Playing the kid card
Today looked pretty simple. Hang out at home and swing down to nuevo vallarta to pick up the kids for Yumiko. We factored in the time to look around as we weren't exactly sure where the school was. What we didn't factor in was the policia. As we are passing through the last stoplight in bucerias the light changes to yellow...at that exact moment where you have to make a judgement call between slamming on the brakes and stopping midway through oncoming traffic or stepping on the gas to beat the red. As you may recall our brakes never work amazingly well and we've been having some issues of late, so my only choice was to keep going. But we don't exactly have a ton in the acceleration department either, which would be fine except for there is almost always a policia sitting in this intersection.
As customary i ignore the lights until he pulls up beside the side window hits the siren and waves us over. "Dos cosas", he says as I walk back towards his vehicle. First he is worried about our seatbelts, but as with our first experience back on baja we simply explain that we have no shoulder straps, but show him the lap belts and assure him they were in use. He seems unconvinced of our solution but moves on to problem number 2...the light. We debate back and forth for a while about why i didn't stop, the brakes and whether the light was red when i passed under it. He doesn't seem to think that old brakes is a valid excuse and isn't amused at my complete certainty that the light wasn't red (nor at my feeble attempts to explain in my worst possible spanish that i kept going for everyone else's safety).Now, i must admit...he actually has a solid point here. In mexico (like in canadia) the lights are smarter than those in the states. Not only are you given the yellow light as a warning, but the green light starts blinking for a few seconds before turning yellow so there really isn't any excuse for running a red light. But the case remains that the light was still yellow when i ran it, not red- and i'm fairly certain that even in mexico you cant get a ticket for running a yellow light. We reach a stalemate and he asks for my license. Unlike last time, i do actually have my wallet/license but we opt for the copies knowing that once he has my license in hand we're not leaving without either paying him or paying at the office tomorrow.
He doesn't like the copy. "No license, another ticket". At this point he seems to have forgotten about the other infractions and is focused solely on my driving without ID. I assume this is good and am tempted to pull out my license to show we have it and move on, but he wont agree in advance that if i find my license there's no ticket. "Maybe", is as much as i can get. We decide to play the stall game instead...Jen goes back to explain further how we were told paper copies were fine (not true) while i rummage around in the bus, supposedly looking for my actual license. I get out a few times to rejoin the conversation but he keeps asking for the license and oddly doesn't seem to be in a hurry.
This blows two of my policia theories in one swoop. 1. even the policia can't be hard enough or corrupt enough to overcome the sweetness, goodness and happiness that is superjen. surely in her presence all policia will simply back away from the vehicle apologizing. Wrong. 2. they expect me to be in more of a hurry than they are and don't really want to waste any time on me if a bribe isn't coming quickly. This may still be true but this guy clearly had nowhere to be anytime soon.
We could ordinarily play this game indefinitely until he got tired of wasting time and pulled away but today we have the boys waiting on us. As i check the clock to see how long is left it hits me...the boys! Nothing is more important in mexico than family and kids, and while they aren't my kids I'm not afraid to use them as a "get of of jail free" card. Literally.
I walk back and tell him that i'm not sure how long finding my license is going to take but that we have to pick up our kids from school at 2pm. He checks his watch, asks a few questions (seemingly to make to verify we have kids) hands back the paper license and tells us to stop early at the next yellow light. We cant believe that actually worked, but pull away discussing whether we've come up with the perfect policia heist. We quickly realize that any other day he could have simply followed us to the school to confirm (or prove wrong) our story. Not worth the risk.
Regardless, today it was perfect and we made to the school in plenty of time. Thank you kenji and enzo for saving us some pesos. policia 0 - thedangerz 3 (yes, we realize this isn't likely to stay so heavily weighted which is why we are excited to talk about it while we can)
We find the school, pick up the boys and head back to yumiko's to drop them off, hang around for a bit as the boys eat before returning home for dinner of our own and another evening of street theatre in search of ballenas cyslista (without success).
I saw an empty wall on one of the restaurants earlier today so i spent the evening mocking up a mural. That's the fun/easy part... now i try to muster up the courage to go sell the idea to the owner tomorrow. Might as well paint something that will stick around for a while and might be a chance to make a little taco money.