15 September, 2013

Stuck in the Muck Again

Yesterday was interesting from a watching cars, trucks, and buses trying to negotiate the flooded road adjacent to our place perspective. Throughout the day and especially the afternoon, people were getting tired of getting stuck in the road. There've been, oh somewhere around a dozen vehicles of all sizes stuck yesterday and three so far this morning.

Last evening, after dark, we had at one time three vehicles simultaneously stuck - a pickup, a sedan and a Bluebird bus. The two smaller ones had swung wide off the road into a vacant lot and had become mired. They thought that driving through grass would avoid the problems of going through the muck of the main roadway. Silly people.

The bus tried to make a go of staying near the center line of the road with a standing room only crowd of passengers and became one with the muck. Only temporarily. He was able to break free after about twenty minutes of miredom.

The evening's festivities started around 7:30 PM, a couple hours after dark. They were attempting to return home after taking part in holiday celebrations in town. There had been a large parade, live music, and all that goes with that, and then attempting to drive and negotiate a tricky bit of mud and about two to three feet of water in the road, and you have a recipe for a slow trip home.

First, the car got stuck out in the grass, which only concealed the muck that was everywhere. It's amazing that folks here think once you get stuck, that revving your vehicle's engine to the redline and beyond is a sure remedy to becoming unstuck. Especially when most are running 'slicks', that is, tires with little or no tread. I'm amazed that none of the engines blew up right then, knowing the general state of repair and maintenance of most Belizean motors.

Second, here came the pickup, following the same track as the car. Sure enough, almost side by side, they both were mired in the muck, and the grass. Once the both decided that revving their engines wasn't going to free them, things got quiet again. Oh sure, we heard voices out in the dark, and the unmistakeable splash of some unlucky soul who decided to make a full-body experience of it and fell into the stuff.

As I'm writing this, you just wouldn't believe, the fourth or fifth vehicle this morning just became mired in the roadway. It's the second time for this one. Yesterday, he was able to work himself out, but from the looks of things, I doubt that's happening today.
Second Time Around
Well, back to last evening's festivities... We spent some time then watching what little we could see in the dark through our window louvers. There wasn't much that we could have done anyway to help. Our Isuzu is barely running. It's having problems keeping the parking or emergency brake from seizing up, and besides, it's only a two-wheel drive and we don't have a hitch. Not much value in mud for extracting folks. I almost got stuck myself yesterday afternoon coming back from the store.

So, on with the story. About 9:00 PM yesterday evening, along comes the bus, and it gets stuck right in the middle of the roadway. As I mentioned, it's packed, standing room only, with revellers from the days holiday celebration festivities in town.

Dianna had already asked me if I was going to call the police about the road. "No," I said. They're not going to do anything anyway.

Dianna, being the kind soul she is, then took it upon herself to try calling the Corozal Police - apparently the phone number we have for the Corozal station has been changed, as she got a recording saying that number was no longer in service.

Next, she tried the Ministry of Works or Transport up in Ranchito. No answer. Finally, she tried the Corozal Fire Department. No answer there either.

We hadn't tried 9-1-1 as we didn't think it was really a life-threatening emergency. Our thinking began to change after the bus became mired. Dianna tried 9-1-1 and got a busy signal. Probably not surprising, as it is the one answering point for the whole country and is in Belize City, and... Did I mention that it was still raining, off and on?

About the time she called 9-1-1, the bus finally managed to work itself free and continue on its way toward the ferry and the Sarteneja Peninsula.

By this time, Dianna is frustrated and somewhat upset with our lack of ability to contact response agencies. Her parting shot was an agitated "Boy, it's a good thing I don't do the blog!", accompanied with exaggerated keystroke thrashings of her hands and fingers.

I laughed, because there have been many times when I'd 'flame-on' over something and write a posting for the blog and she'd tell me, "I want to review your posting before you send it." That, of course, would usually give me a chance to cool down and reconsider what I had penned.

Ain't life grand? It all works out for the best in the end...



Anonymous said...

I like your blogs and humor. I actually live just to the South of you (The house with me big white roof). I just heard they are working on the road in front, but they started at the ferry.... So hopefully will fill our mud hole(s) soon :)


Dave Rider said...

Hi John,

I'm glad you enjoy the blog. I get a kick out of doing it. Seems to be a never ending source of material, although, at this point, I really wouldn't mind if the rain ended for a spell.

Maybe one of these days we'll get to actually meet.