0586 A Rugged Border Town (Mex 001â€”revisit)
Nogales Travel Blog› entry 10 of 92 › view all entries
I get on the last shuttle van heading to the border. Thereâ€™s only one other passenger, and Iâ€™m a little bit nervous that the driver might try to charge us extra, as Iâ€™m not quite sure how â€śofficialâ€ť these vans are.
The other passenger is a 20 year old girl who is going down to
Her story was a reminder that this country isnâ€™t a paradise to everyone.
We walked across the border together, and I was getting a bit nervous, as I know how jealous Mexican boyfriends can be.
A brief overview of my relationship with Mexico
Now I have the chance to let it sink in where I am. Iâ€™m back in
Here, in brief is my tumultuous romance with this country:
I first came here back in 1983 at the age of ten and stayed here until 1995.
Then in 1996 I travelled abroad to finish my studies, I ended up in
Then in 2004 I came to
In January 2007, after an 8 year absence, I finally made it back to my hometown as a short sidetrip while on my way to my sisterâ€™s wedding farther south. It was fun to visit old friends and neighbors and see how much their lives had changed (or in many cases, how little their lives had changed). But it was really more of a passing through visit, I didnâ€™t stay around long enough to see if I still connect with this place or not, and instead, after the wedding, opted to take a road trip down to
And now, in December of 2009, Iâ€™m finally going back for a real visit to my hometown, for the first time in 10 years.
Iâ€™m excited about this visit.
My adventure doesnâ€™t start in my hometown of Navojoa, but rather in the dodgey bordertown of
It would be a real shame for this trip to get off to a really bad startâ€¦ but I opt for the adventurous version, and decide to hoof it all the way across town to the bus station.
Thereâ€™s very little activity going on hereâ€¦ just a couple of taco stands.
â€śOh, theyâ€™re probably all indoors because of the coldâ€ť
I head on for the long hike south. The streets getting darker and gloomier as I go along. I eye every person that I pass for any sign of a threat. I do pass a few more taquerias that are still open that cheer up the path, and pause to grab a soul-warming cup of champurradoâ€¦ and later some helote con crema (corn with cream)â€¦ slowly all the memories of things I enjoyed here in Mexico are coming back to me.
I donâ€™t see a single American anywhereâ€¦ but nobody seems to notice me, so I keep on my way. Iâ€™m determined not to fear this city or this country, regardless of the bad press. This, after all, was once my homeâ€¦
I notice changesâ€¦ an enormous monument of an Indian spearing an batâ€¦ a freeway the cuts right into the cliff off to the sideâ€¦ and then, a huge hill that has just been sliced in half and turned into a flat, modern commercial area, with a Walmart and a bunch of other American franchises.
Finally, a bit further on, I finally reach the bus station, where I book an overnight bus to Navojoa.
A couple of fellows there strike up a conversation in broken English. We get to talking-- they are from
Maybe I was too quick to judge beforeâ€¦ maybe Mexicans are interested in the rest of the worldâ€¦
And so I settle into my seat and fade off into the night, wondering what awaits me tomorrowâ€¦