Puebla, Puebla + Oaxaca, Oaxaca – Una mordida por favor! Police and corruption

Mordida means „small bite“ and denotes the bribe that some policemen in Mexico and some countries further south ask from their fellow citizens and with pleasure from tourists as well. Motorbike officers of Policia Municipal are especially notorious. It’ll be our first contact to a corrupt police officer. We cross Puebla and nearly made our way out as a motorbike officer passes and stops us. I smile at him, but his arrogant expression and his lower lip awkwardly pushed forward don’t promise anything good. We have our generous day and speak English to give him a chance, but unfortunately we don’t know any Spanish today. The policeman doesn’t understand foreign languages, and so conversation comes to a halt. The pouting face babbles something of a “ticket”. He reproaches Joerg for „falta en el precautión“, a lack of caution. I didn’t hear anything dumb like this for months. We punish unimaginativeness with loss of points and suggest calling his Capitano and somebody speaking English. This is not exactly what he wanted. He comes to the conclusion that we aren’t worth the effort, wishes morosely „buen viaje“, a good trip, and sweeps away. The whole story doesn’t take more than a few minutes. Some Mexicans at the side of the road who watched the events congratulate us and are happy that we successfully repelled the bribe attack.

The toll free road in this highly populated region has so many annoying speed bumps, called topes in Mexico that we change to the toll highway. It leads through the unpopulated biosphere reserve Tehuacán-Cuacutlán with its beautiful mountains, covered with cacti and brush. Arriving in Oaxaca / Oaxaca we decide in favour the quieter San Felipe Campground north of town. Parking is here a bit unconventional between agave fields on a hilltop with great view to Oaxaca. Cleaning of shower and toilets is left to the residents, but one night costs only 90 Peso. The American owner and his Mexican wife brew Mescal, the “other” agave schnapps, and sell it also directly to the campers. The most expensive thing seems to be the glass bottle and the inserted small scorpion (that’s sometimes used instead of the typical agave caterpillar). The price is less than half when filled from the barrels without the zoological enclosure. We just pay 60 Peso for a litre of the medium aged variation (reposado); of course not without trying a good shot of all three different kinds – empty-stomached of course, before dinner. Whoa, the world is beautiful…

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