OK, so technically this was my second brush with the Mexican police. The first occurred back in 2004, when a group of police officers pulled Brendan and me over in Oxcutzcab, a Mayan town in the middle of the Yucatan peninsula, and asked if we were lost (we were). So, they provided us a special police escort to the highway we were trying to find, and honked their horn and waved at us on our way out of town. It’s a memory we still speak of fondly. “Remember the police escort?” “Yeah.” “That was awesome.” “Yeah.”
Well for my second go-round: prepare yourself. I know you’ve heard plenty about the Mexican police and their bribes and brutality.
This time, it was while we were driving down the road to our fabulous little hotel near Puerto Morelos, Mexico, on the Caribbean Coast. We had hot tacos and cold beer in the backseat, which we were bringing back for my sister-in-law and her bf. We had no time to lose! Soggy tacos = a little less delicious than not-soggy tacos.
But then we saw the flashing lights of a tiny police moped, so we pulled over.
I got a speeding ticket.
Red-hot speedracer Joy shows off her speeding ticket, which she waited to do until after she had gone snorkeling, showered and had a drink in hand.
I was doing 60 kilometers per hour in a 40 km zone (in miles: a heart-stopping 37 miles per hour in a 24 mph zone!). Was that marked anywhere along the road? Claro que no! Officer Israel Something-Something took my driver’s license, wrote me a ticket, and said to go to the transit police office on Monday to pay the fine and get my license back. (Here in Mexico, especially with tourists, the police need collateral to make sure they get their fines paid). Problem was, we were leaving the next day, a Sunday.
So, instead of spending the last hours of my vacation at the police headquarters, begging to get my license back, I went snorkeling. My license will remain in Puerto Morelos (hopefully), and I’ll order a new one. Thank god they haven’t started taking passports, or then it really would have ruined my trip.