Auto Accident

Sunday 6/13/10,  I was involved in an accident on the northern Gulf beach road, 30 kilometers east of Progreso. I’m not going into the details of the accident except to say that both drivers thought it was the fault of the other. I had insurance, Cesar didn’t.

Broken tire rod, lights, etc.

Broken tire rod, lights, etc.

Just after the impact, Cesar approached my car, and shouted in perfect English, “Why the fuck didn’t you look? What the fuck is wrong with you? You’re going to fucking pay for this.” Then he waved his tattoed arms around, shaking his fists at me. I yelled at him to get away from my car, which he did. He didn’t seem concerned about whether I’d been injured. A passing driver called the State Police.

Cesar

Cesar

The police came. My insurance guy came. My personal support team came. Cesar’s family arrived.

My support team, including the insurance agent, suggested I let it go and admit fault. My agent would  go ahead and make a deal with Cesar. However, since I was still a bit out of of it, and because I didn’t understand the issues clearly, I refused. I was a jerk to do that, as it turned out. My insurance was paying his damage anyway, whether I was right or wrong. I just “knew” I was right and besides, I didn’t like Cesar very much. But he didn’t have insurance and I did. (It is NOT the law here that you have to have auto insurance).

The police captain explained a law that I wasn’t aware of, and I don’t think too many people are.  Let’s see if I can get this right. When you are going to make a left turn on a highway, you have to pull all the way over to the right shoulder – off the roadway – and come to a full stop. Then you put on your left turn signal and look in the mirrors. If all is well, you make your left turn. In this I was deficient. I did use my directional and I did look in my mirrors, but I failed to pull off the highway and come to a full stop. So I am guilty of negligent driving. I got a ticket.

So the police took everything and everyone into custody. Both cars were impounded. Cesar and I were put into a police car, no family allowed, and driven to the police station in downtown Merida on Calle 72, where we were fingerprinted, breathalyzed, and had a urine test. The worst indignity was having to do the urine sample with the door open, under the watchful eye of a female officer. Then we got locked in a room, discreetly called “Salon de Espera.” Locked. Couldn’t get out, my friends couldn’t come in. However, they could talk to me through a small window.

Incarcerated yenta

Incarcerated yenta

We were in there a long time. Fortunately, I had my Kindle reader and a thermos of iced tea. I was reading, The Murderer’s Daughters, which is pretty good and excellent entertainment in a jail containment area.

Finally, we were let out and (separately) asked to sign copies of the police report, which included a diagram of what happened. I didn’t agree with the drawing. Oh my, I was still being a jerk. I hadn’t caught on yet, I really wish I signed and it would have been over with then, but nooooo.

Since the issue wasn’t resolved, I later realized that the police had the option of locking me (and Cesar) up in jail until it was settled, but they released me TO MY HUSBAND’S CUSTODY, no kidding.

I borrowed a broken down but wonderful van from the other Yucatan Yenta for our extensive errands the next day.

The next morning, we saw the insurance company lawyer in his office. By then I’d cooled down and agreed to admit to anything – just make this go away – but it was too late. The case had been bumped up to the Ministerio Publico, in that huge white building on the Periferico. The lawyer made a lot of calls, but we had to now continue with the process.He told me to get a notarized translation of our auto registration, another interesting and time-consuming experience.

There are no more pictures from here on because I was not in the mood to take them. It was all I could do to drag myself from one place to the next.

Yesterday, three days after the accident, Jim and I met the lawyer at the Ministerio Publico at 9:30 a.m.

Now if you’ve never been to the Ministerio Publico, or the Procuradoria, be prepared to be impressed and somewhat cowed. The very size and structure of the place demands good, reasonable behavior. God knows, it worked with me. I was an absolute lamb.

