This served two purposes - most importantly, time is rolling by and we still hadn't solved the problem of how we were going to get us and our stuff back home in July. The van we drove down in is staying here, a present to Homero's sister. The Jetta isn't big enough for four people, a dog, and all our shit (the van was barely big enough) but it is big enough for Homero and all our shit. The kids, Ivory, and I will fly home.
The second reason for bringing the Jetta down here was to reduce tensions surrounding the use of Mama's car. Mama doesn't actually drive (and has no interest in learning), but Estalin - Homero's youngest brother - does. After six months, it was beginning to become clear that all four adults sharing a single car was just not going to work.
Homero has driven from Seattle to Oaxaca alone before, and he can do it in six or seven days, even in these latter days when it is inadvisable to travel at night. He could have done it again. I could have waited a few more days to see him. Except that I couldn't.
We left Juarez at about 11:00 am on friday, after a frustrating hour at customs trying to explain that the tools Homero was bringing were NOT for import, and we had every intention of bringing them back with us in just a few months. The customs people didn't care, and we paid a forty dollar fee. Not unlikely, we will have to do the same thing again when we haul that generator back into the states.
That night we stayed in Saltillo - the same city we spent a couple of days in on our trip down, when both cars broke down at the same time (Have Mechanic, Will Travel). I remembered my way to the same hotel, the one with the spreading pecan tree under which the children played and gathered pecans as we watched Homero work on the cars. The neon sign was lit and there was a man in the office, but when we asked about a room, he said "sorry, we have no rooms."
I looked around the nearly empty parking lot. Two cars snuggled up at the far end and the rest of the lot was empty. One room had a light on behind the drawn curtains.
"doesn't look full to me," I said, before I felt Homero's elbow press gently into my ribcage and a light dawned in my slow, travel-addled brain.
"Is there another hotel nearby?" Homero asked, and the man pointed us up the road. We spent the night a very serviceable econo-motel with a nice continental breakfast.
By eight a.m. we were on the road again and pulled into Oaxaca at just about 11:30 p.m. Two days alone with Homero was a treat, even if it was spent behind the wheel. We ate road food and drank lots of coffee and had long conversations about stuff we heard on talk radio. We caught up on all our gossip and generally enjoyed each other's company.
I can't wait to be old and have nowhere to go, and to go there with Homero.