Traveling to another city in a foreign country to meet a fellow blogger whom you only know by email isn't a very common thing to do. And crossing the border into Mexico on that person's car is an even more.. peculiar thing to do. "Are you crazy?", a friend said. Be very, very careful, you never know. And that's true, you never know, but I've learned to listen to my own body language and the only message I received was "Go ahead and have fun!". And boy did I have fun.
The moment I met El Gringo Suelto
I knew that he was a very sweet and kind person, easy to get along with
and, above all, an excellent travel companion with whom you can spend
hours and hours talking about a million interesting things, exchanging
opinions, and having fun all the time. We shook hands and our own
particular road movie got rolling, both of us feeling like we had known
each other for many years.
The first stop was the Mall, where I
bought a new pair of sunglasses that I needed badly. Then we stopped at
WalMart, where I bought a beautiful bicycle for Rodolfo. The moment I
saw it, I knew he'd fall in love with her at first sight, just like I
did. We managed to put it inside Kim's truck and off we went, since we
wanted to travel into Mexico while there was still daylight.
choosing the wrong border crossing and then being thoroughly inspected
at the right US border crossing took almost two hours of our time. When
he saw our faces, the officer must have thought that Kim and I were a
couple of dangerous criminals smuggling drugs and weapons concealed in
secret compartments of the vehicle, but after a meticulous search that
made him and us feel frustrated and sick, he wasn't able to find
We were luckier in the Mexican side. The traffic light
gave us a green smile and we could have proceeded without stopping, only
I got confused and directed Kim to the wrong lanes, where the vehicles
are inspected. "Didn't you get a green light?", the officer asked. I
mumbled "Yes..." feeling an asshole, and he then told us he just
couldn't let us go without inspecting the car (there were cameras all
around), and after a 30-second search he waved us good-bye. A little
later, at the second point of inspection, the Mexican soldiers just
looked at us and gestured a "go ahead". Viva Mexico, cabrones!
rest of the trip went without any incidents and we arrived in Monterrey
in the early hours of the night. We picked up Rodolfo and then had
dinner at a very traditional restaurant, where Kim was able to taste the
cabrito -- the
famous dish of my hometown. There was a mariachi band in the place,
whose leader politely asked if we wanted a few songs sung at our table,
just for us.
And yes, they came and sang Puño de Tierra, Motivos,
and Mexico Lindo y Querido. "Want more?" "No, that's alright, I said.
And thank God I said that, because only then the crook informed us that
we owed him 450 pesos! I got very angry and complained with the waiter,
but it was no use. We had been the victims of a ripoff.
very, very upset, but then I decided that it was best to calm down and
not allow those idiots to spoil our dinner. After all, the food was
excellent and the three of us were having a wonderful time. It had been a
long day and it was getting late, so I invited Kim to stay at our
house. He accepted and Rodolfo and I were very honored to have him as
our guest and did our best to make him feel at home.
The next day I dedicated my second day off to show Kim around: we enjoyed a great view of the city from the top of Hospital Zambrano Hellion,
admired the high-rise buildings in San Pedro Garza Garcia, walked the
streets of Barrio Antiguo and the Macroplaza in Monterrey and then
boarded a boat in Paseo Santa Lucia
that took us to the beautiful Parque Fundidora. Rodolfo met us there
and then the three of us mounted the elevator that took us to the top of
the furnace called Horno 3.
What a magnificent view of the city! None of us had visited this
attraction before (shame on me!), so it was just as thrilling for the
three of us.
The whole day was very cloudy and I resented that Kim
had not been able to admire all the beautiful mountains that surround
my city, especially the renowned Cerro de la Silla. But I hope he can
come again when it's sunny and clear.
Being a tourist guide for
Kim made me appreciate all the beauties that Monterrey has to offer and
made me look at it with better eyes. Monterrey is very different from
other Mexican cities, but it is also beautiful and unique.
the following day, Rodolfo and I got ready to go to work while Kim was
packing his things to continue to trip. Then we got in the cars and I
led the way, with Kim close behind. Soon afterwards, Rodolfo rolled down
the window and pointed to the right. I honked the horn and waved him
good-bye, feeling the same emotion I had felt so many times at airports
and train stations,
seeing off the people I love.