When my husband retired from the Foreign Service and the United Nations, we decided to visit our children, Jeffrey and Leslie, who were attending the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona. It didn’t take long before we fell in love with the area and its glorious sunsets, majestic mountains, strange looking cacti, but most of all, meeting the friendly people. This is where we wanted to spend our retirement years. An added bonus was having Mexico for our neighbor and a large Hispanic population, allowing us to speak Spanish every day.
After looking at more than thirty houses, we finally settled on a custom built home on Skyline Drive. I loved my new home, especially happy knowing that I could spend as much time as I needed in decorating it exactly the way I wanted – a luxury I had never experienced. For the previous twenty-five years, I knew that no matter how much I loved my house and the country I lived in, that two years later we would be moving to another country, and possibly even to another continent.
When I felt that everything was perfect, I decided to take the car and drive around the neighborhood to get acquainted with the side streets. I was driving down this narrow street, somewhere between Skyline Drive and River Road, listening to Ray Charles singing, “I can’t stop loving you.”
This very handsome officer, who stood about six feet tall with disarming, pale blue eyes, poked his head in the car window. “Lady, do you know you are driving down a one way street going the wrong way? May I please see your driver’s license?”
I looked up at him with a very surprised look and said, “Wo bu dung Mei Kwo hwa, dwei bu chi” (meaning “I don’t speak American, I am so sorry”). He repeated what he said, and I repeated my answer. He scratched his chin, and with a suspicious look on his face he grinned before saying, “Lady, you can go. Just don’t do it again!”
I waited until he left and then decided to go home before I got into more trouble. That was the only time I’ve ever spoken to a policeman. I did not feel guilty, knowing that I did not commit a serious crime, but if I ever have to talk to a policeman again, I hope he will be as handsome and as kind as the one that first stopped me.