By Freda Rumford from the December 2012 Edition
I am known by quite a few people in Manzanillo as a small person although perhaps a little rotund. I might be a little fiery at times, much like a fighting hen, but am well meaning and with sincere intent.
That fieriness has developed over the years and I think it quite safe to say that most things do not “Faze” me at all.
One thing is starting to bother me a little, however, and that is the fact that I am becoming unable to recognise my size in comparison to others of a larger stature. Maybe that is because the men folk in my family are all large and I have had to stick up for myself on many occasions or become over run! It has become a family pastime now to parade the young of my family before me and measure them against my small person. Yes!! Sure enough, I am now the smallest now in the family, apart from my great grandsons. I’m sure that won’t be for too long either.
It seems I am starting to transfer my pouter pigeon bravado onto my little raspberry coloured Ford Fiesta which is fast becoming one of my most favourite vehicles of all time. My driving has caused many comments from friends over the past few months, particularly those familiar with the ‘Beach
Boy’s’ refrain. “Go Granny Go!” Not having heard that song myself I was not sure whether I should be insulted or not. But have always chuckled and taken it the best way I could.
Recently, I had occasion to drive my little raspberry car in La Valle Las Garzas in Manzanillo, where they are doing much renovation and building of roads and overpasses galore. I really don’t know how some of those apartments are going to be able to put up with cars passing by their bedroom windows on the fifth floor. But I digress. Having just left the Red Cross building, I approached the main drag of Elias Zamora and saw that there was a perfect niche for me if I carefully drove by the left side of a stationary bus. This I did with ease until a fine upstanding drain cover, threw me into the rear of the bus leaving a light scar line on the back of the bus and absolutely decimating my right front fender and passenger door.
Seeing only a faint mark on the bus, I presumed all was well until the bus driver and supervisor came over to look at and gesticulate at my vehicle. Then on their phones they obviously were calling the police and a black and white vehicle with red and blue flashing lights pulled up. A young, very pleasant looking policeman got out of the squad car and strolled over to my now scarred and sad little raspberry car.
He came over to me and tried to make conversation with this now quivering race car granny, took my driver’s licence and indicated that I was to follow him and the bus to the police station. He was smiling and didn’t look like a crocodile, so I felt somewhat relieved.
Driving as a convoy, we made it through several sets of traffic lights and arrived at the police station just a couple of miles away. I was shown where to park and taken into the police station whereupon all Spanish I had ever learned, promptly vanished. Another very young policeman smiled at me pleasantly, jumped up and ushered me to a seat in front of a computer and told me to write in English what had happened. This I did and when finished, he leant over, pushed a button and I saw that I had written in brilliant
Spanish. That didn’t really make me feel too much better.
He then sat in front of the computer himself and started asking more personal questions. Such as name, birth date, age, address, etc. etc. etc.
Upon hearing my birthday he became very excited as he told me that was his birthday too, so I was obviously a very good person and he would see that I had nothing to worry about. I had admitted my fault several times, I mean, how could I possible put the blame onto a stationary bus?
Realising that the bus driver was looking more and more unhappy, I asked my translator to question whether he would lose an afternoon’s pay. No, but he drove on a rider share of the fare. – I had to dive in and see what I had and fortunately it was a 200 pesos bill which at first he refused and then grabbed thankfully and I got the first hint of a smile.
This story was much kinder and gentler to me than expected, the officials not arrogant or abrasive and I began to realise that there really are benefits to being a little old white haired granny lady with a decidedly English lilt to her limited Spanish. They were all kindness itself, even the insurance adjusters and body shop personnel.
Not so from my dear friends and family who until this day go out of their way to indicate the difference in size between my little raspberry car and a bus and tell me if I make haste I could get this or that one quite easily. After all, I only had a quarrel with things 20 times my size, so don’t back down now sister!! And if there are two buses, how do you choose?
It’s the little old lady from Pasadena
The little old lady from Pasadena Go granny, go granny, go granny go
Has a pretty little flower bed of white gardenias Go granny, go granny, go granny go
But parked in her rickety old garage
Is a brand new shiny red Super Stock Dodge
And everybody’s saying that there’s nobody meaner Than the little old lady from Pasadena
She drives real fast and she drives real hard She’s the terror of Colorado Boulevard It’s the little old lady from Pasadena
If you see her on the street don’t try to choose her Go granny, go granny, go granny go
You might drive a goer but you’ll never lose her Go granny, go granny, go granny go
Well, she’s gonna get a ticket now sooner or later ‘Cause she can’t keep her foot off the accelerator.