Wednesday, September 05, 2007

A Trick Learned in Texas

“Let me show you a trick I learned in Texas!” These were my husband’s words as we attempted to maneuver busy city streets in search of a school uniform store this morning. We had headed in the direction we thought was correct, only to discover we were going the wrong way. Thanks to a taxicab driver at the gas station, we got directions and prepared to merge back onto the four-lane highway. The trouble was, we needed to quickly get across those four lanes of traffic in order to turn left at the traffic light!

Those words were scarcely out of Pedro’s mouth before he started weaving in between cars and street vendors. We had only made it to the third lane by the time we reached the light but since the road we were turning onto had two lanes going one way, my ever-so-confident husband decided to go ahead and turn …

Right under the watchful eye of a carabinero, or Chilean policeman!

Who promptly waved us over to the side of the road and requested Pedro’s documents. The most important of which – his international driver’s license – he had left at home.

Instead, Pedro handed over his temporary identification card and Delaware driver’s license. The policeman asked where the license was from, and thankfully was very kind when my husband explained that we had recently arrived from the US. He told us that while Chilean laws were typical of driving laws worldwide, it would not be expected of us to know all the ins and outs of driving in Chile … and let us go with just a warning and a warm greeting to the “beautiful child in the back seat” (that would be Owen, who unfortunately was in a grumpy mood and yelled NO when Mommy asked him to say “hola” to the policeman!)

For my part, I kept my mouth shut because I was afraid that if I opened my mouth and spoke Spanish too well, I might jeopardize the “we’re-foreigners-and-don’t-know-any-better” scenario … I just breathed a big sigh of relief as we were waved on and thanked the Lord that the “trick learned in Texas” didn’t land us in hot water in Chile today!


daniel said...

Nice move Pedro! Someday I will share with you some of my infamous Chilean driving exploits.
We are glad to hear that you are all doing well and adjusting to your new surroundings. Hopefully in about a month or two we will be able to stop by and see the new place.
We have gotten our blog going again. If you want to check it out, it is
Hasta luego y que Dios les bendiga!
Daniel y Ruth y los chiquitos

ERIN lee said...

tell pedro that we are going to laugh at him when he gets his first chilean ticket! oh cause we know he is getting one:)