Reflections...

It’s been a year since I made my way down to Cabo San Lucas, and what a year it’s been! I hope everyone is enjoying the Autumn weather with earlier sunrises and sunsets, cooler weather, and anticipation for the family and friends gathering together in the very near future…

As for an update on my To-Do List: I built and installed the partition to create a true freezer section in my icebox. It went according to plan, and I thank the many friends who gave me valuable input. I just need the new refrigerator unit to arrive. I’ve completely repaired the leading edge of my companionway turtle, and finished it off with some beautiful varnish. I created a new, updated vessel float plan that will be distributed properly soon. My insurance has been renewed, and I checked and serviced my portable generator. I jury-rigged a shackle for my roller furler until I can get the correct one in place. I properly installed a switch on my desulphator unit. When it cycles on, it interferes fiercely with my SSB radio. Now I can switch it off when I need to transmit or receive on that radio. The fluids and filters on my engine were changed and refreshed, and I checked the usual locations for chafe. My tank has been filled with fresh diesel, and I’m waiting to fill my jerry cans with the same. I cleaned out my lockers of clothes, food, and utensils to send off to the Women’s and Children’s Shelter. I’m looking forward today to getting the ‘under construction’ grime and tools cleaned, stowed, and put away. It’ll be lovely to get Willow tidy and sea-ready again.  I purchased one of the two gallons of bottom paint I’ll need for Willow’s haul out.  The second gallon I’ll get after the first of December, with the haul out taking place on the second.  It’ll feel so good to get finished with that.

With all of this work, is there any time for fun? Abso-dang-lutely! Aside from continuously meeting outstanding and wonderful people, I’ve been able to mix and mingle just a little with the local folks.  Jeanne from Eagle has so successfully immersed herself in the local scene; I try to follow along with her when I can… 

Eeerk!  Stop the presses!  I was going to try to write a poignant post about how happy I am to be here (which I am), how perfect life is (which it is), when I was interrupted by a friend who is having some mechanical issues with his boat.  I offered to take him to a special bolt tienda to get special bolts for his motor mounts.  Since this special bolt place is on the outskirts of town, I decided to fill my propane bottles at the CaliGas plant that is also on the outskirts of town.  A wonderful couple, the owners of a 34′ sailboat, asked me to ‘watch’ and drive their car for them while they came on down the Pacific coast on another sailboat.  What a gift!  Since so many others have been so kind to me and offered me rides to various stores, warehouses, etc…, I have passed that on to some here who don’t have access to an automobile.  It’s been a wonderful opportunity to spend some nice time with some nice folks, and lend a little hand. 

So, John and I head out to find his special bolts, which we really found close by, but since we had propane bottles in the car, we decided to head out anyway to get the propane.  We both were enjoying the ride when the Policia Municipal came right on up behind me and pulled us over.  Okay.  No problem.  Hands on the wheel, sunglasses off, window down, a Buenos Tardes and a smile.  The officer asked me for my license and told me I had two problemas.  Primero was that I had no ‘sinta.’  I looked at him, since John and I both had our seatbelts on from the second we got in the car.  Then he told me I was speeding.  He looked at my license, and told me I could take a ticket and go to the Estacion de Policia after 8PM tonight to pay, or I could just give him a hundred bucks right now.  I told him that primero, I was not gonna pay him a hundred bucks right now, and that I wanted to know how he knew I was speeding?  He answered that I had passed a number of cars, so that shows I was speeding.  How could I pass all those cars when I was in the slow lane?  He kept repeating the hundred dollar request, and I kept telling him no way.  I also told him that I was a bombera y paramedica in Estados Unidos, and I understand the seriousness of speeding and wearing a ‘sinta.’  Oooo, I was getting frustrated.  He told me all would be okay if I just gave him one hundred dollars.  I asked his name, and he was reluctant to tell me.  I knew I had the upper hand then.  I told him I didn’t have one hundred dollars, had no American money for that fact, and that I wanted a ticket.  I don’t mind going to the police station and paying there.  Well, this he didn’t want to occur.  So he downgraded my two serious problems into one not so bad, and that would cost me only fifty dollars.  US.  Again, I told them I didn’t have any dolares.  I was making him ask for pesos, and he completely thought I was lying.  I wasn’t lying, and was willing to go to the police station to pay my fee, but now he was refusing to write me a ticket.  I told him I’d give him 300 pesos, about 25 bucks, and he and his compadre could go to lunch.  He took it and walked away.  Oooooo, I was so mad…

How and why did this happen?  I can’t prove a thing, but when I’m riding in someone else’s vehicle, I always watch what the numerous different police officers/agencies are looking at as we drive by.  The sequence always goes from the license plates, to the vehicle, to who’s driving.  The car I’ve been lucky to drive is a nice Lexus SUV with CA plates.  That did me in.  My officer Armando de Seccion Ocho didn’t think I spoke a lick of spanglish and was just a rich, white gringa in a nice, foreign plated car.  I know what sinturanda (seatbelt) is, what speeding is, and what a C note is.  I think what helped me get this knocked down was that I was speaking as much spanish as I could manage, I remained polite and respectful, insisted he wasn’t gonna get that amount, and mentioned my prior public safety stuff.  He finally gave me his name when I shook his hand after giving him the lowered rate.  He was not going to write a ticket, but I wasn’t being released until he got some of my money.  I hope he and his partner got a good lunch. 

So, instead of the nice post I had planned, you all get to read of my first real frustration of this all too common occurrence down here.  After I simmer down a little, I’ll write another ‘rainbows and butterflies’ post.  Take care everyone, and Happy Dang First Year to me!!!

 

4 thoughts on “Reflections…

  1. Lenore Carleton

    Stop the presses is right!! Wendy, Wendy, Wendy… no more heart stopping stories please ;-/ I know you are OK, because you are writing the post of course, but while reading I alternate between suspense and laughter! Glad you had some company in the car and that you handled the local shakedown with finesse! All the best my dear… keep it safe.
    Love

    Reply
  2. CJ

    Hi Wendy, we just had a similar experience with the Municipal police in Hermasillo (just south of Nogales). We handled it almost the same as you… if you’re interested.. it’s written up in our blog (www.svshannon.blogspot.com). We have learned that the Mexican government has put out a booklet about how to handle this kind of corruption.. haven’t found a copy yet… It may be available at one of the consulates.. and we should all be carrying it. On a brighter note, it sounds like Willow is shaping up nicely. Congrats…

    CJ

    Reply
  3. Grace Vernola

    Yup !!!!!…..Your STILL my hero………..

                                                                              

    Reply

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