Just Another Routine Thursday

Back home this evening from co-op in Querétaro, followed by lunch at El Pata, SAM’s Club, Wal-Mart (picked up the turkey for our T2 team’s “Thanksmas” dinner this Sunday) and finally Costco.

I saw several near wrecks that included a lot of smoking tires, a Suburban that nearly knocked my mirror off at over 75 mph, and a missionary who just lost the entire front of his Chevy van to a bus that clipped it this morning taking off the grill and all the lights. In his case, it wasn’t a “near wreck.” That accident was initially caused by a man driving a Mercedes Benz who pulled forward at a green light only to jam on his brakes, came to a stop and picked up a cell phone! Right in the middle of the intersection…sheesh!

I duly noted the Federal Police (“Federales”) trolling the main highway and pulling over cars and trucks as fast as they could get behind them (they’re funding their Christmas vacations and family presents). It was so obvious to me that I actually drove the speed limit home for once. I don’t normally because I find it too dangerous to drive the speed limit with cars and trucks traveling 30+ mph over the limit in the left lane and 30+ mph under the limit in the right lane and to drive the speed limit you have to stay in the middle which combines the two. It’s really “no-man’s land” and a death trap to be in the middle. But…I took my chances not wanting to be pulled over for “speeding.” Whatever that really is here.

One of our T2 team members was stopped in Puebla last Friday while coming home from our annual conference and then stopped again in the state of Mexico on Monday when coming home from cutting down a Christmas tree at a tree farm near Mexico City. In the first stop, the policeman looked over his papers and found nothing condemning so let him go on his way. The second stop was by a pair of state police (Mexico state) and they took his papers and drove off with them! Our teammate then followed them to a more remote location and they demanded $5000 pesos for them. He called our ever-helpful immigration lawyer who couldn’t make much headway with these crooks and finally advised that he pay $200 pesos in hopes of getting his papers back from them. This worked. It’s not a bribe. It’s plain robbery.

Oh and another of our teammates was stopped on our Thursday stretch of highway a couple of weeks ago. The Federal policeman tried to claim that he changed lanes too quickly. That ranks up there with another missionary we know who once was pulled over for…ummm…errr…ah-ha!…he was driving with his headlights on and windshield wipers in operation at the same time! Gotcha! Uh-huh. The missionary just laughed at him and the policeman ended up laughing and letting him go! It’s quite the game here.

Anyway, on our 40 minute highway drive I also noted the dozen or so prostitutes that work on the shoulder of the highway 24/7 and sit in their blush-inducing costumes waiting for customers right there in broad daylight. (I feel sorry for them to tell the truth. Oddly, most of them are rotund and quite unattractive which sometimes makes for unkind but unforced chuckles from somewhere in the front seats of our car.)

Just another routine Thursday in Mexico. And really…that’s pretty typical for our Thursdays. Just thought maybe you’d like to know what a routine Thursday looks like for us.

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