Monday, October 18, 2010

Pardon Me, Do You Have Any Grey Poupon...



I remember the commercial well... my friends from high school and I would roll down our windows and ask the driver next to us if they had any Grey Poupon before taking off at the light giggling all the way while recalling the surprised looks on their faces. Heck, we were young, and stupid, and just wanting to have fun, as Cyndi Lauper sang it. But those were the 80's, and a whole world away...

Driving in Guatemala can be downright dangerous. Sure, the crazy drivers, drunk drivers, lack of enforcing a speed limit and dangerous curves can all be hazardous. One thing NOT to do...
Don't pull up next to someone who is driving and stick your digital camera out the window to take photos of them. See, in Guatemala sometimes you can be driving along minding your own business and someone decides they like the looks of your car, truck, SUV, whatever. Normally you'd be proud that someone happened to admire your vehicle... but there it can literally cost you your life.

As we were heading to my brother in law's house we happened to see cousin Mario a bit ahead of us in his truck. So my brother in law who was driving managed to catch up to him and just as he did hubby stuck out the camera and snapped a photo of Mario. Mario was NOT happy, but very relieved it was someone he knew. At times, it could be a loaded gun pointed at you to force you off the highway to rob you...

A few years back my brother in law was robbed, they couldn't start his truck due to the alarm so they made him drive his customer's car to the outskirts of the city at gunpoint and threw him out of the vehicle. Lucky for him, they didn't kill him. Ever since then, my brother in law has been packing his own .45. (legally, and with a concealed weapons permit FYI)

I was pretty embarrassed to be riding around Guatemala in a late model Toyota 4 Runner with dents, a bad paint job and a busted front window. But even a blonde, blue eyed gringa drew a little attention in the old 4 Runner-I shudder to think what attention I might have called to myself had I been driving around my 2010 Mazda 3... When we head down there again next year, we will probably be driving a vehicle similar to the one we used this year. As long as it gets me from Point A to Point B without losing its brakes and plunging us over a ravine I am fine. Less attention is a GOOD thing.

So here's a pic of Mario, a bit asustado (surprised) but happy to see it wasn't a gun pointed at his head. (just the camera)

2 comments:

Joyful Housewife said...

Wow! That is so crazy! It makes me thankful for the enforcement of traffic laws here in the states! I went to Mazatlan In March. We didn't rent a car. When we went on an excursion there was a guy in a little truck that picked us up. We sat in the back that had a canopy type cover (no seat belts). We were freaking out! The way they drive is totally insane. I mean you really have to see this kind of driving to believe it. We were terrified for our lives. We almost crashed more than once. They honk like crazy to let you know get out of the way cause they are going with or without you moving. They will just move you them self.There were two lanes painted but most of the time we were 3 and 4 cars wide on he road! People drove while openly drinking beer and a car that was made to hold 4 or 5 had double that many people in it, often with babies in laps on the front seat! It made me very thankful for out traffic laws and the enforcement of them. I certainly don't drive down the road where I live worries that someone is going to rob me or kill me and my family. We had an awesome time in Mexico and for the most part the people were friendly, especially when we went off "the beaten path". We could understand each other very well, but there was a neat connection know we were all trying our best to communicate. We had fun. The people were beautiful and I am looking forward to taking our children when they are older. THe best part of our trip was getting away from the "touristy" area. Anyway, a little long. Sorry This could be a whole blog post! LOL

Thank you for entering my giveaway for Gevalia http://joyfulhousewife.com/2010/10/gevalia-kaffe-coffee-giveaway/

I hope you have a great day.
-Melanie
Joyful Housewife =0)

Donna @ The House on the Corner said...

Craziness!!! I cannot fathom being afraid for your life every time you get in a car.