Sunday, September 25, 2016

Queretaro in My Rear View Mirror

The saga began ten days ago.  While leaving the Friday Lunch Bunch group, a new path home was my plan.
Someone at lunch had talked about a short cut to avoid the traffic at the roundabout or "glorieta"as
we call it.

Usually one just zips around the glorieta where four different roads intersect.  But starting about noon on Fridays and through the weekend, it can be a nightmare.  Avoidance is the trick.

Off I went to the short cut.  I was amazed to see the steep, gravel covered incline to the libramento which is a road around town.  Ahead of me were two cars.  One with Mexico City plates was at the head of us.  As
he got near the top, he started "fishtailing" and then started careening back down the gravel covered road.
Of course this caused the car right in front of me to quickly start reversing down the incline....which you can
imagine caused me to do the same.  In fact I tried to move over to the right so that if they were going to hit me, it might be a side swipe.

It was a sideswipe all right, but on the right side of the car.  For some reason there was a wooden pole in the ground, on the road and not only did my car sideswipe it from back to front, it  broke my side mirror and cracked the casing of the thing that holds the mirror onto the car.  Oy vey.  What a mess.  I just sat there with no one behind me for a second or two.  I was so stunned at what had happened in a matter of seconds.  Nothing like this had ever happened to the car.

I eventually went home slowly, got out the duct tape and covered the mirror and casing until I could get it replaced and repaired.

A person never realizes how much they use a right hand rear view mirror until one does not have it.

I was already scheduled to get new tires on Monday.  When the owner of the tire shop saw my duct tape mess, he told me his shop could get the mirror and fix it, but it would be later in the week.  Ok, well, later
is better then never.  I did get four new tires.  Good deal.

The tires were purchased when they were because I had agreed to take a friend to Queretaro to buy upholstery fabric to have her sofa and chair recovered.  Queretaro is about a forty-five minute drive
from San Miguel.  My mechanic had told me my tires were so bad that I could not leave San Miguel
with them.  Hence, the new tires. I had been procrastinating for months.

Off we went to Queretaro last week.  Beautiful drive with wildflowers blooming for as far as the eye could see.  That was the first part of the trip until we got up on the six lane highway - three lanes one way and three lanes the other  to Queretaro.

It had been about eight years or so since I had been to the area where the fabric store was located.  In my mind I could recall the landmarks.  Amazingly we drove right to it.  No one was more amazed then I.   Thankfully I had my friend Jennifer along because getting off a freeway on an exit to the right is a bit tricky without a mirror.  She was great.

We pulled into the parking garage of the center with no problems, parked, took the escalator up to where there had been an exit to the fabric store.  There was no longer an exit!  We could see the building, but not how to get to it.  Weird.  Aha, a security guard was watching us so we walked up and asked him how to
get to the Bayon Fabric store.

Then he told us it had moved the week before.  It had moved to the other side of the freeway and we would have to walk across a bridge.  So, Jen and I went out the front of the building to look at the bridge!  No way could I have walked up that high and walked across that thing.  No way.

So, we got the car, took the lateral road (feeder road to you Texans) and managed to take a turnaround and get back to the "other side".  All went well when we finally found the fabric store, bought forty meters of fabric and with it firmly ensconced in the back of the Pathfinder headed back to San Miguel.

We decided, wisely, not to take any more side trips but head back to two lane roads and MUCH slower traffic with polite drivers.   Lordy those people in Queretaro drive like demons!

We made it back safely.  I was holding my breath most of the way because of the lack of the mirror.
I couldn't get the car to the repair place fast enough the next morning.  This is what the side of the car looked like after they removed the casing and the mirror and the interior panel of the door.

To me it is fascinating to see that a car this old was so well built and was so clean inside the panel.  I don't know what I expected but nothing so orderly.

The car still has no mirror.  Over the weekend the shop was too busy to reinstall the mirror.

Rest assured that tomorrow morning the car will be at the shop first thing so it can be put back together and I'll be driving, wherever, with the ability to see as I merge to the right.

When will I be driving back to Queretaro?  Maybe another eight years.  But, I did see as I was zipping along on the highway a Tony Roma's restaurant, a Dairy Queen and of all things, a Chuck - e - Cheese restaurant for kids in a new center called Uptown spelled in English!  My goodness, the times and area is changing....a lot.

Who would have ever thought all these companies would be moving into Mexico.  There were lots more, this is just a few of what we saw.  My oh my.

5 comments:

La Tejedora said...

Barbara, I love the tales of your adventures! I was shocked and saddened by the car accident and then giggling at the QRO experience. Thank you. Nora

Babs said...

Ha Nora - All these experiences are funny, after the fact, but each time we survived a quick turn or something in Queretaro, we would have high fived each other if the traffic had not been moving at the speed of the Indy 500!

I think, somehow, I've become a small town driver!

Peter Kouwenhoven said...

Well, no more four wheelin' for you! We loved Queretaro, we took a bus there last winter and walked the old town, and along the aqueduct. A beautiful old city centre, but its subburbs are growing fast...

Hope the car will be back to normal soon!

Cheers, Peter.

crynoutloud said...

Chuckie Cheese and Dairy Queen, Oh my gosh. I had to check and see if there were any Taco Bells opened and thank God they tried to open them a few years ago in two different locations and they both failed.

If Mexico ever promoted itself as a retirement destination for Americans, like Panama, with tax breaks and discounts, than I think they might have to build a wall to keep people from leaving the U S.

Babs said...

Hi Peter. Queretaro is indeed a lovely, historical city which now has well over 2 million people when you add in all the aerospace factories, etc. It has always been a clean dynamic place. Even more so now. Lots of Canadian businesses there.

The car is back to normal, as of today. Got the new mirror reinstalled at a cost of about $30USD. Someone told me a new assembly and mirror would have been around $200USD in the USA. Woo hoooo.



Crynoutloud: Thankfully the closest TAco Bells are in Monterrey. Thankfully none near here. But there are a gazillion Subways on the highways along with Burger King and McD!

I'm told there are over 1 million expats living here (which does not mean Americans) but a guy from immigration says it is 1/4th of that number. There are many tax breaks and discounts in Mexico. Luckily they don't promote those......or there would be more of a flood of immigrants into Mexico then there are at present.