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Broke Down in Bucerias


30 some-odd years ago Susan and I traveled to Mexico for our Honeymoon, we had a great time, even if we left the hotel room.We met another couple that, like us, had committed to a lifetime together, and when they left their room we hooked up and drank, laughed, fished, then drank some more.

We all decided to rent a jeep to go about the countryside exploring and sightseeing. It was extremely hot out and the jeep (VW Thing) was roofless which did little to keep us out of the sun, so driving north from PV in the hot sun we developed a thirst and it only grew in size as we drove further up the road. After what seemed to be forever, we happened upon a little town called Bucerias, so we stopped at a store in the center of town to have a beer, which we discovered was also a tortilla factory. We finished our beer then headed to the Thing. It wouldn' start!!

The store closed behind us to allow the operator to make tortillas it turned out. The only pay telephone in Bucerias was in the store, so there we sat, roasting in the sun, being stared at by a few dozen people standing in line to buy their tortillas. They looked at us, we looked at them, I felt like an exhibit in a zoo, quite uncomfortable really. I learned then what a chimpanzee must feel like when being stared at by dozens of strangers. Without the poo flicking of course.

Finally the tortilla rush was over and the operator returned to his storekeeper duties. We asked for and received 4 bottles of Coke. When he delivered the bottles I touched one and found out it was hot so I asked the kind man for some glasses and then asked, "Do you have ice?" and he immediately responded, "Si senor!". I then asked the nice man if the ice was made with purified water (agua purificada). "Si! Hielo hecha con agua purificada!!!" But as he was telling me this he was squinting his eyes, averting eye contact and the tone was ominous. We passed on glasses and ice and drank our steaming bottles of Coke.

I will add at this point that having taken Spanish in high school and having had traveled to Mexico previously to use and practice that newly acquired language, I was somewhat proficient with it and could converse moderately okay if the speaker spoke slow. Better than the average tourist but not a native tongue by any means.

I called the rental company and once someone answered I asked for the lovely lady that rented the car to us, and she said "Soy yo", "It is me". I have to say, she spoke flawless English when we rented the Thing, but when calling for help she didn't speak a lick of English. Not a word!!!

Talking with her, trying to get her to help us and getting angrier by the moment, an older American gentleman, who was listening to me talk on the phone struggling with the language and my temper and knowing we were broke down in Bucerias, stepped up to help, I gladly handed him the phone.

He spoke in very direct terms to the now monolingual car rental hostess and from what I could understand he was suggesting that he would ensure she would lose her job if she did not get help for us stranded travelers, then handed the phone back to me. Imagine my surprise when I began to speak to her that she had had a miraculous recovery from her mental lapse and began to speak English to me once again. Only in Mexico you say...

So as she told me that help would be there in an hour or so we offered our wonderful interpreter a beer, he accepted and then we sat and visited for a bit.  Turns out he was a retired businessman of some means from New York who retired in PV and was developing property in the area. He was a big man, ex-Marine, and a great guy. Finally the "tow truck" arrived, we were headed back to our hotel in PV. The ride from hell had begun.

When we finally got off that life-threatening ride in the "recovery vehicle" and stood face to face with the lovely part-time unilinguist we were a little "agitated".  Susan having been subjected to more than she could bear started to talk with little Miss Forgethowtospeakenglish demanding a refund; it became a catfight.  The clerk was holding the paperwork with our Visa imprint in hand, (remember those?), Susan reached over the counter and grabbed the Visa slip. An epic wrestling match ensued with both parties giving it their all.

When the tug-of-war ended, each feuding female was holding half a Visa slip. Susan spoke some enlightening words to the clerk and marched off with her half of the Visa slip with me following close behind, certain now that we were going to spend time in a Mexican jail for assault and theft. We got to our hotel room unaccosted by any authority figure, quickly closing and barring the door to keep out the SWAT team that we were certain was going to be there any time. 

Now back in our locked hotel room, calmed and relaxed, we were able to honeymoon, stomp cockroaches, drink ice water with purified ice while enjoying the air conditioning.

We haven't been to Bucerias since.

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