh?
"License" he snarled. I produced mine. "Your mistake was coming forward. That lane is only for turning." Huh? Everybody, including me, always goes straight through the light in the right lane. The stone-faced officer announced "I am giving you a ticket." Oh great. I could just see myself spending a day in a state of total frustration at the DOT trying to figure out how to pay the ticket. I considered my options. Then I swallowed hard and did something I'm not proud of: I played the "stupid ferenge" card.
I looked as confused as I could and whined "but I didn't know: I only do what the other drivers do. I'm a foreigner here and learn that way." He glanced up and kept writing. I tried to look even more pitiful and said "Now I know, so won't do it again, I promise. Can't you give a foreigner a second chance? Everybody deserves a second chance, don't they?" He paused, looked disgusted, flipped my license at me, and walked away shaking his head.