Saturday, February 9, 2008
Acapulco was great...but....
Sometimes I am forced to accept the most difficult work assignments. Recently, I worked in Acapulco for 3 days. It wasn't easy dealing with the 85 degree weather while it was -25 degrees in the Twin Cities; someone has to do this though.
No trip would be complete without a mishap, which, naturally included the Mexican police. While driving the 20 km from the city to the airport of Friday morning, I was pulled over by the police. I could write paragraphs about this, but basically, the 3 (!) policemen told me I was in big trouble for speeding and running a red light. I was not speeding, nor ran a red light, I was so uptight driving in the crazy traffic that there is no way I would speed or run a light. This was going to cost me though "amigo", stated the cop. "How much is that going to be", I retorted. "Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh", stated the cop as he tried to determine how much to rip me off by. "3,750 pesos amigo
(1 USD = 11 pesos), you follow me to police office to pay, it will take 5 hours........unless (I knew this was coming), you pay me and my amigo's 1,000 pesos." "What?" I stated! "What if I don't have it?", I said. "Oh you have it", the cop replied. So, keeping in mind that I was now already running late for my appointment with the Mexican government fueling office, I reached into my wallet and handed the crooked cop 5 $20 dollar bills, $100 dollars to make him and his other two "amigo's" go away.
I was very upset and still had to go work for 10 hours.
After spreading my story to the locals, it was explained to me that these cops did not even have jurisdiction on the federal highway I was driving on. Simply put, they noticed I was a foreigner, assumed I was traveling to the airport and knew that I wouldn't have 5 hours to pay a ticket. Of course, they would never have taken me to the police station, they would have been fired because they are not to give tickets to tourists. We are all their economy has there.
There are good points too. I was able to have lunch on the beach after work with the local employees at this small spot under a canopy of palm branches. The cook brought over two fresh Red Snapper and asked which I wanted. After picking, the fish came back grilled over coals. The combination of the local company, fresh fish and the view made the trip worth all the trouble with the police.