We are magnets for policia........
The first time we were stopped I probably accused Bill, under my breath, of going too fast, even though I knew he wasn't. We were behind a slow moving truck, overflowing with pigs.
Twenty year old policia came to the window of the driver's side and displayed what looked like an old cattle prod ....and a huge grin that said, "gotcha".
The cattle prod looking device had a plexi cover and a number on it...97.
"97 " policia said, "tu (en espanol and broken english) drive cambion 97. Es 60 aqui."
"Impossible" Bill said, "I voy (en english and broken espanol) behind that puerco (pig) truck. 60 KM, no more. No way I going 97. NO NADA WAY."
So this went on and on and on, back and forth between the two of them. I was actually surprised...Bill would not back down......I was sweating more than the pigs in the truck...Bill refused to say he was going that fast, but it scared me. In my mind I saw us at the policia station and it was place I did not want to be, maybe we would be jailed, lose our papers....omg, have to go back to Seattle.....
Policia took Bill's license and would not give it back and told us we had to drive to the sherrif to pay the fine. There are no sherrifs in Navajoa.
We asked for the license back. We tried to explain that we could not drive with out the license.....after 20 minutes of chitter chatter, I said to both of them, "Allright, vamanos to officina. Let's all go together and nosotros pagamos el fine. Tu vamos con nosotros. You go with us in our truck."
As I turn around and look at the back seat, I am thinking... do I clean the back seat......or should I offer him the front seat????
He shook his head.....He said,"ok, bueno, no ticket. Es bueno. No ticket."
We said, "No ticket?"
He said no and I told Bill to get going....then we realized we were in a shake down and somehow we got out of it.
We drove by the policia station, memorized the route and streets, expecting it might happen again. We would know how to drive to get there, we would tell the officer that. We discussed using our cell phones to 'pretend call' the policia station to tell them we were coming. We decided to pretend to even know less spanish than we know.....we decided there would be no way we would give our license to the next policia, if this should happen again.
I said we were a driving target for them. We are up and down the main highway through town constantly, shopping, going to the market, exploring this or that, going to Alamos every morning and coming back in the afternoon. They know our truck, for pete's sake, it is a big four door chevy with a canopy on the back and WA state plates. We need to get the canopy off, muddy up the plates and put a big unsecured load of something in the back is what I tell Bill.
We continued to discuss how to prevent getting stopped again, when one morning at 6am on our way through town to Alamos, Bill ran the only stop sign in town.
"Tweet! Tweet! Tweet!" A big, burly policia standing on the corner came running down the street after us.
"Bill! You ran the stop sign," I yelled and then I said something I can't repeat. Then Bill said other things I can't repeat and then, he said, "You were talking. "Was not!" I said back.
"License, por favor...please..."
We both hesitated. This was exactly what we had discussed.
DO NOT GIVE HIM THE LICENSE.
So Bill gave him his license.......
THEN he wanted the car registration. THEN he wanted us to go to the station and pay the fine, without the license or the registration...... Then I said lets all go together.....
He gave us back the license and car registration and said have a nice day.
Yesterday we stopped at the stop sign, made a point of sitting there for a few seconds, looked over at the corner and the same policia was there. He gave us a huge smile and waved. We smiled and vigorously waved back.....and drove on down the road to Alamos.
But, Bill and I have had a briefly serious discussion this afternoon on our way to the beach which we never found.. Everytime I see policia now, I tell Bill they are nearby, but I have a tendency to first go, "aauuhh, policia..or aauuhh, it's yellow, yellow! the light's gonna turn...Bill, the stop sign, it is exactly 3 blocks up...aauuh! slow down!".....aauuh, stop, stop at the railroad tracks....AAUUHHHHHH!!!!STOP! STOP!...aauuhh...Federales in truck , right lane, two cars back......It's a sound that is hard to write, sort of like taking in your breath and saying a sound at the same time. I am trying to warn Bill that these things are going on. Honestly he does not always see the traffic lights, they are located in very strange places and he has gone through a few red traffic lights....and that was NOT the first time he has run the stop sign.....
I am trying to be helpful.....
However, it has become evident that when I try to warn him with this sound, it gets his adrenalin going and makes him very nervous. So I am going to relax and I am not going to make any warning sounds of any kind and if he happens to back up and hit the car behind him, like he did the other day the the alley, well, so be it....