Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Today I'm Staying Indoors

Yesterday I went to my girlfriend's house to hang out by her pool, but first I took her on a couple errands since she doesn't have a car. The first stop was the laundromat across from the tourist grocery store (they have all the American brands, etc). The road is along the canal that runs through the city and is pretty narrow. I wasn't sure where it ended up and how long it'd be before we could turn around, so while she was inside I debated attempting a 20-point turn so we could backtrack the way we came in.

Just as I decided to try it a man appeared walking down the street. "Okay, I'll wait for him to pass," I thought, then checked the rear view mirror. A police truck was driving from the opposite direction so I figured I really better wait.

I waited for everyone to pass, my hand on the gear shift, when the police truck stopped next to my car. The man continued walking towards us and I turned to look as he passed the car. The police were frisking him! There was no confrontation, no raised voices - heck, I didn't even hear them talking and my windows were all down. I didn't want to draw attention to myself so I tried to watch what was going on in the side mirror. I couldn't see the man but the police all had their weapons ready (machine guns, mind you) and seemed very focused on what they were doing.

Images of a stray bullet entering the car were flying through my head when my friend came out of the laundromat. She walked past them, hopped in the car, and told me they were handcuffing the man. All we can figure is they were looking for him and he decided not to run when he saw them coming. THAT'S when it occurred to us that if he'd really been desperate he could've hijacked me and/or my car to try to escape! It was 10:30 in the morning and in a populated area, but you really can't be too careful.

I've already been to the market today and don't plan to leave again. I need a break from all this excitement!


Turkey Lurkey said...

My dad always lectured me on keeping my car doors locked at all times. He would tell me horror stories about women getting hijacked. I know you need to keep your windows down because of the heat.. maybe 1/2 way down?

In the meantime, I still have my fingers and toes crossed that you will be safe. (I am getting pretty good at typing with my fingers crossed!)

Melanie Avila said...

I normally do roll up the windows & lock the doors. Ibis leaves me in there a lot when we're running errands, so I know the drill. I'm hoping it was just a fluke.

Thanks for all the crossing! :D

J. L. Krueger said...

Shame on you getting careless! :(

And if you ever start hearing popping noises while sitting there in your car like that, lay down across the seat immediately.

Be careful out there!

Melanie Avila said...

I hear gunshots almost every day. THAT I know how to handle.

Wendy Pinkston Cebula said...

Good Lord, Melanie. I thought it was exciting here, but the biggest scare I had today was a cab cutting it a little too close to me when I crossed the street. That's nothing!

Be careful. Pretty please?

Janna Qualman said...

Melanie, I know it's been said before but I'm just astounded by all the goings on down there. We'll all be breathing a collective sigh of relief once you're back in the states.

Meanwhile, you should write a book about all your adventures or somethin'. ;)

Melanie Avila said...

Hey... now you're thinking!


spyscribbler said...

Your adventures in Mexico are a blast to read! Okay, I step back sometimes and realize that, um, they're REAL DANGERS to you, but at the same time, they're a great story.

I can see how you'd be a great memoir writer!

Melanie Avila said...

Thanks Spy!