It had been a couple of days since I had arrived in Milwaukee, the beer city. I was going to spend two years of my life studying for my Masters Degree in Latin American Literature.
I was already moved in to my new apartment and decided to explore the city.
I put on my running shoes and shorts since the cold and long winter had not arrived.
I started my run on the 25th street and stopped at the 13th street, where Marquette University was located. I carefully observed the Hall of Languages building. In this place I was going to teach two Spanish courses and I was going to take my literature courses as well.
I kept jogging until I arrived downtown. All of the sudden, a police siren was coming towards me. I stopped and a policeman got off out of the car and asked me:
“Miss, do you know what you just did?
“No, Sir, I don’t have any idea what I just did.” I answered him very confused and he asked me again.
“Miss, do you know what Jaywalking means?”
“Sir, I’m very sorry but I don’t recognize that word”. I answered him somewhat embarrassed.
“You have a very cute accent. Where are you from? He told me smiling.
“I’m from Mexico and I’ve just arrived to the city a few days ago. I’m going to attend Marquette University this coming semester.” I returned the smile.
“You are new in the city and a foreign student as well! That’s the reason that you don’t know the word Jaywalking and its law”. He kept smiling at me and I smiled as well.
“Miss, I’m going to explain to you the meaning of Jaywalking. Pedestrians have to cross the streets where the lights are. This protects pedestrians and helps prevent accidents. If a pedestrian disobeys this law, you get a $30.00 dollar fine.
“Sir, does this means that I have to pay you $30.00 dollars for Jaywalking? I asked him flirtatiously.
“Miss, this is your lucky day. Since you were not aware of this law, I’m not going to give you a fine this time. At any rate, make sure you don’t Jaywalk again.
“Thanks for your understanding, Sir.”
He said goodbye wishing me luck in my studies.
I kept running thinking: if all the policemen in Mexico would follow this law, they would never finish their job. I remember a saying that I learned long time ago: “When in Rome do as the Roman do”.