Wednesday, December 30, 2009

border adventure!

I had the most exhausting and ridiculous dream last night. I dreamed that, with Curly Sue and another real-life friend, I was going to try to sneak across the U.S.-Mexico border by rafting across the river. At no point was it clear whether we were trying to get from Mexico to the U.S. or from the U.S. to Mexico, or even why we were crossing clandestinely (a lot of things in this dream weren't clear).

At the beginning, I was trying to pack my things to go. I had it in my head that I needed to fit everything necessary for 8 months or so into a small backpack, besides my share of the necessary stuff for the trip itself--tent, blow-up raft, life jacket, food, etc. All my possessions were disorganized and all over the floor of a room in my parents' house (different than my parents' house in real life). I was preparing for an academic year in a dorm atmosphere, so I was thinking about what I would need in that situation and including all kinds of not-strictly-necessary things like a tin of colored drawing pencils. I was also concerned about the mess I would be leaving behind, all the disorganized stuff that I wouldn't be taking with me.

After this packing stress went on for a while (forever, seemingly), I finally realized that this was just a trip to Establish a Presence, and that I was going to be able to retrieve more belongings later (what?), not to mention that wherever I was going was bound to have stores to buy things in. So this threw off my whole strategy and I had to start all over. By this time my traveling companions were pretty much ready to go, so knowing that I was holding them up added to the stress.

I ended up finally just throwing a change of clothes and what I thought was my share of the supplies into my bag, and we got ready to go through the security checkpoint (what? again). This was manned by U.S. agents, although, again, I'm not sure where we were leaving and where we were entering, or why (even better question) we were going through security and THEN sneaking over the border. The security procedure was onerous and there were lots of annoying, noisy kids running around underfoot.

We finally made it through, and then I realized that the river looked pretty wide, deep, and fast, and that I hadn't actually packed my life jacket. At this point, I think my companions' patience was running quite thin, especially after the whole security-checkpoint experience, so I decided to get a life jacket at the first opportunity instead of being picky.

The first opportunity turned out to be a ramshackle taco/life jacket/whatever else stand. They wanted $40 to rent a worn-out orange clip-in-the-front life jacket, to be returned the next day. I tried to find out what would happen if I didn't return it, but they were evasive on that point. Then I bought a taco, which turned out to be one somewhat undersized tortilla and one seriously undersized tortilla (silver dollar-sized), with about 6 bits of ground beef and a smear of vile-looking sauce (all this warmed up in a microwave). I was indignant and tried to protest to the seller, but my Spanish came out all wrong in my indignation (even including some French words), and the guy just laughed at me scornfully. (The guy manning this shady operation was a stout middle-aged Mexican guy with a distinct air of doing business with the wrong people, so I didn't rant for too long.)

After that, my companions revealed that they had been looking at the map to plan our route and had decided that the best strategy to avoid detection was to circle around--waaay around. The proposed route would include a trip through Big Bend, and we were going to take our giant SUV, so at least we could sleep inside it.

On that note, I think we decided we needed a real meal before undertaking the next leg of the trip, because the last thing I remember was a plate with some kind of chicken-fried-steak type meat atop a small mound of mashed potatoes. I was disconcerted because it wasn't the type of meal that fit in with the whole Texas/Mexico border theme, but I was also happy for something more substantial than the so-called "taco" from the stand.

1 comment:

Leah said...

Ha! Hahaha!!! That's hilarious, especially the undersized tacos.

Sorry that my dream self was so impatient, though.