With the life-saving napkin map tucked in someone’s pocket, Pete, Drew and I gazed across the Rio Grande to the other side and Ciudad Juarez.
We crossed the bridge, showed our pucker British passports to the U.S. border guards, passed through a turnstile and were on the street in Mexico.
There wasn’t a great deal of change, other than everything looked a little scruffier, a bit more chaotic.
As we proceeded south–following our trusty map–we soon noticed a trend whereby at every other store front a guy, leaning against the wall, would nod at us and issue an identical line:
“You want taxi? You want go downtown? You want see beautiful pus*y?”
Initially we were very British about it, replying, “No, thank you” and making our excuses, “Sorry, other prior engagements,” but eventually it got to the stage we had to ignore them otherwise we were in a never-ending relay of conversations down the length of the entire street.
A couple of pick-up trucks drove by with Mexican soldiers sat in the rear with their guns, looking bored and fed up. We hit the first main intersection. Map check–right turn.
It didn’t take too long before we reached the cathedral, the point at which our hotel manager had advised us: “Make sure you turn back.” We briefly discussed the option of going a little farther.
But decided against it. No doubt Hunter S. Thompson wouldn’t have been impressed; our failing to embrace the possibility of “madness in any direction.”
Yet if anything had happened to us–well, if anything had happened to Drew, more precisely–it would have broken our hotel manager’s heart. And he had made us a good breakfast, after all.
About turn; we walked back the way we’d come. Border guards, passports shown, a walk along the bridge and we were back in the United States of America.