As I mentioned in my last entry, Cancun was beautiful, but "slightly dangerous." I wish I could say that my only brush with death involved the menacing Caribbean ocean, but unfortunately, the locals proved to be just as uninviting. I know what you are thinking...start the chant...story, story, story...
One day Juan (name has been changed to protect the privacy of my husband) and I decided to rent a car and drive out to Chichen Itza and see some Mayan ruins. After talking to our helpful* concierge, we decided to take the scenic route through some local Cancun towns on the way to the sites. After two hours of driving over six foot speed bumps, moving at a pace of 30 km and almost hitting three stray dogs we realized our concierge was an idiot and we were idiots for listening to her. As we started to discuss how we were going to steal her Marriott uniform and burn it, a sketchy police officer, who was riding a dusty dirt bike, drove up to the side of our car and waved us to pull over. Quickly, Juan pulled the car over and the "police officer" strutted up to our car and told us we needed to follow him to the police station so he could write us a ticket. Apparently, we were speeding. (You really should have seen our rental car go at a blazing 40 km. I'm surprised we didn't end up in the future.)
Now, here's where Juan and I are different. I see a desperado on a dirt bike, carrying his Dad's revolver from the Alamo and I'm like, "Sure let's head to the police station." Juan, on the other hand, is an attorney, and as an attorney, you negotiate. So, that's what we did. After thirty seconds of arguing about heading to the police station, our "friendly" town ambassador told us to follow him down a dirt road and we could take care of the matter. Once off the main road (as seen in above picture), our corrupt cop saddled up to our car and announced we could pay $100 and walk away. Now, again, here's where Juan and I differ. I would have paid him $100 and given him my address in Santa Monica in case he wanted to take my TV and car once I got back. Juan wasn't feeling as generous. Instead, he pretended not to fully understand the guy's Spanish and claimed we didn't have that much money. Finally, after some broken Spanish back and forth Juan struck a deal with bastardo (I learned some Spanish) and paid the guy $30.00. After a secret exchange of money, our corrupt amigo hopped on his bike and headed off.
Looking back on this experience I sure hope a few things. One, I hope this great crime fighter was promoted for his professionalism and necessary force while dealing with us incorrigible foreigners. Two, I hope he and his friends enjoyed the cervesa and tacos we bought them. And lastly, I really, really hope he was either run over by a mac truck or choked to death on giant burrito.
Again final score. Mexico - 2 Kate - 0.
*Who was actually working on the side for this desperado.