Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Big B

I had an incident this morning in the line. A car cut in front of me, where there really wasn't room to cut, and I almost hit it. Maybe I even tapped it. I didn't honk, didn't make any gestures and didn't really have the energy to do anything at all.

A light flicks on; she's applying her mascara. Then the driver doesn't advance as the line does, allowing people to cut in front of them as well. This happens from time to time. People fall asleep in line sometimes; others are distracted by reading the newspaper, eating their burritos, etc. With a normal person, a little beep of your horn will wake them up, or snap back to reality, and they will continue on, trying to pay more attention. So I lightly tap my horn. Nothing. A car cuts in front of her. Another, slightly longer, tap on the horn. Two more cars cut in front of her. A long, determined honk of the horn, accompanied by an exasperated facial expression. Another car cuts into our lane and she adjusts her rearview mirror so our eyes meet, and I swear she smiles.

She carries on like this until just past the top of the bridge. I don't even consider touching the horn because obviously that will just encourage her. As soon as I can, I do my best to get in a different line than her and by the time I am a couple cars away from the CBP checkpoint, we are right next to each other. She waves at me and laughs hysterically. Then she nudges her daughter in the front seat, seemingly encouraging her to join in on the laughter. I see a car seat in the back and shake my head in disappointment. Although I cross before her (KARMA) she is driving so fast she manages to get onto I-10 before me. She weaves in and out of traffic, faster than an ambulance, giving no regard to the other cars on the road. Not once does she use her turn signals.

I'm not surprised when I realize we both have the same destination. I was going where everyone who crosses from Mexico in the morning goes beforework/school. Walmart. What else is there to do at 6:00 am? I park my car, still a bit disturbed, trying to contemplate the motive behind this woman's madness. I give up quickly, knowing deep down that she just did it for shits and giggles, and get out of my car. That's when I realized the nut job has parked right next to me. Did she circle the parking lot while I looked for my space? I don't even hesitate and hurry into the store. I return my movie to Redbox, grab some frozen crap for lunch and linger at the new Skinny Girl make up section wishing I could call Bethenny Frankel and tell her that as much as I love her and her margaritas, the brand doesn't work for a cosmetic line. It's turning out to be a regular morning at Walmart until I reach the produce section and I catch the crazed woman's eye. She's now in the store with who I presume to be her daughter, 2 sons and baby, filling up a bag with potatoes.

As soon as she sees me, she says to her children, in Spanish, "There she is kids! Say hi!" She nudges her son, "Wave to her!" she demands, while laughing so hard you would have thought she just saw Wanda Sykes perform. I stand there in shock. Not knowing what to do or say, I just stand there for a split second, replaying the whole incident in my head. Setting aside everything that happened in the line, I can't believe there were FOUR children in that car... weaving through traffic well over the speed limit like they were auditioning for Fast6. Who does that? Who behaves this way in front of their children? And that's when I let it out...

"Aren't you embarrassed?" I say in Spanish, "Why would you do something like that to someone for no reason at all? I ignored the fact that you cut in front of me in the line, but why would you continue to act like that, just to upset me? Why would you teach your children to be mean to someone, and then point and laugh when you are done?" I don't know why I was hoping for a different reaction, but I was.

"You're the crazy one who honked her horn like 10 times. What are you teaching your children?" she said. Her daughter looked completely mortified, and her two sons were edging away slowly in embarrassment. I just walked away at this point, muttering, "Que verguenza," under my breath and trying to block out her laughter.

These are the people. You know, them. When you wonder how some children can be so disrespectful and so hurtful to others, think of this woman. When you wonder why bullying runs so rampant in schools that kids post their suicide notes on Youtube, think of this woman. It is parents like these that teach these children that it's fun to mess with people, just because. And no, they're not teaching their kids with their words, but by their actions. It's so beyond unfortunate, I don't even know how to react.

At least now I know what that big red, Old English, "B" bumper sticker stands for on the back of her car.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Cold Weather Solutions

When it's in the 30's inside your house and you run out of propane and you don't get paid until tomorrow:

We get pretty creative when we're cold...

(Disclaimer: To be used in conjunction with the rice sock, long underwear, scarf, hat, gloves and a carbon monoxide detector. Do not use if there are children in the house. Do not leave unattended. Turn off 30 minutes before going to bed.)

Bomberos de Ciudad Juarez: 656 612 73 95

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Back At It

It's been so long since I have been on a routine of eating right and exercising. I guess those things just fell to way side in the midst of all the immigration drama. So I have set my goals and I am going to try to reach them this time around.

I tracked a route from my house to the end of the nearby park using trusty ol' Map My Run. Luckily, Mexico still comes up on their map. It is exactly 1 mile from my front door to the end of Parque Cuatro Siglos (right where the statues are with the people wearing butt flaps.) I set out tonight to what I thought would be a quick trip, briskly walking. To my surprise it took me 45 minutes to cover that 2 miles. Now I could make excuses that it was my dog's fault because everyone wants to stop to pet the pomeranian (not a lot of them in MX), but let's be real, I'm just really out of shape. I even tried picking it up to a jog 3 times but was only able to keep it up for about 20 seconds. It made me realize how far I have to go. In 2009, I could run 2 miles without stopping.

I really want to get back to that point and I think this park has the perfect set up. It has a jogging/biking path, there are plenty of people around so I feel safe, it's well lit, and it has interesting things to look at along the way. It's right along the actual border so you can kind of hear the Border Patrol helicopters over your music, but I think I can get used to that. I'm just going to add a little bit more jogging each time until I am back to running the whole thing.

I'm excited. Wish me luck.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Reflections and Resolutions

It was a big year for my family. Everything we had been working for and worried about in regards to moving to Mexico went off without any major hitches. We have been blessed with steady and fulfilling work here in Juarez and that was always the main source of our worries prior to making the move. This year we found an home in great condition that is reasonably priced. (Third times a charm!) We were both even able to go home to visit our respective families, albeit separately. Above all, we feel safe here in Juarez and that is also not something we were expecting.

Of course, the best thing that happened in 2011 was the friendships I have developed, both online and off. I may be far from my family and in a foreign country, but the people I work with, the women here in Juarez, and the support I receive from my blog, Facebook and I2US are... priceless. I cannot even begin to describe how thankful I am for my friends and the joy they bring to my life each and every day. There are no words to describe it really.

2011 was pretty amazing and I hope that 2012 continues that trend, but there are definitely changes I need to make this year. In 2010, as the date of our impending move to Juarez got closer, I began drinking heavily to curb my anxiety. Once we got here, I never quite kicked the vicio and I would like to put forth some serious effort to do so in 2012. I want to get back to a point where I am just drinking on special occasions, not every week. Although it hasn't caused the issues I normally hear about when it comes to excessive drinking, it's foolish, horrible for my body, and quite frankly, I can't afford it! Additionally I am going to try to make some healthy changes to my diet and exercise routines that I know will make me feel better all around. I am also going to try to read and write more this year, as well as learn to play an instrument. I know that getting creative juices flowing will help me in all aspects of my life.

I hope that everyone has had a chance to reflect on the past year and I want to wish you all a happy, safe and successful 2012.