At the MP, they separately processed me and Cesar so we wouldn’t have to be in the same room. I thought that was thoughtful and wise. Everyone was amiable, but the process took hours. Another long report got generated which we all signed many times, including my husband, because the car is in his name. Cesar apparently signed an agreement saying he would accept compensation from my insurance company. That ended the legal case,  so the only thing left was to get our car out of impound. But wait, there’s more.

We made lots of copies of things and were to take certain official signed papers to the “Corralon,” or car prison, on Jacinto Canek. By now our packet of documents, and the copies, was growing substantially. We had to go to four manila folders.

I found it interesting that I was not allowed to have a copy of the police report or the MP report, even though I had signed them. The lawyer was allowed access, but was not to share them with me.

Okay, so now we have the freedom papers for our car, the legal case has been resolved, all we have to do is go to the car impound, present the papers, and have our car towed to the shop. Right? Wrong.

For whatever reason, our car had been towed from the highway by a federal police tow truck, so the State corralon brusquely said they didn’t have our car. They directed us to the Federal Police. We drove from Jacinto Canek (near the Periferico) to the Federal Police near the airport. A VERY nice lady, who told us they had had no record of any of what had happened, including the tow, made some calls for us and discovered that our car was in a sort of branch corralon on the outskirts of town. She said to to go back to the main corralon, where we we had just been. We told her we’d already been there and she suggested we try the State Police station back in town, on 72. We went there. By this time, we were hot and tired and barely verbal. I asked Jim whether he still loved me.

These officers went to some trouble to locate the car and called back the supervisor of the corralon. We schlepped back out  to J. Canek armed with the name of the supervisor, thanks to the State Police. The corralon reluctantly and slowly went through an extended process and gave us a piece of paper saying our tow company should just go there with this paper and pick up the car. It was out near Altabrisa somewhere and was actually a private tow yard. We had to pay the corralon $370 p for my infraction.

By now it was about 4 p.m. and awfully hot. We were both a bit worn down.

Deciding to play it on the safe side, we went directly to our mechanic with the papers. They called a tow, and Jim decided he’d ride up with them to get the car. I went home. Poor Jim. An hour or so later, he called to tell me that this tow branch corralon was demanding 3,000 p to release the car. Too tired to even question anything at this point, he paid and an hour later towed our wreck into our mechanic’s shop.

So it is is over. Except for the repair.

If you are sitting in a parked car and someone hits you and they say it’s your fault, just mumble and agree and sign the forms. If you are driving through a green light and someone runs the red light and smashes into you, do likewise. No vale la pena.

About BG

Beryl Gorbman is a writer and private investigator who divides her time between Seattle WA and Merida Yucatan Mexico. She has published two works of fiction, 2012: Deadly Awakening, and Madrugada. They are both available on Amazon and other outlets. Also at Amate Books, and Casa Catherwood in Merida. You can read about them in various articles on this site.
This entry was posted in Merida Expat Life and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to Auto Accident

  1. Delta says:

    Sorry to read what happened to you, but this is the sad reality here.

  2. Shoshana Powell says:

    ‘If you are sitting in a parked car and someone hits you and they say it’s your fault, just mumble and agree and sign the forms. If you are driving through a green light and someone runs the red light and smashes into you, do likewise. No vale la pena.’

    That probably works ok in country that does not require insurance (!) but here I imagine if you admit fault your insurance rates would go up — right?

    PS Of course he still loves you! Silly lady.

  3. Nancy Walters says:

    Good grief!

    What a saga. I am so sorry this happened to you.
    You have given us all a valuable lesson in what to do and not.
    I hope good things come your way soon.

  4. Wait a minute... says:

    What happens if you speak first and say it is their fault?

    I am sure that fellow has had a large set of problems, with more to come.

    Sounds like the best business goes to the tow truck operator.

  5. And people think I am exaggerating when I dare to criticize the stupid-ass system that passes for infrastructure in this country.

    For all those gringos who find life here charming, read and understand, this is also the ‘real’ Merida that they are so anxious to experience.

    Great read; and I’m sorry for your troubles, BG!

