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Something New from Ajijic, Lake Chapala, Mexico

Today I learned something new. I had to go to Chapala from Ajijic to do some company banking and parked on the median dividing the main street of Chapala which I had done hundreds of times before.

This time, however, after successfully completing my business (which in itself was a miracle) there was a policewoman giving me a ticket when I came out of the bank.

I scurried (as fast as I could in high heels on cobblestones) across the street in hopes of finding “another way” to solve the situation.

She was very nice and explained that on holidays and Sundays there was no parking around the median which was news to me. She further explained that it was well sign posted. I politely asked what holiday we were celebrating and it is indeed El Dia de la Raza. I have no idea what this particular occasion denotes but I will google it when my internet comes back.

The other thing I thought might be going on was a biker convention as it took me a good ten minutes to turn left onto the carretera to go to Chapala. There were hundreds of motorcycles passing in neat formation causing quite a backup.

Evidently, this was not the cause of the holiday. I then tried suggesting to this very nice policeperson (I guess this is the politically correct title) that I make a donation to her church in lieu of her continuing to write the ticket. Again, this is something that I had done quite successfully over the years. You can imagine my surprise when she said “no” and proceeded to tell me where I could pay the ticket behind the market in Chapala on Juarez at a place called “Recaudacion”. I dutifully went there but, of course, it was closed being a holiday and all.

I have since learned that El Dia de la Raza is Race Day which recognizes the mixed indigenous and European heritage of Mexico. It is similar, evidently, to Columbus Day in the US. To me it is Thanksgiving Day (Canadian) and I am not thankful I got a ticket. I am happy, however, that the police (or at least this one) no longer accept “donations to their churches” and I that I learned about the no parking laws for fiestas (holidays) and domingoes (Sundays) in Chapala.

With Navidad (Christmas) coming one used to have to be careful of the police stopping everyone for real and imagined infractions to earn a little extra money for holiday shopping.

Perhaps our developing nation is indeed developing which is very good news.

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