Police & the Pollo chicas "touristas"!
Today on the way down Independencia Blvd. with a friend I was pulled over by the Torreon "Policia" for driving through a yellow light. For a fleeting moment I had visions of myself in a local jail or in the very least having some tough cop demand money! (normally I am quite law abiding...but my stomach did a quick flip when I realized he could make big demands or worse!) In Mexico driving through a yellow light can be the same as driving through a red light in the states. The officer in question was on foot & motioned me to pull over & before he approached my car. With as much drama & guile as I could muster; I played the part of the completely uncomprehending tourista! I told him I didn't understand since the light was yellow!!! This caused the very young officer who spoke no English whatsoever to throw his hand to his head, utter the word "Americanos" & search the heavens for God to somehow reach down & help him with the dilemma I posed! He finally implored me to use much caution & let me drive away! I was very lucky indeed to get away without the slightest hint of paying him bribery $$. A ticket here is usually between $20 & $40 but can be a big head ache; having to go to the Federal building for payment of traffic tickets. There are times the Police will actually remove the license plate from the car so the ticket has to be paid quickly. For a "gratis payment" many police officers will let you pay them & drive away without the ticket. While this sort of thing is officially discouraged it is a way of life in Mexico. I felt like my little performance this morning was really quite worthy of an Oscar! I hope I don't have to draw on those talents again any time in the near future though. Shortly after this little episode this morning I found out a friend of mine was stopped yesterday more than likely by the same officer & she too made a plea of tourista ignorance. I am afraid if the guy sees us at one of our weekly Pollo Chicas lunch he may indeed decide the jig is up....really don't want to be singing Jailhouse Rock anytime soon! I guess my angels were watching out for me today!