It is raining and windy this morning. I am drinking coffee, the baby is awake, smiling and cooing. And I feel inspired to write a little story about traffic here on the island of Santa Maria.
The only traffic I have ever encountered on this little island, is traffic from cows. I suppose if you grew up here, it is very normal. But to me, every time I have to stop my car, to deal with ‘cow traffic’, I am reminded of how different things are here than in Miami.
Anyways, the other day I was driving through the small village of Santa Barbara, and in front of me was a woman, herding a small group of cows. Usually, the herder can get the cows to move to one side of the road, and people drive around them. Sometimes however, this is not the case.
Keep in mind, cows are huge and my car is very small. My sweetheart taught me to drive very slowly and quietly when dealing with cow traffic, because if one cow gets startled, the whole group can quickly become a mad cow frenzy.. and it can be dangerous.
So there I was enjoying the day, driving through the village, windows rolled down, when I came upon this group of cows. I stopped the car. The herder did her herding magic, and motioned for me to go ahead and drive. So slowly, and ever so carefully, I drove. All the cows moved over to the right side of the road, all the cows except one. Near the front of the herd was a Mama cow, and her very young calf. She stopped right in front of my teeny tiny car. I was surrounded by the herd. I was a little bit nervous. The mama cow (stubborn like a bull) stood perfectly still right in front of my car for what seemed like eternity. And THEN, she turned around and stared at me straight in the eyes. And I was scared. She was pissed. My car seemed to shrink to the size of a hotwheel. I was too close to her baby. The cow herder came running up to the mama cow and was yelling something loudly in Portuguese… she managed to calm the angry cow, and they began to walk again. The herder was surprised and a little frightened too. She shrugged her shoulders and apologized, I smiled and told her I would wait. I drove behind the cows, ever so slowly, until they reached their destination.
I was so relieved to finally drive away from that group of cows. And while I will likely never forget that angry mama staring at me, I can relate. Instincts. Being a mother of a young baby, and feeling that strong instinct to protect.I guess this could be considered ‘road rage Santa Maria style’.
Now I have to go give my baby some milk (breast milk)! HA! ~Yogini Tiff