Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tijuana Bus Station: Mexico 1990

I'd been in Tijuana for maybe twenty four hours. I'd come down from Los Angeles (after a bus ride there from Missoula), where I'd stayed with Mike. Mike and I and some employee of his--who spoke Spanish--had come down to the border town with me. We got drunk (I can document this). We had a little junk motel room. The next day I needed to get to the bus station, because I was traveling in Mexico for a few weeks.
We got a taxi. Hungover we rode, trusting the cabbie to really take us to the station. It was nice of them to do this, as I could have taken a taxi myself and they could have gone back over the border and, thus, back to L.A.. But, they went with me and when we pulled up to the Tijuana Bus Station, it was like pulling up to a busy airport.
People and cars were everywhere. The cabbie, not wanting to get far into the melee, stopped and told me to get out. Mike and his employee looked at me. I had my duffle bag full of stuff. So, I slung it over my shoulder and got out.
Mike and his employee needed the cab to get to the border crossing.
Oh, I remember--it was raining.
Not a big rain, but a misty one. So, I hopped out and hardly said goodbye when the cabbie pulled away. I turned and looked and saw: this was a big station.
I walked and, as I stepped through the doors, I was a taken aback. The place was cavernous, except for the fact that it was filled with people. I mean A LOT of people. And it smelled strange to me. I'm not trying to say it smelled bad or make some ulterior comment. It just smelled very different and added to my sense that I was somewhere new.
To me, it looked so chaotic. I had just been dumped out of a cab after a long night of partying in Tijuana, and now I had to figure out what I was supposed to do to find my bus.

My bus was Tres Estrellas.
I looked for the sign, found it, went to the counter and--in malo Spanish-- ordered my ticket.
And when the bus came, off I went for La Paz.

It was many years later, when Mike told me that they had made the driver come back around, to look for me. But I was already gone.

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