Or Germanic people.
I think it's rather funny that after moving away from Switzerland over three years ago, I still had this dream last night that reveals my subconscious impression of the Germanic approach to laws and law enforcement.
I dreamed that Boyfriend and I had rented a large, white Econoline van (no idea why) and were driving around in a small European town. We got pulled over by the police, who turned out to be German-speaking. Based on the accent, I'm guessing that we were somewhere in Austria. He was not pleased about something, and was speaking very quickly, and I struggled to understand what he was saying.
In the mean time, Boyfriend wandered off and started shopping for shoes.
The police called our car rental agency, who quickly sent a man out. The rental agent and the police officer then proceeded to disassemble the cover and cap for the gas tank, still yelling at me in German.
Boyfriend continued shopping for shoes. (What does this say about what my subconscious thinks about Boyfriend?)
I finally figured out what the policeman and the rental agent were upset about. Apparently, for this particular van in Austria, you could only drive it with the gas cap and lid open. The cap and lid were reserved for high-speed situations. And they decided to enforce it by taking the car apart to prevent us from driving with it closed any more. They even handed me all the parts afterwards. I am pretty sure the rental agency was then going to charge us for damage done to the car (by the agent, mind you), and the cop was probably going to write us a ticket for driving with the gas cap on.
Yes, this was something that my dreaming mind made up, but the fact that it didn't seem strange at all shows you how odd some of the rules are in Germanic countries and how scrupulously they enforce them.
And yes, I have been giving Boyfriend grief about his shoe shopping during the crisis.