Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Encounter with "Spanish Mama"

I wrote half the story in “Lost and Deported”, let me continue with the rest of it.

The resort we stayed in had WiFi but weirdly it never worked within our suite – we tried even the balcony and the gardens but it simply just wouldn’t. there was an internet café 400m from the resort and it was quite pricey. The first day, we had an excuse – looking for directions using google maps (since we hadn’t rented the car with a nav) but from then on we knew which direction to take since our resort was directly located off the highway. This resulted in me not using the internet for almost a week and so far, it has only happened in one place, in India, where I am overwhelmed with good people and great food and can blissfully forget the world wide web. The first couple of days were eerie – no youtube for songs, no online weather forecasts and above all, no gmail or blogspot! I was inordinately pleased with overcoming the internet addiction….but the happiness was short-lived, as soon as I got home and saw more than 50 new emails in my Inbox, I was hooked again (Vanity, definitely my favorite sin!)....

Driving along the coast in Spain was fun – it was neither the erratic Italian driving nor the stiff German driving, it was somewhere comfortably in between. Speed limits in the highways were usually between 85-120 kmph and almost everyone was always driving 15-20 kmph above the speed limits anytime there were no radar speed trailers around. During our entire stay we had driven around without any problems but that changed on the last day on our way to the airport. We had just got on to the highway and mama was behind us. The cop car overtook us and was in front of us for a while and we figured he had his own things to do until the lights started flashing and he took the exit and asked us to follow suit.

We quickly checked to make sure we had the license and put on our most “innocent” expressions. Two cops got out of the car, asked us to get out and started talking rapidly in Spanish. I waited for them to stop and asked “You want to see the license?”. Ashok has an international license from India, so when he handed it to the cops, they assumed we were tourists directly from India and started rapidly talking among themselves (and we did not try to correct them :D).

One of them steps forward and starts pointing to the road and talking in half-English-half-Spanish. I knew we broke some traffic rule but I still didn’t know what. He starts pointing to the road again and this time I notice he is pointing to the lines. It finally dawns on me that we crossed over to the next lane when there was a solid white line in-between (and not the broken or dashed lines) and in all frankness, I never saw it. Instead of telling him that, I chose to say “sorry, we are tourists” with an additional stress on the last word (am glad he didn’t look at my German driving license). After more discussion in Spanish, they let us go but they trailed us for another 20 minutes. To me, it was like taking the driving test all over again…Vivek madhri kayyala 8 pottu kamichurundha enna ayirkum ? uno, dos, tres nu kambi ennirpeno ??
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