The line getting back into Juarez was really long tonight. Nothing unexpected for a Friday. Even though I raced from the office to the bridge, it was already backed up a couple miles by the time I arrived.
I was in a good mood as usual because it's Friday. Duh. I was posting videos to Instagram, listening to some music and just kicking back. A friend commented on one of the videos saying that they don't know how people could cross daily because it seems so stressful. It's almost funny to me now because the line rarely stresses me out anymore. If someone would have told me 3 years ago that I would ever get to this point without sedatives, I wouldn't have believed them.
Nowadays, I'm just so thankful to even have a vehicle to cross in that the wait doesn't really bother me anymore. So of course, whenever I see a car broke down in the line, I feel horrible for that person. Not having a vehicle is awful but breaking down in the middle of the line gives awful a whole new definition. Just imagine... 5 lanes of bumper to bumper traffic, hundreds of anxious and impatient border crossers who are in a hurry, and your old beater just gave out on you in the midst of it all. It's happened to me twice so far.
Worst feeling ever.
Luckily, in both instances, I had friends who came to my rescue. But what if I didn't have anyone to help me? What if I had to rely on the kindness of strangers? That is the situation that played out tonight for one woman. She was broke down on the side of the road, a couple hundred feet shy of the US Border Patrol checkpoint. From a distance, I could see that she was approaching each car as it passed, saying something to the driver. The people kept passing her by.
As I drove up to her, she looked at me with desperation in her eyes and timidly asked if I could push her over the bridge with my car.
Por favor, me puedes empujar sobre el puente? I give 10 dollars.
My front bumper already has a couple of scratches, and once a man actually reversed into me in line as he tried to switch lanes and smashed in my license plate holder. Fuck it pareja.
Si. Te ayudaré.
I agreed to help her but told her to keep her ten dollars. I explained that I had broken down in line a couple of times and was blessed to have people who were willing to help me so I was happy to finally be able to return the favor.
The concept seemed simple enough but the stop-and-go traffic and gargantuan speed bumps that USCBP recently installed made it slightly complicated. After the first speed bump a Border Patrol officer with a crazy AK-47-looking weapon burst out laughing at me. He explained that I needed to wait for the cars in front to clear the area and then press harder on the gas to give her a good hard push over all the speed bumps. I thanked him for the tip and did as suggested. It worked out much better than my original technique.
I pushed her over the bridge and we immediately caught the attention of the Mexican Aduana. They asked her to pull to the side which was just silly because obviously her car wasn't working. They pushed her into one of the stalls that they inspect vehicles in and gestured that I needed to be on my way. I was a bit surprised because I had expected that I would need to get out of my car and help push her through the winding maze that the Mexican military created out of cement road dividers just after the crossing.
I gave a friendly wave to the woman, trying to convey well wishes I suppose, but she didn't seem to notice. Obviously, I don't know what happened next and I'm not really sure why they made her pull to the side. Hopefully she isn't having too rough of a night and her car is easily repairable.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, car problems are the worst.
Now I just have to listen to my husband lecture me for a week or so about how our front bumper was already loose and that this tiny little scratch is going to bring down the resale value of our truck. #Yawn