Jose and I left the house this morning just before 9 am to go to a funeral. As we crossed the Blvd. Suyapa, we noticed 2 police officers on a motorcycle pointing at us. We kept driving, because how were we supposed to know that pointing meant pull over? When Jose realized they were pulling us over, he put on his seatbelt (whoops!).
We pulled over in a gas station parking lot about a block down. The 2 police officers approached the car. Jose handed one of the officers his license and registration. Jose asked why he had been pulled over. The officer said that it was because he didn't have his seatbelt on.
"Yes I did," Jose lied. (Quick note to people that don't know how things work here: Please don't judge us for lying to the police. :) It's a different world here. The only thing that would have happened if we had told the truth was they would have expected us to pay a bigger bribe than if we hadn't done anything wrong.)
"I saw you...you didn't have your seatbelt on," the officer says.
"I DID have my seatbelt on," Jose lied again.
"I think that you just woke up and you are still kind of asleep and you didn't remember to put your seatbelt on," the officer said to Jose.
The officer asked his little sidekick, "What do you think? Should I give him a ticket?" The sidekick said, "Yeah, I think you should."
The officer then asked Jose again, "Were you wearing your seatbelt?"
Jose lied again, "I told you I was."
Then the two officers really started to play their little game, trying to get a bribe from us. "What do you think, man? Should I give him a ticket? Yeah, man, you should do it." They were trying to get us to beg, "No! Don't give us a ticket! We'll pay you a bribe instead!" Jose didn't say a word.
At that point I thought it might help our cause if they knew there was a gringa in the car. I took off my sunglasses, lowered my head, made direct eye contact with both of them, and said something to Jose in English. The officer asked Jose, "Where are you from? Are you Honduran?" Jose told him yes. "And her?" the officer asked. "I'm from the US," I replied directly to him in Spanish.
The two officers looked at each other, and then told Jose that he was free to go. Shocking, considering they saw him without his seatbelt, and then he lied to them about it.
I'm pretty sure my white skin and blonde hair had something to do with it. Jose is soo lucky to have this gringa as his wife. ;) hehe