I arrived at the Nuevo Laredo border. This particular border is divided up by a river. That means you are crossing a bridge to get from one country to the other.
They have a booth guy (or girl) collecting tolls on the Mexico Side, and a booth guy (or girl) on the US side checking your passport, asking you trick questions, and peeking through your vehicle. If these kids suspect anything non-kosher, they send you along to the patrol area where you park, get out of your car, and trained police officers ask you additional questions as they scour amuck.
So I get up to the second booth after sitting in line and inching along the bridge for about and hour and a half. I get to the lady, smile wide, and give her my passport. In the distance, I see a Taco Bell, A Wall Mart, and an Applebees. No way man.
In English, I ask her where I need to go to re import my van. In English, she tells me that I needed to do that back in Mexico. She points towards Mexico. You have GOT to be fucking kidding me lady! She tells me to watch my mouth or she’ll make my life miserable. I tell her nice try, but my life just got as miserable as it can get.
I was paralyzed. I tried to process why I felt this way, and what was really at stake. I had about $400 tied up in an importation deposit, and if I didn’t go back into Mexico and do the paperwork, then A. I would of course lose the deposit, and B. I could never bring another automobile registered in my name into Mexico again. It all felt lame. The radical journey felt incomplete. Maybe failure is a better word.
Fuck, by now I should have been driving 90+ mph on cruise control towards San Antonio. Instead, I drove, I stopped, I drove and then stopped. Then I pulled over.
I thought about calling someone now that my flip phone had a signal. Who could I possibly call? What could I possibly say? I scratched that idea.
It was 4pm. I was extra alone now. I was in a very strange state of mind. I fought all my demons. I started the van and began inching my way back on Hwy 35. I stopped again. I inched. I stopped. I inched. I pulled off at a Pizza Hut parking lot.
It all seemed like a pretty fucking dumb situation to be in. It almost felt like the dumbest fucking situation you could possibly be in, and there I was, in it. To myself I thought, Really Guy…after finally reaching US soil, after waiting in line for 90 minutes, after a 10 hour driving day, after a week straight of operating on sheer adrenalin, you’re actually thinking about going right back into Mexico just to keep your record clean and get a $400 deposit back?
You bet I