Thursday, September 30, 2010


"¡Me pegaron! ¡Me pegaron!", a voice cried down the phone (They beat me up!). "Help me! I can't see! My eyes are swollen shut! Tell them to stop!" (all in Spanish).
Out of the blue my phone rang. This was what I heard. Imagine. First thoughts; a loved one. Then the horror, the shaking hands, the jumbled thought process.
"Where are you? Why? What happened?", I (not that calmly) answered. (all in Spanish).
Enter a gruff, agressive voice; "We have kidnapped him. I'm the leader of the blah, blah, blah cartel and we'll kill him if you don't pay us!" (all in Spanish).

Well fortunately (or unfortunately) my Spanish is not that good when being yelled at, so the above information was gathered on the second attempt at threatening me. Poor bastards. It really only got worse for them from then on in.

After repeating often that I didn't understand Spanish and if they did indeed have someone who knew me with them, then I wanted to speak with them. This offer was met with a long string of profanities, which if I was Mexican would've been highly insulting, as I'm not, I found them highly amusing. And I told them so. Again this was not received well. Another long string of even worse profanities followed. I repeated that I didn't understand Spanish very well and if they did indeed have someone with them, they should ask that person what language I spoke and speak to me in my language please.

This offer was met with stunned silence, then a hesitant voice said, "Arabic?". No.
The voice tried again in what I can only imagine was English because the only word I understood was "dick". Again, no.
Another language was attempted. Well I imagine it was a language as something garbled was spewed forth at me.
Again, no.
More profanities.

By this time I was unashamedly enjoying myself. So I began to play along. If they can use profanities why can't I? In English I'm a master of the insult, in Spanish? I'm but a mere novice, however I do know how to insult the male ego and add in a few choice phrases for good measure. Which I did.
As cellphone credit can also be part of the process, I informed them that they were wasting their time if they wanted to steal my credit as I had none. They were wasting their credit (I assumed they were calling long distance) because I was having fun "telling them off" and I wasn't going to hang up. By now the urgency was gone from the voice. The silence was punctuated by the occasional profanity and then they hung up.

Come on, in the first place why would the BOSS of a drug cartel be ringing me to tell me they've kidnapped someone? The BOSS? I highly doubt it.
In the second place where am I gonna pull money from on such short notice? My derriere?
And lastly, scare tactics are not usually high on a kidnapper's list (I could be very wrong and very naive in that aspect), it's usually more serious stuff involved.

As I am in Mexico and kidnapping is something that happens a lot over here, one must always listen with caution to the warnings about these things.
Ok, I didn't exactly act with caution but those poor buggers chose to "pick on" the only foreigner in the area with no money, who had just finished a day with a bunch of 2 year olds, and who has a mental block to being yelled at.

Life in Mexico. Never a dull moment.