Wednesday, January 5, 2011

guest blogger

Today you are in for a real nice surprise.
A special treat.

But first a little babbling from me.

We got a package today!!!
The unfortunate thing is that we were all so thrilled that I plum forgot to take pictures to capture the moment.
Grandpa and Grandma Rose sent a Christmas package!
There was stuff for each kid as well as
Not just any chocolate....
Laura Secord chocolate.
We'll see how much the kids get of that.

Kidding, I already divided it up.
I do have to watch my girlish figure, you know.

Now on to the surprise.
I have my first guest blogger today.
It is going to be a real treat.

Now, this is his first time in blogland
- writing that is -
he is, of course, a dedicated follower.
Please be patient with him and laugh along just like you would be if I were writing. We want to build him up and make him feel like he might be good at this sort of thing (not so good that he would start his own blog, naturally). He thinks he is rather hilarious and we don't want to shatter his false self image - so laugh. Comment even. Give the guy some good feedback.

He is going to bless you with a introduction to a cultural experience he had today.
And if you are really good, he may even give us a tantalizing appetizer of what happened yesterday - a warm up to the delights of his today.

I am so pleased to introduce to you:
Mr. Eric Ackermann

Take it away, Eric.

Ok, so here goes. Now I am definitely not like Carla in that if I can use 6 words as opposed to 20 to say something I will.
Carla and I went to the police station to start the process of her getting her license. We needed to get her police record in order to enroll her in driving school. We get there and have 10 or so people in front of us. We wait about a half hour and get to where there is only one person in front of us and only 2 behind us. The lady closes her window and says she is going to lunch and will be back in a half hour. Great. So we head home and come back about an hour later. Only one person in front of us, awesome. Carla hands her the paperwork and the lady checks the computer and then tells us that her passport number is wrong. What? Her passport number is on her censo (Ecuadorian ID) and it's the same as her actual passport. She tells us the number in her system and it's so completely different we have no idea where it came from. I then said "Well obviously someone made a mistake when it was entered" Her response "I don't know". It would be completely impossible for her to use Carla's actual passport and change the incorrect number in the system, so now we have to go to a different police station, one I have visited before and experienced complete chaos with mobs of people, in order to change the number in the system.
We got the aforementioned package. I believe Carla shared about the other package we got in an earlier blog. This time was pretty much the same except that instead of an hour and a half, I was there for 2 and a half hours. Good times.
On my way back to Casa G I called Carla to share my good fortune of being able to spend 2 1/2 hours getting the package. While I was on the phone with her I came to a round about that was manned by police officers checking license plates. Pico y placa is an enforcement that reduces traffic during peak times. Every vehicle is restricted from driving at certain times Mon-Fri based on the ending of their plate. Our day will be Monday.
Anyway, I'm on the phone, the light is green, but I stop and wait because I don't want to block the intersection if the lights turns red. That was my first mistake. No one does that here. If the light is green, you go period. .....One Friday, I was the third car from the light, but the light went through 6 cycles before I could cross, because the cross traffic kept blocking the intersection. ....My not going drew the attention of the nearest police officer who came over and told me I couldn't be on the phone. ...I didn't know that. I was a bit surprised he would even care, seeing how running red lights and stop signs and driving on the wrong side of the road seems to be tolerated, I didn't think they would ever enforce the phone thing. Today that would have been wrong. The officer asks for my license and registration, which I hand over. I never expected him to do anything other than look at them and send me on my way, which is what I would have done when I was an officer. He tells me to wait on the other side of the intersection because he is going to give me a citation. It took a second for the spanish to sink in and he was already 10 feet away. I started to semi panic and called out to him. "Can you give me a break? I didn't know" He shakes his head. "I'm a retired police officer, a little professional courtesy?" ..." No you are not allowed to talk on the phone"....."If you came to the U.S. and were stopped, a police officer wouldn't give you a ticket."......."That's not the way it is here" he said "If you are breaking the law, you get a ticket". Now I knew that was probably not completely accurate. So I smiled at him and gave him my best sarcasm "You would give one of your own a ticket?" ..."Yes"..... And followed it up with complete disbelieving sarcasm "Really?" He kind of paused, then smiled/chuckled and handed my stuff back. No ticket.
Turned out to be a pretty good day after all.

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