January 16, 2008
I take notice of the time on my stainless steel Casio G-Shock (model number G011D-7B to be exact). My partner – the estimable Raul Estrada – and I are wrapping up a meeting in which we are discussing the marketing section of our 2008 business plan. I figure, “if we leave within the next 7 minutes, it gives us more than enough time to get to La Ciudad Que Progresa by noon” – the time that Rafael and I agreed to meet.
Raul and I agree that we should drop off my car in a central location (I have appointments in the east side of Miami in the latter part of the afternoon and Raul is coming back to East Kendall) and ride out together.
East on Kendall Drive onto the northbound ramp of SR-826. North on SR-826.
Neil Rogers is doing the usual – ridiculing 560 WQAM’s management and on this particular day, the Miami Dolphins as well. A press conference is scheduled to interrupt his radio talk show at noon. The Miami Dolphins organization will officially name a new head coach. The Bill Parcels era has officially begun.
I get past Sunset Drive, approaching Miller Road…..and I have to hit my brakes. Vehicular traffic has come to a halt! What the…
A car accident? These damn rubbernecks. Why can’t they put on the blinders and continue going about their business (like talking on their iPhones)?
I have to be in Hialeah within the next 25 minutes or so. It doesn’t look like I’ll be getting to the Bird Road exit anytime soon. Traffic is literally bumper to bumper.
Just my luck. Stuck in traffic 15 feet above Bird Road and Bird Road Rudy is out there somewhere, not far from here, “fighting a cold war” – waving a Mossburg shotgun and an AK-47 while exclaiming “Metro Dade Gang Unit, here I am baby…come get some whenever you’re ready” into the camera pointed at his tattooed handsomeness.
Note: The FBI came instead. Apparently, Rudy the Birdman didn’t get the memo stating that Metro Dade (Police) had become the Miami-Dade Police Department several years back. He did receive, but failed to read the memo stating that convicted felons are not allowed to possess firearms, much less .50 caliber and semi-automatic assault rifles .
Earlier in the morning I learned that Bird Road Rudy and I have something in common.
We I attended the same high school. I hear that he was registered, but never purchased the compass and map he so desperately needed to find his way into the classroom.
Poor Birdman. Let’s all feel sorry for him. Better yet, let’s feel sorry for his tattoo artist. That guy may be going out of business as a result of Rudeman’s arrest.
“Ralo, let’s just ride out separately. This traffic is backed up pretty nastily.”
“Yeah. Do you think we should get off on Coral Way and take 72nd?”
“I don’t know. Let’s play it by ear. I’ll let you know if I get off.”
“OK. Call the guy and tell him that we’ll be there a little late.”
“Rafael, que pasa? Te habla A…”
“Chamaco, estamos ahi a las doce en punto.”
“No mira, te llamo porque se me va hacer un poco tarde. Parece que hay un accidente en el Palmetto y esto esta que no se mueve.”
“En que parte del Palmetto estas tu?”
“Aqui llegando a la salida de Coral Huey.”
“No hay problema. Yo le digo al muchacho que te espere. Cuanto te demoras mas o menos?”
“Yo diria como unos veinte minutos, pero en realidad no se decirte porque en si, no se lo que esta pasando.”
“No importa. El te espera.”
“Esta bien. Cualquier cosa dale mi numero de telefono y dile que me llame.”
The Neil Rogers Show is interrupted as promised. I press the CD/AUX button on my car stereo. The Stills’ Logic Will Break Your Heart is in CD slot #5.
As I get past the Coral Way exit and approach the SW 8 ST exit of SR-826, the shoulder on the side of the road has officially become the unofficial 6th lane. A gentleman driving a diesel-powered Ford F-350 is the first to decide that it makes sense to do this. I mean, what kind of people wait in traffic?
Guess what happens after the guy in the big truck (you do know what they say about guys who drive big trucks right?) decides that his time is too valuable for him to wait? You guessed it. All the other lemmings suddenly conduct a time/value analysis and decide that their time is too valuable to wait in traffic as well.
Just as I backtrack to track #2, Gender Bombs, of Logic Will Break Your Heart, my listening pleasure is interrupted by the jazzy melodies of the Urban Style ringtone of my Motorola RAZR V3i.
“This is Adrian.”
“Es el que habla.”
“Mira, te habla el cerrajero. Una pregunta: esto es un apartamento o un huerhow?”
“No, no. Es un apartamento. Ya tu estas ahi?”
