Moved into my flat- still sans luggage- next thing I know I’ve just agreed to go on a last minute trip to Mexico! Having met my new neighbours it turns out one of them (a Swedish ice hockey player) filled out the wrong visa entry card and has 24 hours to leave the country and return, otherwise he will be deported, logical conclusion (since Canada is a bit too far) is to drive to Mexico!
Still not really thinking he was serious, I went shopping as I desperately needed some desert clothes- combat trousers (even if they are 3/4 length) don’t really cut it in the New Mexico heat! Having almost made it to the mall, a red Mustang pulls over at the side of the road and my Swedish neighbour leans out, face tense with worry, and explains this is serious and he really needs my help because his English is funny, and that I agreed to go. When I question the Mustang, he tells me that he panicked, saw it for sale for $300 and just bought it…I think this trip will be interesting!
I would never have forgiven myself if I had left Daniel to fend for himself, especially if he had never made it back. The drive was hot, and the lack of air con made it even hotter, like driving along with a miniature sun on your dashboard blasting solar flares directly in your face! It was a nondescript ride, the radio didn’t work, neither did the cassette player- but we didn’t have any cassettes to play anyway so we spent the four hour ride speaking to each other in broken English and admiring the rather desertey, cactus-filled views.
Ciudad Juarez, Paso del Norte (Northern Pass), or simply ‘Juarez’ to the locals is one of the fastest growing cities in the world and is just like any other big city – big, dusty, lots of people; only this city boasts a rather worrying fact- it is the most dangerous zone in the world- outside of declared war-zones; something we only found out after we returned to US soil.
At the border, things were relatively straight forwards; we explained why we were there, asked if they could help us. Then Daniel filled out the right card (after nearly filling out the wrong one- AGAIN!) and we drove back to ABQ, arriving just before sun set with just enough time to party in the evening.