Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Fowl neighbor

For Valentine's weekend, I decided, having lived here for 3 weeks, it was time to introduce myself to the neighbors. So I used the "Day of Love and Friendship"--as it's called here--to bake cookies and bring them to the neighbors. Chris and I were pleasantly surprised when a couple of the neighbors invited us in to sit down and chat. It's funny the small world we live in, since the neighbor across the street is the doctor of a daughter of one of Chris' friends. At another house, we met their two daughters, their dog AND their parrot. Now on a pleasant Sunday afternoon, while visiting neighbors, it's charming to see a beautiful parrot on the front porch. However, when trying to read at home this week, it's not quite as charming to hear this fowl's language: "Juan!! Juan!! Juan!!"

Seriously, it didn't stop for hours. I have to wonder, what is enjoyable about this for ANYONE? Is it just me? Is it that you are either a bird person or you're not? Well, it doesn't take long to confirm.

I'm not.

Monday, February 22, 2010

My first accident

Somehow I was naive enough to think that I would be the one person here in this city that could avoid being a bad driver. But today proved me wrong.

I was driving from my house to the factory--being a "good wife" and bringing lunch to the office. To set the scene, imagine the traffic of LA, the mountains of Denver, the honking etiquette of Boston and the only road rules that exist are one big game of "Chicken". Passing over double-yellow lines is fair game and you can expect cars to come head on into your lane at any time. Not to mention, the mindset of making your own rules to get to where you need to--which includes driving over medians, curbs and shoulders, passing on the right or left and making a left-hand turn in front of someone else trying to make a left-turn. Basically, good times all around! This is a typical day of driving. Mind you, I've already gotten lost once here by taking the wrong exit. But today was simply trying to maneuver my way through construction.

There was a semi stopped ahead of me since he had just hit a small pickup truck. So as I try to merge left, there was another semi coming through and another barreling behind him. I was trapped between semis. So I inched my way over trying to at least to make room for my entrance, since NO ONE lets anyone in here. Sure enough, I inched closer than I thought and sure enough...scrrrrrratch! So I call Chris, letting him know I was scraped by the barreling semi. So he says, "Did you stop him? He must not know that he hit you and it's illegal to drive away without getting insurance info."

Thus began the chase. Yes, here I am, gunning it uphill to try to catch the barreling semi driver. I'm laying on the horn the whole way, driving behind him, trying to let him know I'm there. Then as I catch a window to pull up next to him, I continue honking, rolled my window down and pointed for him to pull over--the whole time thinking, "What am I going to say? I don't speak Spanish."

Sure enough, he kindly pulls over and I attempt to say that he hit my car. I know enough to comprehend that he's debating and saying it wasn't his fault, but rather mine for trying to get over when he was already going through. I then say that I need his information and contact number. Granted, I'm sure I'm saying all this without even using any verbs in my Spanish sentences. He finally says that if I want to do something about it, then I should talk to the police. So about a mile away, there is a police checkpoint, so I follow him there and honk again for him to pull over--which he was already doing. He gets out and tells the 2 policemen his story and says that I need to pay. By now, Chris has driven from the factory, a few miles away, to meet me. He then points out that it's necessary that we have his insurance information and argues my side of the story. Well, as it turns out, the more of the story he hears and after questioning me again, he agrees that it was me that pulled out too far, too soon. Isn't that embarrassing--to have a whole audience of the truck driver, 2 policemen, several onlookers and now my husband discussing the story that was in fact your fault?
So I apologize to the truck driver and he goes on his way. Chris then follows me to the factory and as we drive the rest of the few miles, I don't seem to have learned my lesson because I passed a slow truck in front of me, only to be driving in the other lane, and have a close call with the car coming immediately head on.

Hey, it keeps things interesting! Who said every day couldn't be an adventure?