I have mentioned numerous times how interesting it is driving here, especially stopping at red lights. Another “fun fact” about driving in the capital and being American is that the cops LOVE to pull you over for no real reason. Often, as my friend, Ashley, commenting on THIS POST, they want a “donation”.
Seriously, in the beginning, we would get pulled over almost every single time that we would drive into Santo Domingo. It was so frustrating!
I had a friend tell me that we should take a picture of the police officer with his name badge clearly visible the next time that it happened. She said that they would typically back off then.
One day, Mo and I had gone into the capital for a few errands and a quick “day date”. When we turned left at a light with about 20 others cars, the cops pointed us out and told us to pull over. We literally had done nothing and were in the middle of the pack.
We pulled over, the cop asked us for our paperwork, and began to make up a reason that he pulled us over. I had had enough! I pulled out my cell phone and started taking pictures. The cop immediately got defensive and told me to delete the photo. Mo was driving so he was in the middle of all of this. At that time, I didn’t speak a lot of Spanish but was attempting to “give him a piece of my mind” in Spanish and in English. I was telling him that “we were sick of being pulled over when we did nothing at all and that all he wanted was money.” I told him that “we were going to report him.”
Of course, he understood NONE of what I was saying because, truth be told, it was mostly said in English with some Spanish thrown in here and there. The cop starting saying “Why is she so angry at me?” and “Tell her to delete that picture.”
Remember, Mo was right in the middle of all of this and was paralyzed with fear! He seriously thought we were going to Dominican jail, and he was about to becoming someone’s “Mrs”.
He looked at me with pleading eyes and said, “Tamara, I really think we should just give him some money and get out of here before we go to jail!”
About this time, I put my face in my hands and start crying! The cop is suddenly like, “Ok, hey, here’s your paperwork. I don’t know what I have done to upset her so badly but why don’t you guys just get out of here?”
He leaves, we drive off, and Mo turns to me and says, “What the mess is wrong with you? You never cry. What got you so upset?”
I just looked at him, smiled, and said,
“I wasn’t really crying. I just wanted him to leave us alone.”
Moral of the story:
A crying woman translates the same in all languages! (Hehe!)