El Fomentador

Alive and well in Mexico…

La Adventura Americana or My American Adventure

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Hola Amigos, El Fomentador wants to thank-you all for your visits to the blog, muchas gracias. It is that time of year when el Fomentador hits the road–the road north. Three days in el autobus from central Mexico to Canada sounds like a horror story in itself. But I have gotten pretty good at riding buses. And the system in Mexico is actually better than in the states. There are generally two drivers, the bus is filled with Mexican families from little kids to grandparents, they show movies on the trip, and everyone is friendly and willing to put up with my poor Spanish; it’s good practice for me and I have met some amazing people. Of course they are all heading to the US to work or visit family. As an example, last year I rode next to a young Mexican guy on his way to North Dakota. He was a good example of the changing demographics of our countries–a Mexican guy working in a Chinese restaurant in North Dakota! Somewhere I am sure there is a Chinese guy working in a Mexican restaurant in Michigan. I like to say: Only in America!                https://i0.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/da/Malta_01_bus.jpg

El Fomentador Returns

I’ll be honest with you, it was nice to be back home, to see family and friends, familiar sights and sounds. But  I am actually glad to be back in Mexico. I have to believe, as I say every year, that this is going to be a good year in Mexico. I suppose, here, I could insert some sort of meaningless saying and claim it as a bit of translated folk wisdom, something like, “Every year is a good year to be alive in Mexico!”. (It sounds even more inspiring if you try to say it with a poor Spanish accent.)

Well, regardless, I am back and I wanted to tell you that things are in pretty difficult shape in the States. I try not to be an alarmist in life–it really doesn’t make much difference–but, man, as an old friend was fond of saying: “things are really backasswards”. Probably the biggest thing I learned on this trip is that no matter where you go in this world you cannot help but run into petty bureaucrats! Obviously they exist though out government everywhere. In the States it is now even worse because the general policy among government workers from sanitation engineers and parking police to border patrol and all levels of elected officials seems to be: Anything you do is ok as long as you can link it, somehow, to Homeland Security.

As you may be able to guess from my tone, the bureaucacy tried to gang up on el Fomentador  while he was back. Apparently not everyone understands that “It’s not nice to mess with el Fomentador.” More on that later, but suffice to say it has nothing to do with homeland security!

I would like to add here a sort of strange story from my return trip. Of course on the trip north it was all storms and flooding everywhere. On the way back it was, like, all heat wave. Usually when I am subjected to blistering heat and humidity, I like to think about: What did people do before they had air conditioning? When I was a kid we never had a car with AC. When we would complain my dad would say we had “the 455 air conditioning system”–4 windows down and 55 miles an hour. Oh, my dad was a funny guy.

So the bus rolls out of Tulsa about one in the afternoon–and it is hot in Oklahoma. I asked the driver if he could turn up the AC  because it was really stuffy in the bus–the 48 assorted people stuffed in the bus were, in the opinion of a few passengers, bound to become less comfortable. The driver said, simply, that “this is as good as it is going to get”. “Some mechanical problem”, other passengers conjectured. For me, as long as the bus is moving in the direction I want to go I’m ok. Overall I had pretty good luck getting in and out of buses and bus depots this trip. But there were a few problems with the bus we were on that afternoon. For one thing, I don’t want to say the bus was old, but there was a sign up front that said: “Welcome Aboard, Your Driver is Ralph Kramden”.

Several hours later after riding the freeway under the unrelenting Sun in a giant tin can with windows but no shades we were closing in on Dallas–30 more minutes and we would all make our connections. Some riders called to the driver that a woman in the back of the bus was having trouble breathing; they were afraid she was going to pass out. The driver stopped once and they moved the woman up near the front of the bus to try to cool her off. A woman that is a nurse was helping her.

The driver started up again–we were in the northern suburbs–I think he just wanted to get to the depot, but someone had called 911 from their cell phone. Within a few minutes, as passengers milled around the bus, occasionally half-shouting various invectives at the driver, a local cop pulled the bus over. I was too far back to see what was really happening, but a guy a few seats ahead of me was filming the action with his digital camera. I thought, hey, if anything interesting happens maybe it will be on u-tube. Well I don’t think anything else too interesting happened and the guy must have run out of video space anyway. An ambulance came and a fire truck, they took the lady off in the ambulance, which, I presume, was air conditioned.

Okay, that appears to be a pretty boring story, and somehow I managed to squeeze it in the middle of an earlier post. Apparently “I was born a rambling man”! If I think of anything more interesting I’ll add it in. But for now I’ll just say I’m back!

The real adventure starts once I hit the Greyhound line. In my experience, the closer you get to the midwest the more weirdos there are on the bus. Usually drunks, vagabonds, convicts, tattooed ladies and people with multiple facial piercings. Also lots of Amish this time of year (if our fellow passengers freak me out, I can’t imagine what they think about the bozos on the bus). But people need to travel and I think the bus is a good alternative–I’ll let you know what i think in a few days. I am including this under Pride and Prejudice because you can really learn a lot about what people think while spending a few days with them trapped in a bus in the interstate.

Take good care and God save the Queen.

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Written by El Fomentador

June 9, 2008 at 9:01 pm

One Response

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  1. El Fomentador! Bravo!, Ole! A very interesting tale I must say. Being a fellow Canadian such as yourself, after reading your material I feel I have known you for most of my life eh. Please keep the anticdotes coming. I will have to read more of your blogs soon. Thank you, sincerely, Senor El Schmidtster.

    Rocknblues

    July 17, 2008 at 4:39 am


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