Thursday, March 5, 2009

Everyone is Safe AND We Get Another Gourmet Meal

The trip to Barra de Potosi yesterday was uneventful. We were a little unsure what the main road would be like once we got outside of Zihua, but everything looked the same as it always does. We had a relaxing day at the beach, enjoyed some fresh fish and coconuts, then headed back as evening approached.

On the return drive we noticed more police trucks on the road, the men in back armed and ready to take out anyone who looked at them the wrong way. That in itself wasn't too scary (you get used to having machine guns pointing your way - well maybe not used to, but it seems less surprising the more times you see it), but the masks they wore were a little freaky. You see that a lot more in places like Ciudad Juarez, where the police hide their faces so the drug cartels can't identify them. They fear being murdered and so wear a heavy mask over their entire head (a hat with eyes & a mouth cut out) in the 90 degree heat.

We made sure we didn't drive directly behind any of the trucks and especially avoided coming to a stop next to them at the traffic lights. Before everyone freaks out though, this is a normal precaution. Sure, it's not something you have to think about in the US, but I don't want to give the impression that we were shaking in fear. It's more like, "Oh there's another police truck," Ibis would slow down, and a car would get in front of us. Or if a car didn't pass us (since no one else wants to drive near them either) you just leave a space between vehicles. Easy enough.

We had to drive by the police station to drop off my friend and they've turned the parking lot into a bunker. A wall of sand bags stands taller than me, and they even have the roof covered. They've repaired the topes (speed bumps) to slow down traffic, and have removed some trees that were blocking their view up the street. My friend said they've occasionally blocked traffic from one direction - making it one way - I guess to better control who passes by the station. Today there's a picture in the paper. Their solution: orange cones. That'll stop a truck full of cartel members!

Now about that meal. My brother has promised to cook again this evening! He said it won't be quite as involved as Tuesday's dinner, but I'm still looking forward to it.

18 comments:

Janna Qualman said...

So glad the day was uneventful - at least as far as what the norm has become.

And the linky didn't work for me!

Melanie Avila said...

Janna, I fixed the link. Thanks for letting me know!

Yes, it's bizarre how weird my "normal" life has become.

Turkey Lurkey said...

Glad you are enjoying your brother's visit, and you had a relatively peaceful day. (Do the papers wait until after the family is notified before posting those pictures?)

Melanie Avila said...

Turkey, I'm not sure. They seem to appear the very next day, so who knows.

WendyCinNYC said...

I hope your "normal" gets back to normal soon.

Amy Mullis said...

Glad you're safe and sound and getting good food! Can't help but think about you when I see the news. It's a big relief to come here and see your smiling face.

Melanie Avila said...

Wendy, me too. We've been talking more and more about where we'll be living next, what will change about our lives, etc, and I cannot wait!

Melanie Avila said...

Thanks Amy. :) Good to know I'm always smiling on my blog, lol. Yes, the good food will last for a couple more days, then it's back to me.

Robin said...

I can't wait until you guys get out of there. Thinking about the machine guns at stoplights is going to give me a friggin' ulcer - although the fresh fish and coconuts soothe my ulcer, and that feels good.

I'm glad you aren't freaked out, and that you're having fun and you're safe.

Melanie Avila said...

Robin, now I want to try to take some pictures. Maybe tomorrow... :)

colbymarshall said...

yikes, yikes, and more yikes on the dead body.

Melanie Avila said...

Colby, I deactivated the link because it's no longer to the page that was there this morning.

But yeah, it's UGLY!

Nadine said...

I cracked up at your orange cone comment!

Can't wait to hear about your dinner!

Pink Ink said...

Glad you are staying safe.

How cool that your brother COOKS for you!

spyscribbler said...

Pictures, yes, please! But only if it won't get you shot, geeze.

But crap. That is just a whole 'nother world. It's sad how you've had to adapt and what you've had to become accustomed to. Machine guns? Oh, Melanie!

Melanie Avila said...

Nadine, they really are ridiculous.

Melanie Avila said...

Pink, yes it is quite nice. Too bad it only happens once or twice a year!

Melanie Avila said...

Spy, pictures are coming up right now!