  6. SB says:

    This kind of things killing me living in merida. My husband shopped at costo & police man approched & told him he violated passing light so he acted like don’t know any Spanish so he offered him cookies insted money or ticket. I guess he drove his truck maybe police man thought he is poor gringo so he took his cookies & let him go. So we have very good yucatecan friend, very powerful well known person, too rich to compare but he is Walters best fried because they ride BMW, so Walter told him about cookies man story & he laugh so hard & he said to Walter, u made a big mistake because from now on I have carry cookies in my car. We laugh so hard I almost pi in my panny. Even Yucatan our friend, he has to bribe for doing his business. Well, I am learning here, whereever you go money is power & Mexico goverment need to long way to go like America . Of course it’s happen here too. So what can I say, you are in Rome, you be a Roman. When I came here first time observing peoples, it makes me sad because too many gap on rich & poor so there is no way to go poor people. So they are not motivate & society is just not right. We have to be thankful our country. There is no perfect goverment but America is great country & still full of oppotunities who want to be work hard & find the right resources. I love USA & be proud of it. SB

  7. esther says:

    Brings to mind a a phrase I ask myself many times in a week, “would you rather be right or be happy?” lol

  8. Soňa Králová says:

    It is not about what you do or not do. It is about something else: your formation. It has happened to many of us. The character is formed precisely amidst the absurd, the irrational, the void…Bless you.

  9. Jonna says:

    Ay! Chica. How horrible! I’m so sorry this all happened. I agree with Esther, better to be happy than right. I gave up being right years ago, maybe that has made life here easier. Your story does show clearly why most locals never want to involve the police if they can handle it without them.

  10. Jane says:

    Hummm, this explains alot, maybe thats why I went to jail in TJ, Mx some years ago. I was stopped at a stop sign in my little 1957 TR3 sports car waiting for a break to cross the street of speeding maniac’s. When all of a sudden I’m being pushed across the intersection at a alarming speed. Once on the other side I opened my door jumped out and went face to face with a pissed off cab driver screaming at me in spanish! Apparently I wasn’t crossing the street fast enough for him and he was late for a pick up. I waved my arms in the air pointing to my crumpled bumper. The cab driver started hitting my shoulders shoving me backwards really hard. I tumbled over the hood of my car and fell to the ground. At that point I jumped up took off my platform wedge shoe and started beating him over the head with it! lol Hey I was young and brave now I’d run!! Anyway here comes the cops, I got arrested put in jail, but the cabby went FREE!!!! Ekks. I called the american consulate, and after a few hours a man arrived. He talked the cops into releasing me into his custody. So off I went to pick up my car, but luckily it only cost me $50. My car was conveniently parked at the arresting officers house. That was back in 1966, and I was only 16 years old. After that to this day I never drive my cars down into Mexico, I walk across, or take a shuttle or rent a car if I fly into a local far away from the border.

  11. Rodney Hoffman says:

    Stories like yours (and some of those in the comments) are why I refuse to drive in Mexico.

    • BG says:

      Rodney, I’ve been driving here for 25 years and this is the first time such a thing has happened. It could as easily happened in the USA. I remember being stopped in lots of speed traps in the USA, and in one case, being hauled off to a “justice of the peace” and having to pay a fortune to get my keys back. (Ohio turnpike) In this Yucatan incident, no one was mean to me, nor abusive. You have to keep your sense of humor, the same as you do in the USA (where it is less funny).

  12. Alinde says:

    One thing unmentioned so far is placas americanas. I have felt a distinct difference after I bought a car here, and thus have a Yucatecan license plate. We should not be surprised at this at all, given the ugly politics surrounding immigration in the USA today. I sounds to me that Cesar probably lived in the USA, given the language proficiency, and even the tatoos. Sure, “getting even” is not the most mature response, but we’re not all at our best all the time. In fact, the VERY few times I have been rudely treated for some reason I cannot understand, I have suppressed the urge to ask, “How long did YOU live in the United States?!” I have not asked this, for I do agree with Ester and Jonna –life is easier if we swallow our self-rightiousness in favor of being happy. The see-saw tilts in the niceness direction so many more times than the reverse, so it’s not that hard if we work at it a bit.

