How to get a police escort out of a Mexican burg

Start by having a relatively large motor home towing a Ford Edge in Mexico.

Buy a fancy GPS, one that is the envy of all other RVers. Follow this by repeating three times, in a most reverent tone, “In Garmin we trust”

Listen to the GPS as she tells you in a most British accent, (somewhat incongruent to your surroundings) to turn right on Avenida de la Reforma Septiembre 17 de Benito Juarez. And then translate her pronunciation to the actual street sign, hoping there is one.

DO listen to your wife who is encouraging you to believe the GPS and turn right

Do NOT listen to your gut which says continue on in this melee till you can find a much larger street to turn onto.

Very, very carefully wind your way through bicycles, pedestrians, dogs, cats, chickens, motor scooters carrying a family of 5, window washers who uninvited, leap onto your running board and spray who knows what and then offer graciously to clean it, vendors selling Spanish named unidentifiable objects, some apparently for consuming, double parked cars displaying homemade “no hay gasolina” signs on their vehicles, over cobblestone streets, initially laid by conquistadors, hoping your insurance covers missing rear view mirrors.

Then, taking extreme care, slowly begin your right turn. Now, notice the horrified face and obvious hand signals, (loudly smacking one hand into the other) of the person you cleverly avoided running over. He is obviously trying to tell you that you have hit something. This is soon confirmed by the owner of the damaged vehicle approaching your window, visibly upset and proceeds to tell you, as far as you can tell, as he is speaking Spanish, that you have hit his car.

Observe as he finds the nearest policeman who motions you to follow him on his motorcycle. This is probably a good time to ignore the horror stories you have heard about going to jail until your insurance company clears things up. It is also a good time to find your insurance policy which you never printed out from your computer, because, “Hey, what are the chances?” Said insurance policy and the emergency number they listed cannot be found. Tension mounts.

I will now tell you exactly how to clear the streets of double parked cars; be led by a Mexican policeman. Amazing the authority one holds over the aforementioned street scene.

We diligently and obediently follow him through the town, past the plaza, through various neighborhoods. We arrive at the police station. But not before several workmen remove several logs, corrugated sheets of metal and various building materials to clear a path for us.

Once they have us parked where they want us, Gary exits the motorhome and pleads, “No habla Espanol!” Poste haste a somewhat English speaking policeman arrives and joins the workmen who I feel are emitting obvious signs of glee in seeing this gringo, who speaks no Spanish, probably getting what he deserves.

Meanwhile, I am frantically searching my computer for the insurance policy. Our muy tranquillo dog, who tends to reflect our current state of mind is most upset. Everyone is most upset. At least everyone who speaks English, fluently.

After several minutes, and I am completely in the dark about what is transpiring with Gary and this group of men, I look out the window. It appears my husband is looking through his wallet showing them all pictures of our family. What is he thinking?? True to his form, he has made new friends.

Eventually, the somewhat English speaking policeman asked him, “You in a hurry to get on your way?” The man whose car we hit is willing to take $100 US dollars, or 2000 pesos. Gary makes some joke about “his wife, (that would be me) having the money”, and the group of workmen respond to each other in their native language and begin heartily laughing. Gary innocently asks the somewhat English-speaking policeman what they are laughing about. He merely smiles. I am not amused.

We fork over the pesos, gratefully. Then, true to the Mexican way, he offers to lead us back out of town. So, again, we follow. He leads us through a 2-mile dirt road in the middle of nowhere rife with landmine size potholes and rocks, no, make that boulders. We notice in addition to the motorcycle policeman, a police car is following us. So this is how you get a police escort! And there it is. Highway 15D, Mexico’s version of an interstate. We thank him profusely and head on our way towards the border crossing in Nogales.

I would ask Gary to proof read this story, but he is currently at Discount Tire in Tucson, having the tires realigned.