The other day Nicholas and I headed out in search of Cortitelas (fabric store). Cortitelas has a nice website, and even offers a map to their 2 locations in San Pedro Sula. We decided on the location that wasn't in el centro to make things easier. I studied the maps and thought I had it figured it out, and off we went (with our iPhone of course - we would need that website and Google Maps!)
I bet you can guess that we got lost. Really lost. We drove around the entire downtown for 2 hours.
(On the bright side, while we were "exploring" I found a Keymart and a Super Xtra (think Big Lots-type stores) as well as a ton of junk stores - all of which I pinned on my Google Maps for later.)
We drove and drove and drove. At some point Nicholas fell asleep and then I didn't feel as rushed. I started to just enjoy the adventure, and stopped paying attention to the street signs as much. As I approached one stop light, I suddenly realized I needed to turn left, but because of the flow of traffic it seemed like it might be an illegal turn. The light was about to turn red so I took advantage of the stop in traffic and went ahead and turned left anyway (I mean, that's what all the other Hondurans do, right?). Immediately there was a motorcycle with 2 cops behind me honking for me to pull over. GREAT, I thought. I stopped right in the middle of the street and rolled down my window.
Officer 1, in Spanish: Do you know that turn you just made was illegal?
Me: Yo no hablo español. (with the gringo accent way up!)
Officer 1: No habla español?
Me, in English: What?
(Officer 1 looks at Officer 2 and smirks)
Officer 1, in very broken English: Where are you from?
Me, in English: OH you speak English! I'm from Kentucky! Can you help me find Cortitelas???
Officer 2, in Spanish: Do you have the papers for the vehicle??
Me, in English: What?? My license? Here's my license.
Officer 2, in Spanish to Officer 1: Just let her go, man. She doesn't understand.
Officer 1: Looks at my license and says "cheque, que le vaya muy bien." (Ok, have a nice day!)
(I'm telling you, this works every time. I will never speak Spanish to another police officer again!)
Afterwards I felt kind of guilty for lying - I really did break the law this time and they were just doing their jobs, but....you never know when it could turn into a bribing situation (or something more dangerous!). Also, I bumped into 2 cars on 2 different occasions and sped away (I was
scared of having to get out of the car downtown!) so I guess I'm also guilty
of hit and run.
After breaking the law 3 times (that I know of) I decided it was a sign to give up and go home.
The next day, we headed out to try again, and look what we found on the FIRST TRY...