  13. Rob says:

    From my experience, unless someone is hurt and needs an ambulance, it’s best for both drivers to just settle things right then and there. Once I was offered 500 pesos, and it was just a dent in my bumper, I took the money, we shook hands and drove off. Another time, I slightly hit a parked car when I was parallel parking (the sidewalk was so high off the street I couldn’t see clearly), and the owner saw me. I had dented his plate. I offered him 50 pesos, and he nodded his head, I apologized and we shook hands. ALWAYS say, “How could this have happened!” Just be grateful no one was hurt, and move on. Glad no one was hurt. And to be honest, Beryl, are you sure Cesar was the driver? I can’t imagine him being able to sit in the driver’s seat and not have have the steering wheel prevent him from breathing.

  14. Reed says:

    Yes, I agree with the comments that Mexico is a messed up place. In the U.S., things are better: Everyone has insurance, and as a consequence, insurance fraud is a problem. How big? EVERY FAMILY IN THE U.S. PAYS $1,000 DOLLARS IN INSURANCE PREMIUMS THAT GO TO PAY FRAUDULENT CAR INSURANCE CLAIMS. That’s not me saying that. That comes from the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud (CAIF). This is their summary: “According to the non-profit Coalition Against Insurance Fraud (CAIF), insurance fraud costs Americans upwards of $80 billion a year. Contrary to popular belief, this money doesn’t come out of the Scrooge McDuck-like vaults of billion dollar insurance companies, it comes out of every law-abiding American’s checkbook in the form of higher insurance premiums to cover the fraudulent claims. The CAIF says that the $80 billion annual bill amounts to nearly $1000 per family!” The website is: http://www.carinsurancerates.com/news/49-highway-bandits-how-to-protect-yourself-against-staged-accident-rings.html Say what you will, but the difference between corruption in Mexico is that it’s in your face, whereas in the U.S. it is discreetly hidden in the extra $85 in your MONTHLY insurance premium.

  15. Janna says:

    Amazing story, Beryl. Loved the Incarerated Yenta photo. I liked the part about the ever-patient husband as well. Glad no one was hurt, especially you.

  16. Stan says:

    Wow – quite a story. I admire your composure and sense of humor tremendously, both in the original saga and your follow-up comment. Thanks for sharing.

  17. Christofer says:

    Beryl, Glad you are OK. Jim is OK. Car will soon be OK. Quite an experience, but this too shall pass.

    Everything you wrote about your experience is “the way it is supposed to happen.”

    Advice to other drivers: If this happens to you, first, pray that you were smart enough to have bought insurance for your car (rental, personal, US-tagged, Yucatan-tagged or whatever – Insure It!).

    Second, call your Insurance Company first (unless someone needs an ambulance). Your insurance person will very likely will arrive before the police.

    Third, do EXACTLY whatever your insurance person asks you to do, then and there.

    Last, once you have done that, get the hell out of there. Unless your insurance person expressly says you need to wait for the police or whatever, just GO.

    Another bit of advice that people cannot really believe: If others are injured, it is best not to touch them unless they are with your party (in your car). If you have any first aid supplies, you may hand them to someone in the other party to administer, but you should not do so yourself. Moving or treating a person who then dies may make you directly responsible.

    The legal system is not based on English common law as in 49 of the 50 United States (Louisiana uses a codified system similar to Mexico’s).

    Mexican legal process is based on an evolved system of Napoleonic Code, where everything is written down in rules and procedures, rather than being based in past decided cases that define the law (stare decisis). And, it is based on: “Presumed Guilty, unless you can prove you are innocent.”

    Not at all: “Innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt” as in the USA.

