Monday, October 13, 2008

A few Bengali Mexico

It's been an eventful few hours. After calling the Sun Metro information line, and speaking to a very unfriendly man, I hiked about 2km up the road to a bus stop where a bus was guaranteed to stop. Again, I waited. In all my life, I have never been as tempted to hitchhike as I have been the past couple of days, but when a man in a huge ute pulled over and asked if I wanted a ride, I was very quick to say no thank-you! I made it to the connecting terminal and sat down to wait. I was soon joined by a young Mexican guy who introduced himself as Isaac. He handed me a piece of paper and it was a poem he'd written. I'll have to transcribe it for you later. He was asking if I was travelling with my husband - the first of many Bengali moments to come.

Anyway, I got into town and headed down to the bridge to cross into Mexico. The cars were backed up trying to get into the States, not so much the other way. I paid my 25 cents to cross over, and wandered into Mexico...and I immediately felt like I was back in Bangladesh. Perhaps it was the stench of stale urine in the gutters.

"Hello lady, taxi?" came from every street corner, but all I heard was: "Apa, rickshaw lagbe?" I kept walking, "hi, how are you?" from every second man on the street. Very Bengali. And I felt very white, and that I was drawing extra attention to myself for being so white...though the sun was taking good care of that. I actually did go into a pharmacy to buy some sunscreen - they wanted US$30 for 60ml. I'm sorry, but that's ridiculous.

I wandered around for quite a while, took in the Guadeloupe Mission Church, and as it was a Sunday there was a service on, so I didn't go inside. I kept walking through market after market, not tempted to buy anything, and actually feeling quite unsafe. Even though it was the middle of the day, there was just something about the place that didn't sit well with me.

From Juarez, Mexico (Oct 2008)

I decided it was time for a cold drink and some real Mexican food, so I stopped at this little place on the side of the road for a burrito. Manuel, the owner and cook, and I had an extremely awkward conversation in Spanish. He was very sweet though, after I'd finally given in and said "lo siento, mi espanol is muy mal" (I'm sorry, my Spanish is very bad) he switched to broken English, and we had a nice conversation about the food in Australia, kangaroos (do they live in the big cities?) and my travels in general.

From Juarez, Mexico (Oct 2008)

After regaining my bearings, I headed back over the bridge, this time paying 30 cents, and was a bit freaked out by a guy who seemed to be following me. Now, of course, if he were crossing the bridge, he would be obviously following me, but he'd stop and wait for me to catch up and leer at me. I'd stop to look in my bag, or take a photo, and he'd notice this and stop again. Eventually I powered past him and put some distance between us, only to find that there was now a queue on the bridge to get through American border control. But at least there were a few people between us.

From Juarez, Mexico (Oct 2008)

The dude at border control was much nicer than the guy in Dallas, (and better looking too) and then the security guy who scanned my bag asked me where I was from and said I had a cute accent. Now, that's customer service!!

And now, I wait. Vardy and SLB will be arriving around 5pm to the hotel, where I'll be hiding, waiting to jump out and surprise the crap out of her. I did consider buying a grotesque Halloween mask to really freak her out, but couldn't be bothered.

Tomorrow, ROAD TRIP!!! But where to??

Catch me if you can!


  1. Hopefully the road trip will be on Route 66!

  2. Hi Carly, Just here with your folks reading this dribble of a blog. Kerry is pleased that you are on guard, don't forget to aim for the soft bits if you have to. Say hi to my bro Fidel if you are heading that way. Cheers, Matt, Ambre, Brian & Kerry. ps. Hi to SLB and Vardy. (?)

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