For example, shortly before coming here my roommate and I went to the international grocery store. But on our way in we got distracted by the Discount Mall next door. Well. This place has bars on the window s and doors. We were the only 2 White females in what can only be termed an indoor Mexican market. Stall after stall filled the old department store, manned by Mexican immigrants selling cheap knockoffs and speaking broken English. Haircuts for $12, manicures for 15 (don’t quote me). Nothing felt American or altogether legal. And everyone stared. This is what we did after discovering that eagle creek beach is not for anyone that actually wants to swim in a pool larger than a kiddie pool. I like exploring, typically on my own or occasionally with another accident-prone friend.
Hence, when the man at the bus stop yelled the name of my neighborhood for a bus other than my typical #6, I still got on. Even if it was 9 pm and I was alone. The bus went to my little mubon, village, but not to my side. It was dark. I was alone. No one spoke English. And I was lost in a side street far from MY street. And the driver said she was done for the night. I needed to get off so she could park.
I did all I could do: reach for my wallet and moan, ‘oh mai.’ (Oh no.)
The driver picked up that I was not happy. Possibly terrified on a dark side street. Out too late alone near what appeared to be the alley where the #4 busses call it quits for the night. Which means there were other drivers nearby, smoking and playing cards, as I frantically weighed the options :
1- call my hosts, admit I was foolish and terrify them. Never stay out past 7 pm again as I try to make it up to them.
2 – walk toward the street with lights that might maybe also have taxis on it. Hope I am right.
The driver saw my stricken face and mentioned the name of a nearby main street, where I had meant to end up.
Then through a series of yelling and 4 other drivers gesturing, I learned I was supposed to get into one of the other, empty busses. There were enough people involved in these directions, I decided it was safe to follow. I climbed in, and waited…and waited and wondered how 8 people had agreed I should get in THIS particular bus, and then forgot to come drive me to the main road?!?!