Thursday, August 4, 2011

And then you eat lunch...

My biggest fear in life is car problems. Yeah, you read right, I live in the murder capital of the world and I am more worried about possible transmission failure than with being kidnapped and decapitated. I have trouble prioritizing.

When you live in Juarez and work in El Paso, being carless = being jobless. The city buses on the Mexico side of the border don't start running early enough to get to the border in time to catch a bus to my work. And even if I took a taxi to the border, I would have to take 2 more buses and walk over a mile before I would get to my work a bit after 9. Even if I was ambitious, that wouldn't work considering I start at 8am. Maybe this is because I don't work downtown so I am not near the major bus lines? I'm not sure. I swear I have a point here.

Today I went to Fashion Bug because I'm low on cash, needed an undergarment, and have store credit there. It's on the end of town (at least my vision of the end) in an area I'm not familiar with at all. I found it just fine but while on the freeway my car just began to... rumble? And then came to a slow stop. Nothing on the dash signaled trouble, there was no smoke, and when I restarted the car, it continued without problems... for about 5 feet. Then it would die again. I called my husband hoping he would be able to advise me but just got his voicemail. 17 times. He was 30 minutes into a 12 hour graveyard shift.

And this is when I felt it again. To anyone who has read my blog since the get-go, you might remember my first post. It was the one where my trailer tire blew out on my final trip from Phoenix to Juarez. Where I was so insanely dramatic and desperate that I mentioned feeling "as though life as I knew it was over and I would be forced to build a hut from the wood of my trailer right then and there and live the rest of my life alone on the side of the I-10." Cue the violins.

I'm not sure why I lose a sense of reality when things go wrong, but I do. I burst into tears, have a panic attack, and instead of realizing how many great friends I have at work, and back home in Juarez, I just shut it all out and try to solve things on my own. I'm too proud. It's always been an issue. I don't like it when someone else offers to pay for dinner, I feel compelled to give a person gas money if they give me a ride, even though we're going to the same place and I can't take a compliment. Asking for help when I'm broke down on the side of the freeway? No thanks.

I could turn the car off, wait about a minute, then restart it and drive about 5 ft. I drove like this in a huge circle for over an hour, not realizing that where I started was very close to the Zaragosa Bridge. I never really venture out in El Paso so I still don't know my way around very well. I felt pretty stupid when I chugged pass the Fashion Bug almost 2 hours later. I was determined to make it to Juarez. What I would do when I got there? I wasn't so sure. All I knew is that in Juarez I would have more possibility of my husband being able to help so that was the goal.

I managed to get to the bridge and of course caught Border Patrol's attention with my emergency lights flashing. What better time to be pulled to secondary inspection than this? Perfecto. A few minutes, and some German Sheppard paw prints all over my backseat later, I began to feel like I would actually make it and I did. At this point I had sucked up my pride and gotten in touch with my girls in El Club de los Deportados (fondly named as such by a friend's hilarious husband.) I waited for them to come for me in a parking lot on the other side of the bridge. Because I am so set in my ways, I rarely cross at Zaragosa and instantly felt uneasy because I was so unfamiliar with the area. I talked on the phone with my mom until my friends arrived as if our conversation would be my saving grace from criminals or the likes.

More puttering and laughter occurred before I finally made it home. Annalisa was right when she said it all seemed like a quirky movie. It's funny how friends can bring humor and reality to a situation that would have otherwise seemed so dismal. I really do have the best friends here and I never saw that coming... I left the most amazing women in the world behind in Arizona and I honestly didn't think I would find that again in life.

I am going to end with this: The moral of the story is that car problems are not the end of the world. Turns out I need to reassess my "biggest fear." I think an I2US's friend's family member put it best when they said, "Shit happens, and then you eat lunch."


  1. But you wash you hands first. I feel the same way! Car problems scare the bejesus out of me, probably traumatized by my first crossing. I'm glad you got home!

  2. Glad you made it home safely and that you have such good people around to help out and be there for you when you need it.

  3. It's awesome that you have friends that got your back on both sides of the border. I'm really glad you made it home ok. It's hard to ask for help. I know, I'm the same way :S