Sweaty palms gripped the wheel as I sat in traffic. “Ugh! This is worse than LA! How is that possible?” The semi-truck creeped closer in my rearview mirror. I soon found myself sandwiched between this truck and a SUV. I could hear the calculations in my mind, “Where do I go?” “Be aggressive!” I could hear my husband’s voice in my head.
Without thinking, I gunned the gas as the semi-truck came barreling down the center of the lane. Scraping metal screeched as he “squeezed” past me. I forgot here there are no lane lines. How are there no road rules? Immediately, I was begging my husband over the phone, “What do I do?”
“Go after him!”
He can’t be serious. Surely, I can call 911 or something. But I accelerated up the two-lane mountain road, more panicked than before. I laid on the horn and tailed the oblivious truck driver. This was apparently routine driving behavior and not enough to get his attention. Instead I tried driving into head on traffic, flailing my arms, gesturing for him to pull over.
He looked at me bewilderingly and drove on. Now I was on a mission. I tried again. I’m sure he eventually pulled over simply out of curiosity, what the crazy gringo lady might want. “Qué pasó?”
With my heart pounding out of my chest and no Spanish, I gestured and repeated “Tu culpa! Tu culpa!” Graciously, he responded, “Policía?” So we headed to the nearest police post. The crowd of spectators quickly swarmed and I knew I was outnumbered. I could sense their accusations rising.
“Tu culpa! Tu culpa!” was all I could blurt out. Blank eyes stared back. The police circled like vultures. Sheepishly, I pulled out my phone to call Chris for help. “You need to come here, I need a translator.” I kept muttering my refrain, “Tu culpa…” I must have sounded like a toddler.
When Chris’ car arrived, the crowd turned in unison, ready to attack. Within minutes, he turned and asked, “Are you sure this wasn’t your fault?”