Tuesday, November 17, 2015
a moses moment
I am a stranger in a strange land.
Each trip north, I find it more difficult to slip unobtrusively back into my American identity. Some of that is good. Some is bad.
Driving within orderly strictures up north feels far too confining to me. Mexico has freed my inner Andretti.
And everyone here seems to be so distracted by their pressing busy-ness that they are not aware of their current surroundings. That is the only way I can explain the higgledy-piggledy method of allowing shopping carts to clutter shopping aisles while the driver wanders aimlessly amongst the cans and jars.
But the shopping is good. I can always count on Best Buy or Safeway or Walmart having what I need -- and a clerk who will actually joyously assist me in finding it. America understands that customer service and a consumer-driven economy have a symbiotic relationship. Like a shark and a remora.
And the king of that odd marriage is Les Schwab Tire Center. You may recall that one tire on my Escape was just waiting to hurtle Darrel and me into the archives of tire blowout deaths.
Rather than accept that honor, we replaced it in Melaque with a used tire that had enough life left in it to make the 2500 mile drive to Bend. It worked perfectly -- even though the Escape kept flashing that its ABS system was not functioning. But who needs brakes in Mexico?
This morning, I dropped off the Escape at Les Schwab to line up with a crowd fearful of the onset of snows. I would have been one of them. I hate driving in snow -- whether or not I have the appropriate equipment. It is one reason I live on a tropical beach.
Because the parking lot was full, I left the SUV (and about one thousand dollars) with the good people at Schwab. They were to call when I was fully outfitted. I suspected that would be a day or two based on the crowd.
Darrel then drove me to the Redmnd airport about an hour ago. While on our way, the tire center called. The Escape was ready. He will pick it up for me.
He will pick it up because I am heading north for a couple of days to visit my friend Ken. I was unable to come north for Patti's funeral -- due to the swelling in my left leg. It should be a bittersweet reunion. But one I am looking forward to. I will then jump a train and head to Oregon later in the week.
Last night we briefly watched what passes for "the news" these days. The political coverage is bad enough. But even the tone on the act of war perpetrated by ISIS in Paris sounded as if it had been written by the Entertainment Tonight staff. I certainly do not miss that in Mexico.
The best reason for coming north is to visit family and friends. Even the shopping trips have lost their allure. And the rest is merely a good reason to get back home as soon as possible.
And I will. Soon. As soon as the notion gets so strong I can no longer stay.