Trailer Park Nirvana image created by Stefany Kleeschulte.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Hermosillo Guidelines

Here are some tips should you encounter our favorite crooked cops in Hermosillo (the same works for cops in Rocky Point, San Carlos, etc.).

Before coming to Mexico make a copy of your driver's license so that it looks like a real driver's license. If you can. Some licenses may have holograms which make it obvious that it's a copy so I don't know how that will affect the copy and if the Mexican police will even notice. Anyway, make a copy, get it laminated, make it look as close to the real McCoy as you can. That way, when you get pulled over and the policia ask for your driver's license and threaten not to return it until you fork over 500, 800, whatever pesos, you can say fine, keep it, adios, and drive off.

Do not speak Spanish. At all. Not one little word. (Skip the adios as mentioned above.) It helps if you get belligerent and say What, you don't speak English? as Charlotte did. It scared the hell out of them and they sent us on our way.

The cops lie in wait for gringos on the Hermosillo to Kino bypass. Pay attention to the speed limit. If you don't have km markings on your speedometer, write the mph to kmph conversion down somewhere so you'll know.

On Blvd Progresso which is a newly paved six lane road on the bypass you'll need to make a left turn on Dr. Antonio Quiroga. Do not get in the left lane too soon. Stay in the right lane. Some friends just got taken for 800 pesos because big rigs are not supposed to be in the primera lane, the fast lane.

Carry a camera. Take the cops' pictures. Write down the badge numbers. Photograph their license plates.

Don't carry a wad of pesos. Reach into your wallet, flip it open, pull out the measly little 100 peso bill you have there and shrug and say I'm sorry, that's all I got.

If worse comes to worse and you're not speeding or driving in the wrong lane, say Fine, take me to the station. They don't want to do that. It cuts into their shakedown time.

I think people need to let the Sonora Tourism offices know every time they get pulled over.

As for me, I've managed to sneak through without getting pulled over. Here's what I do: I pray to the angels to put up a shield so that I'm invisible to the police (but not to other drivers; this is a tricky request but they're up to it). I have two NO SB1070 stickers on the van side windows, a Mexican flag hanging from the viser, a Virgin of Guadalupe decal on the back window. And it doesn't hurt that I drive a rusted blue van that looks like a Mexican shuttle bus.

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