Thursday, April 9, 2009

Summer 2007 Car Trip - 43

We were about 40 minutes off the freeway when we passed through a little town called Rancho Viejo. Just a hole in the wall kind of town. On the right hand side of the road we passed a number of little cement buildings, much like a single stall car garage. These had all been converted to diners. We randomly chose one for lunch and parked in front. We were in for a surprise.

Of all the diners in that town, we just happened to stop at the only one run by an American woman! She was married to a Mexican man and followed him back to his home town to live. She was starved for somebody to talk to in her native language. We invited her to sit down with us and had a very nice conversation with her while her mother-in-law prepared our lunch. I think we got special treatment because our lunch, while I forget exactly what we had, was delicious and bountiful! Almost with a sadness we hadn't expected, we finally had to say goodbye and get back on the road. I vividly remember her standing by the road waving to us for as long as she could.

Not long after that, our good cheer induced by our lunch came to an end. To say it was hot that day is to not adequately describe the weather. It was horrible. And to add to our misery, the road turned into a dusty, bumpy, bumper to bumper mess of road construction. For miles we were forced to creep our way inch by inch forward. At times the backup was so bad I actually shut the engine off to give it a break. It was not a fun time.

After what seemed an eternity, we were finally back on good pavement and passing through downtown Guamuchil. I think I overreacted to something that happened at one of the interminably long stop lights. I was guilty of cultural stupidity.

We were still about 10 cars back from the stop light with all of our windows open. I noticed a man walking down the lengths of cars, handing something to the drivers. When he got to me, he showed me a pile of coupon books for local businesses. I graciously told him "No Gracias". He thrust the documents through the window into my face anyway, almost hitting me. I was tired of driving by then, tired of being hot and tired of being in the car. I swiped his hand away from my face and again said "NO GRACIAS!". With that, he tossed the flyers into the car onto my lap and walked away. I angrily picked them up and flung them out the window onto the grass beside the road. Both B and L at that point started to tell me how rude I was by doing that. I lashed out at them to SHUT THE FUCK UP! They both fell silent.

Shortly thereafter the man returned, picked up the flyers and angrily walked in front of my car and started to write down my license plate number! I was having none of that. I thought he was going to report me for littering or something. For throwing the trash he threw at me out onto the street. I inched the car forward in an attempt go keep him from seeing all of my plate number. He jumped back out of the way and headed for my window. I rolled it up and gave him the finger. With that, the line moved and I was safely on my way through the light.

I found out afterwards that these guys just hand the flyers to you and if you want to keep them, you have to pay them for them. If not, you just hand them back to them when they come back down the line. I didn't know that. Otherwise I would have just taken them and handed them back to him. No problem. It was his attitude about it that pissed me off so badly. Pushing them into my face and then throwing them onto my lap.

Even though I felt somewhat justified in treating rudeness with rudeness, it left a sour taste in my mouth that lingers to this day when I think about it. Needless to say, the rest of the drive to Los Mochis was completely in almost total silence.


norm said...

He was bonehead, not you, when you passed it back it told him you did not want his offer. I do not like people in my personal space for safety as much as anything. If people are close enough to touch you they are close enough to hurt you, I keep street people at arms length.

Islagringo said...

norm: thanks for commenting. It makes me feel better about the whole thing. I never thought about what you say about if they can touch you, they can hurt you. Good advice overall.

luis said...

No problem as long as you acknowledge that you can be crazy sometimes. Blame your Americanized culture background and American city style traffic.

Not sure who L and B are but they deserve some sort of gift for riding with you.

These guys will try to sell you anything and everything at a stop light. Sometimes I buy gum or a soda - quite convenient actually. Most of the time, I just roll up my window or handle whatever they are pebbling until they make their way back down the line.

Next time do as Fonzi would do "Be cool."