It’s been a while since we mentioned how our market days have been in town. Frankly though, they’ve been a little uneventful. There’s only so much action you can generate walking around a 4 block radius. Sure, we have a fruit lady: Odelia. She gives us grapes to munch on and helps us learn the names of various fruits. Sure, we always stop and look at the movie selections and then remember that they’re all in Spanish. I almost bought the Simpsons movie in Spanish. I already have it in English but I think I should have it en espanol as well. Perhaps next week.
But then I found the greatest thing I have ever seen in the market. Something I haven’t had in 2 months, the item that was essentially my second most favourite treat besides Coke. All the guys at work know what I’m talking about! That’s right…
And not the tiny little cake donuts that the good folks at Bimbo try to tell me are donuts. I’m too smart for them. I do love their futbol jerseys and will proudly have my wife walking around in one shortly though.
Oh ya, these were full size, actually a little bigger than Tim Horton’s (which isn’t tough any longer) and fresh baked (also unlike Tim’s). 5 pesos for one? Um, yes please. Next week, it’ll be a dozen.
But that wasn’t the main event this week. The Diks family was heading into market for a two o’clock lunch date. It was 1:30 and we first thought we should just take a cab. Parking on market day is difficult at best. Wait I need to emphasize that last statement. It’s important.
PARKING ON MARKET DAY IS DIFFICULT AT BEST
OK. We all on the same page? Excellent. Remember that.
Of course, being of less-than-sound mind I quickly ignore the thought to take a cab and decide that we can find a spot. I’m a man! I can find parking. So we drive pee-van (still unwashed by the way) into town. We head for the first location where we usually find a spot. It’s a narrow (scratch that, what’s less than narrow? Because that’s what this road is) street with enough space to park on one side and allow traffic past.
We get to the narrow road and there’s a spot! Jackpot! I park the van and then notice a, um, commotion behind us. Some guy in a full size van is having difficulties making the turn and getting past us. And there is a large lineup of taxis behind him. Taxis don’t like to wait. When they have to wait they honk. Constantly. Not a pretty sight. Pee-van is quickly identified as the culprit, which is a false judgment but the easiest one. I would have gone with “That guy shouldn’t be driving a full size van!”, but that’s just me.
In the end I relent and leave my parking spot and the less-than-narrow road. Time to go find something else.
We head over to the other side of Centro (the centre) and turn down another road. Hmmmmmm, there are a lot of wide open spaces on the left hand side of this awfully wide road. Seems like a good parking spot. Michelle agrees with me.
I need to emphasize this again. First:
seems like a good parking spot
And probably more importantly:
MICHELLE AGREES WITH ME
So we park the van and get out. There is a guy standing there. I ask Michelle, “Should we see if it is ok to park here?” Michelle answers “He’d tell us if it wasn’t ok.” I agree. I’m also hungry. We walk away from the van.
So we have a delightfully good lunch, walk around the market, pick up some things and generally just feel good about the afternoon. We’re loaded down with groceries and kids and decide it’s time to head back to pee-van. So we head back to the street. Once we get there we notice how empty it is on the left hand side. Odd, but we must not be on the right block. We’ll just head towards the right area.
We get there, no cars. And not just no cars, more importantly the van is gone. You heard correctly, pee-van is missing. Michelle and I realize it right away, we’ve been towed. Strangely we don’t react. We both admit we kind of expected it. It had been a really tough week/day and this was just bound to happen. So we just turn around and head back to catch a cab home. They’re really cheap too, 12 pesos for the trip. Why didn’t we just take one into town?
Back at the base I try to find someone who knows where good vans go when they’re towed. No one knows. Um, really? I’m the first? In five years, I’m the first? I find that hard to believe. But I guess I am. So all of you who get towed in Tlaxiaco in the future better thank me for paving the way.
One of the head guys, Dan, volunteers (although I don’t know if he was too pumped about it) to go in. The biggest thing I needed was someone who spoke Spanish. There was no way Michelle or I would be able to communicate this one on our limited abilities.
Dan and I head in to town. We go back to where the van used to be; just to make sure that I’m not blind and/or mentally deficient. Hey, it’s possible and it has happened before. Nope, no van still. So we go find a police officer. We (um, in reality all talking was done by Dan) chat with them and they flag over some other cops. Ones with big guns. We (Dan) tell them the van is gone and they assume it is stolen. We think. They take down some info and call into the base. Yup, they got it. Towed. I was a bad gringo.
We get escorted by two cops with M-16’s through the market to the President’s building. Dan talks with a couple of people and soon (very soon!) I am handing over 100 pesos and signing a paper. 100 pesos is dirt cheap.
(I found out later that one of our Church Planting team saw my van get towed and headed over to talk to the same guys we did. He smoothed over the offense and basically told them I’m an ignorant moron who didn’t know any better. About right actually)
After paying the money we get escorted by another guy to a waiting police truck. Dan and I get in and the police man takes us to the impound lot. Dan has a good conversation with him during the ride. I’d just like to mention that all of the other members of the MTS here choose to evangelize the various shop keepers and locals; Dan and I chose to talk to the municipal officials and the police. Haven’t seen anyone else do that!
(quick note. I just took a break from writing this to go have lunch. Biscuits and gravy. Yummy. Why did I put this in? ‘Cause I just felt that you needed to know)
So once we got to the impound lot, which was beside the fair grounds, we saw the van! Whew, all in one piece. And the fair looked cool. You know all those traveling carnivals that go to mall parking lots and you look at the rides and realize that there is no way that you would ever allow one of your loved ones and yourself to get on the ride because it just can’t be safe with 50 years worth of grease, cotton candy and vomit sticking to it? Well all the rides that are deemed unsafe for those are featured here! Good times.
Back to the van. We hand over some paperwork to prove that we paid the fine and we’re good to go. I do a quick walk around and notice only one problem. There is a puddle of fluid beside the front tire and on it. Hmmmm, that can’t be good. But Dan figures it out. “You got peed on!”
Pee van got peed on again
I can’t believe that happened. Again. Why? I don’t ask for much. Good food, good friends and a van free from pee. That should be my bumper sticker. Or one that says “if you can read this I just got peed on”. That would work as well.
So the van is back home. It still isn’t washed. I think the dogs now stay away because even they won’t sniff that thing now.