    If both parties have insurance, the two insurance inspectors will argue it out, perhaps even more vociferously than you would have. At some point, they will reach an agreement. Even if you are mad as heck, sign the form Your insurance agent provides you and count yourself lucky that you have avoided “the system.” Then, Leave!

    Go home. Have a good stiff drink. Relax. You may have wrecked a car, but if you followed your insurance inspector’s advice, you have dodged a bullet. Life is good.

  18. Barry says:

    I hate being the wet blanket on this pity party but we all must remember that we are guests in a foreign country. As such it is incumbent upon us to learn the “rules of the road.” We can’t assume that what we did NOB holds true here. Much of what happened to Beryl came about because she didn’t know the law and because she behaved like a petulant child. The fact that he didn’t have insurance is irrelevant. Who was ultimately driving the other car is irrelevant. Beryl was in the wrong. She should own up to it and apologize to Cesar for ruining his day. Never forget that we are uninvited guests here – always be on your best behavior. Learn the rules of the road if you’re going to drive. The driver’s manual, “ Reglamento de Vialidad para el Estado de Yucatan” is only 20 pesos. Get it and read it. Above all, don’t behave like you are better than the locals, you’re not.

  19. Christofer says:

    Not wanting to set fire to the wet blanket, but it looks like Cesar’s had quite a few great days. A ruined day may be what he needs more of.

    At any rate, in crisis or panic or stressful situations, people revert to “what they ‘know’” in the back of their minds. We don’t always behave as we would after thinking everything through, having about 20 people give us advice and then react.

    Being pretty sure what happened here from the story, Beryl didn’t pull off the right edge and wait until traffic was clear from both directions until she turned. Sounds likely she stopped in the road – as we do in the states – and made her left turn.

    Cesar, being a little pushy and in a rush to get another beef, coming up behind Beryl, decided he would ‘pass’ her on the left.

    Now come on. He speaks perfect English. His use of expletives demonstrates some real life experience in the USA. He knows that people make left turns in the USA without considering the traffic behind them, because we are not required to do so.

    But he decides to pass a car with it’s blinker on anyway.

    Now, technically, in Mexico, Cesar is right. However, Cesar also knows better regarding US plated cars.

    I call it a draw. No. Wait.

    Actually, Beryl wins the toss-up because Cesar was not a Narco with an automatic weapon. So, Beryl comes out the big winner in this “I was not there” replay of events.

  20. Leila says:

    This all happened because you were so taken with Cesar’s good looks.
    Leila

    From Beryl: You know, it’s embarassing, but I admit that was the real problem. Fogive me, I am only a woman.
    Beryl

  21. Christofer says:

    lol… It was supposed to say “in a rush to get another BEER” not “beef” …. close enough for government work!

  22. Alinde says:

    I believe the underlying theme of this discussion should not be an “auto accident”, but something like “patience.” I have been unsuccessfully looking for a fine letter written for MEL, by Mitch Keenan. He described the efforts required to patch-up one’s failures here.

    I’d love it if Mitch would post it here. It so deserves re-reading.

  23. Vince Gricus says:

    My Sister, It is not always easy…but I do my best everyday to achieve it. Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me. I sing it! I pray it! And to keep it simple I say it to myself over and over…Vince keep your mouth shut.

    On the illusion that everyone must carry insurance in the USA – well in MO, there is a company that will sell you auto insurance for 1 day so you can get your plates and needless to say many people do not continue it past that one day. Everywhere there are selfish and irresponsible people.

  24. mitch keenan says:

    Hi Leila,

    I remember that piece. I wrote it for an issue of YGM for MELL last year. I’ve searched my computer but I can’t find it.

    I gotta admit, if there is anything that test my patience – it is lousy drivers and traffic. I cuss everyone on the road when I am in a hurry.

    If God is recording my language when I am driving to and from the office everyday……, I am so going straight to hell!

    I’ll keep looking for that piece I wrote. maybe Reg can find it.