“Si, si. Estoy parqueado enfrente del apartamento. Tu estas adentro?”
“No. Yo hable con Rafael hace un momento y le explique que me iba a demorar un poco. Hubo un accidente en el Palmetto y esto esta en candela.”
“Bueno, vamos a hacer algo. Yo voy a tomarme un cafecito cerquita de aqui. Llamame cuando estes llegando y yo me vuelvo a tirar pa’ ca.”
“OK. Cual es tu nombre?”
I immediately run this guy’s family lineage through my head. If he was born post 1958, what is the probability that his parents hung out and killed some “time” (pun intended) in the Sierra Maestra?
“Bueno, Fidel. Yo te llamo cuando me este bajando en la sesentaiocho (W 68 ST) pa’ que sepas que ya estoy llegando.”
The literal English translation of the Spanish word, “dale”, can mean one of two things. It could mean “go” or it could be used as a command to “physically inflict pain on him/her”.
In Cubanspeak, when two individuals (A & B) are holding a conversation and individual B ends the conversation by saying “dale” to individual A, individual B does not intend for individual A to strike anyone. Nor does he/she intend for him/her to go anywhere. Individual B is simply acknowledging and confirming what was just said. Instead of boringly saying “adios” to end the conversation, he/she opts for “dale”.
It’s not uncommon to hear it said more than once. You may hear it as “dale, dale”. The meaning remains the same. Redundancy changes nothing.
I’ve been in traffic for well over 30 minutes. I succumb to peer pressure and decide to join the lemmings that I silently criticized just 6 minutes ago. On to the shoulder I go and swiftly make my way through to the eastbound exit of SW 8 ST.
Before I can get off of this foresaken “expressway”, however, I notice that “Driver Darren” in the late model 4-door Mazda 6 on the SW 8 ST northbound on-ramp of SR-826 is attempting to maneuver a 3-point turn to get off of the single-lane on-ramp.
(Urban Theme ringtone…786-586-5844)
“Do you see the guy trying to get off of the expressway?”
Before I am able to finish my reply, guess what happens next?
Yep! The SR-826 northbound on-ramp has officially become an unofficial off-ramp.
Thank you “Driver Darren” in the late model 4-door Mazda 6!
I’m just happy to be sharing this stretch of “the Trail” with such an interesting cast of characters – the elderly lady and her walker in front of the Palmetto Subacute Care Center, a prostitute and her john exiting La Fuente Motel, and illegal immigrants standing on the sidewalk carrying a look that used to say “will work for food” years ago, but now says “keep the Big Mac, I want dead presidents”.
It’s a shame that I left my camera in my bag in the trunk of the car. What kind of blogger leaves his camera in the trunk of the car? I’ve let my readers down.
A lefthand turn on SW 72 AVE proves to be a good move. Once I get past the traffic circles, 4-way stop signs, and poorly timed traffic signals, I am able to “jump” on the westbound on-ramp of SR-836 on NW 72 AVE that immediately connects to the northbound SR-826.
I am now approximately 38 minutes late to my appointment with Fidel the locksmith. Good thing he doesn’t seem to mind. It’s business as usual in “La Ciudad”. They understand that business is conducted in CST (Cuban Standard Time), not EST (Eastern Standard Time).
Fidel is here to remove the locks and rekey the door of what is now a bank-owned condominium unit (REO) that Raul and I were chosen to list, market, and ultimately sell.
Before we get to that point, however, we must assess the interior condition of the unit – somewhat boring work that consists of detail-oriented observation (you’d be amazed to learn how difficult this really is) and lots of digital photo taking.
At the very least, I am afforded the opportunity to work on my photography skills and visit the crowded streets of West Hialeah – where painted-on “Chicle Jeans” with high heels are still considered fashionable. I love it.
Nevertheless, it takes us about an hour to do everything that we came to do. Raul and I part ways. I get back on the southbound SR-826 to make my way back to civilization (I’m joking…half).
My uneventful trip back to civilization (damn, I said it again) allows me to think about how minor traffic accidents on the expressway (or anywhere else for that matter) can affect one’s day. A minor traffic accident has literally wiped out one (productive) hour from my day.
Who’s responsible for paying me for that hour? Raul – for choosing to partner up with me (or was it vice-versa)? My broker? The DOT? The driver who caused the accident? The lender who chose us to list, market, and ultimately sell the foreclosure property?
Adrian Salgado is a Realtor Associate with RED I Realty in Miami, FL and can be reached at 305-491-7179 or SalgadoA@gmail.com