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Hit by Mean Water Truck Driver
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I had been wondering just when that wrench was gonna get thrown at me. Found out Saturday morning as we attempted to make a Managua trip with a long list of things to do. We didn't even make it to Pan Am (highway) less than two blocks away. About 20 feet before the stop sign, we got swiped by a city water truck.
My passenger Roger saw him coming really fast and stopped to give him room to make the turn, but the fella must have been doing 40 kph. He had the wheel turned as far as it would go, didn't touch his brakes at all, just hit us like a train. Not AGAIN, I thought.
It was your typical accident scene in Nicaragua. The ice cream vendor showed up in a jiffy, way before the cops ever got there. In fact, it took the cops almost 40 minutes to arrive despite the fact that the station is just around the corner.
The truck driver was a big fella, one who you could tell was used to being a bully and pushing smaller folks around. My fella doesn't push easy. When he got in Roger's face, yelling something in Spanish, Roger's repeated replies of "f*ck you" sent him scowling off (to the police station we later found out) and put smiles on the faces of many of the observers. Definitely a CFG moment!
After meticulous measurements were taken and a sketch of the scene made, the cop told us to bring the vehicle to the station. No way, Jose...we're wise to that trap. This very same police station held onto Big Red for two months before releasing her for repairs (which took another two months and mucho, mucho cerveza). We told him it couldn't be driven and I stayed with the car while Roger and a friend went to spend an afternoon with the boys in blue.
It took less than two hours for the guys to return, and I was treated to that Nicaraguan hospitality and friendliness they're known for in the meantime. The owner of Agrimersa came out to offer me coffee and many concerned folks came to tell me they saw what happened. I got a tickle out of the lady who insisted it was the truck's fault. She kept slamming her fist into her other hand, maybe recreating the accident or just emphasizing her words? Quizás. She saw a cop waiting for a minibus at the corner and quickly went to plead the case. I don't know what she said, but she slammed her hand alot. The cop just pushed her away several times until his ride came by.
I was sitting in the car an hour after the accident when a tiny, wrinkled fella came over insisting that he saw the whole thing and it was the truck's fault. I knew he hadn't been there for the accident and waited for the punchline. Sure 'nuff, the hand came out as he asked for a peso. I thought "Boy, did you catch me on the wrong day!"
I smiled as I told him "no dinero, solo mi esposo" (rudimentary translation, the cash is with my better half). He nodded his head wisely, patted me on the knee, and went on his way. Regardless of the inauspicious start to the day, we did make it into Managua and found at least half of the items on our list. Checks were at Nicabox, bank at La Union was
still open, and my Nica friend Gamaliel had lots of boxes put aside for me for the final packing, so all in all not too bad a day. We drank Toñas and played backgammon that night while recalling the day's adventures. Not sure how the accident report will come out or how long it will take to get the CRV fixed, but at least we're still laughin' and not cryin'!
(The first pic above shows how far back from the Pan Am Hwy we were when hit, roughly 50 feet, the second is my not-so-pretty-anymore CRV)
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