    Cheers,

    mitch

  25. Moser says:

    Thank god nothing happened seriously to you, Beryl. I am very sorry for you and Jim having had going through so much hassle. But this is just too good! Great entertainment sadly at your expense. Such a great shot of you at the window…..

  26. mitch keenan says:

    OK. I found it. This was written in August of 2009 for YGM. This is the “unedited” version in it’s entirety. Please excuse any grammatical, spelling or punctuation mistakes. -mitch

    Late Summer Musings

    “When they are alone they want to be with others, and when they are with others they want to be alone. After all, human beings are like that.”
    - Gertrude Stein

    “The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life.”
    - Jane Addams

    “I would never belong to a group that would accept someone like me as a member”
    - Groucho Marx

    Living in Yucatan has made me a more patient person. Around 11-years ago, we were at a closing with a notario who is now a good friend of mine. We had been waiting literally months to close this deal. This was the day we were going to get it all signed, transferred, recorded, funds distributed and paid.

    The notario entered the room, sat down and said, “OK, so you, Mr. Seller, are selling your property to you, Mrs. Buyer, and I have all the documentation. I will order the additional documentation we need and we should be able to close in 4-6 weeks.

    I went postal!

    I stood up, my head spun around 360 degrees and I yelled something to the effect that we had been waiting forever to close this deal, he’d had ample time to do this and that the delay was unacceptable! I was shaking with rage. My Irish temper had boiled over and I was on my way around the table to pummel this guy. Miguel, my partner, stopped me. The notario shot up out of his chair, turned, and before escaping the room said we could find another notario to close our deal.

    Our clients were distraught. “What are we going to do? Why did you yell at him? Now, we will never get this closed. We’ll have to start all over with a new notario.” I just wanted to ignite a bomb – kill everyone and blow up the building. I was smoldering – struggling to get myself under control.

    God bless Miguel.

    Miguel could be a train wreck, but he saved our butts that day. He went back to the notario’s personal office, talked/pleaded with him for 30-minutes. No doubt he was profusely apologizing for his idiot, hot head partner from Gringolandia.

    It worked. We got the deal closed a few weeks later. I wasn’t invited to the closing.

    That was the beginning of my education on how to behave in Mexico, in professional situations. In the USA, to get deals done, you were constantly hammering everyone; the title company, the lender, the appraiser, the other agent, the underwriter, the inspector, your assistants and your clients! I was accustomed to yelling, threatening, intimidating and beating up on people to get deals done. It was the nature of the beast and I had become one.

    It’s not that way here in Merida. You lose your temper here and you lose. A smile and patience go a long, long way here. It took me awhile to learn. But I did. So the next time your ready to blow a fuse, count to a thousand, put it into perspective and make yourself laugh about something – Anything. You’ll be glad you did!

    I love my home. It is my sanctuary. My dogs, my books and my TV are there. So after a day of being inundated by mass communication, and being patient and kind to people, I can’t wait to escape to the sanctuary of our Quinta near Misnebalam (infamous for the ghost that haunt the area). No neighbors. No traffic. No noise or light pollution. Our home, truly located in the middle of nowhere. Manolo and I are surrounded by birds, wildlife, tarantulas, scorpions, snakes and cows…Stars, birds and the breeze. Seems like the perfect place to read. And it is!

    However, thanks to the I-pod, we can download all kinds of great programs from the net, hook the pod up to the TV and watch the latest cool programming from HBO and Showtime. I have become addicted to Dexter, Weeds, True Blood and Nurse Jackie.

    A riot of books spilling out of my bedside table, are looking a little forsaken. The TV has stolen my love and attention. After adoring it for a few hours, I can barely stay awake to read but a page or two… But books are loyal lovers. They wait until you are in the mood to fondle them again. They don’t complain and they don’t change. They are not like that neurotic, fickle TV – constantly changing, interrupting and demanding your attention.

    Which made me think of the library. Not really. I just needed a transition. MELL will be adding a few new board members our next meeting. We are going to be scheduling a planning day and soon the high season will be upon us! Reg will not be here for Mello Nights in September so Harriet and I are going to be throwing the party that night. I haven’t told Harriet yet, but since Mexico has decriminalized pot, coke, smack and speed, well, talk about a party! Just kidding…

    Nonetheless, mark you calendars for Sept 18th and we will see you for Mello Nights.

    Here’s wishing you Gods Speed!

    mitch

    I think Mitch means this for Alinde. Ed.

  27. BG says:

    Hey Mitch -
    That’s partly why I got so irritated. Here I was, 40 k from a peaceful beach retreat, to get away from all the rush and pressure. The first thing in my head after the impact, was. Damn, now I can’t sit on the beach!

  28. Reed says:

    What the F**K? How long have you folks been here? Don’t you know enough Spanish to know the saying, “El que se enoja, pierde.” That means, “If you get mad, you lose.” That was the PRI’s motto: a political party for everyone — provided you didn’t get mad. This is the Land of the Patience of Job.

  29. Joanna says:

    I cannot resist commenting on this posting but please,

    Everyone – Before you read my two cents worth… recall a bit of the history of this country… consider how Mexicans are treated north of the border… think about how frustrated you’d be if you were in Cesar’s situation… count to 1000, then take out a copy of Marianne Williamson’s book… meditate about Ghandi… a little of Depak Chopra’s musings will help too… Finally, armed with about as much insight and serenity you can handle without passing out, repeat three times…

    I have CHOSEN to live here. Many days are wonderful, the odd one isn’t… There are people I like and some I do not… It’s all part of the package and I ACCEPT what happens.

    I’ve had my share of experiences that have required a great deal of pateience, fortitude and turning the other cheek but “ni modos… ” I have learned that if I bang my head against the brick wall… it won’t be the wall that smashes first.

    We cannot embrace only the things we like about different cultures.

    To add a light note… I must say agree with Leila… she totally explained Beryl’s lack of prudent judgement

  30. Judy R says:

    Great read including the arrogant rantings of Barry. Whada’ya wanna bet that he is similar to what he accuses you of being?

    Bummer about your wreck. I’m so glad that you are OK. My immediate response would be exactly as yours…”Damn, now I won’t be able to able to do….”

  31. Hugo de Naranja says:

    As someone whose 30+ years of driving experience in Mexico extends from Tijuana to Cancun, I find Barry’s childlike faith in the “Reglamento de Vialidad para el Estado de Yucatan” rather touching.

    It’s fun to imagine him navigating Mexico City’s Periferico, particularly that challenging point where the Distribudor Vial San Antonio melds Periferico traffic with the Avenida San Antonio and Viaducto!

    (The Guia Roji needs two entire pages to describe the intricacies of this bracing transition.)

    And I can see Barry earnestly waving his “Reglamento de Vialidad para el Estado de Yucatan” in one hand and the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” in the other while steering with his knees and screaming at the terrified drivers around him that he’s a “only a guest” in this country and very grateful for their forbearance.

    But, frankly, in Yucatan, a part of the republic where white Mexicans whose families didn’t arrive at least before the Porfiriato are considered, at best, gate-crashers, I’m not quite sure what “guest” could possibly mean.

    And as for these people who reflexively hand out cookies to local police who stop them for real and imaginary infractions, I’m not certain that a recourse to baked goods is necessary.

    I’ve always found that my lengthy and heartfelt recitations of Mexico’s more famous political speeches will send the local police scampering for the safety, and comparative silence, of their patrol cars, even before I have a chance to tearfully shout, “Hombres del sur, vale mas morir de pie que vivir de rodillas!”

  32. Rainie says:

    Oh Beryl, I’ve neglected my computer while I was in New Mexico and just saw this article. I am so sorry this happened to you. The picture of you behind bars is priceless. I think you should use it on your blog heading. I am going to use it as my screen saver.

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