I was in the North, and she was in the southernmost top of the Andes Mountains. The only thing keeping us apart was the name of the tour bus company that did not allow north American tourists to enjoy the ride. I decided to pull a blind side on the company and bribe the driver with a few hundred shinglings (African currency). I pulled the money out of my backpack and handed it to the chauffeur with a smile and a nod...he kindly accepted and allowed me to board the bus. The next twenty miles would be an off road excursion both mentally and physically through desert, jungle, city, roads, maps, houses, highways, sky-ways, train-ways, subways, and all other terrain imaginable. The end had now begun and I was neck deep in this mess. My only hope of survival was meeting Jaclyn's face at the end of the tunnel. A pipe dream or a dream from a pipe...either way I had not yet smoked the day's cigar. I sat next to an elderly man who did not speak a lick of English. I decided to practice my sign language as I gave him the peace sign and pulled out my hippie hair from the front pocket of my suitcase. I then proceeded to take a nap for the rest of the trip. Upon awakening the man was gone, and so was my hippie hair. What had happened? I grabbed my luggage, and disregarded the rest of the passengers. Life was not on my side that day as I got off the bus and the journey began.
Day 2 La Mafia Mexicana
I walked in the door of the run down restaurant. Tables were laid out leaving an empty space in the middle of the room either for a dance off or a mariachi band. I took my seat in the far corner as guests began to file in one after the other after the one after the second. Nods to strangers were made and gestures of acknowledgment lost in the ramble of chaos. I pretended to engage myself in conversation with my cell phone as to avoid contact with the strangers I claimed to know. A table full of Mexican delicacies was at the front of the room to the left of the piano and small stage. The smell of fresh tacos de pollo caught my attention. I got up and began to make my way through the crowds of peeps and stopped at the foot of the table with a plate in hand ready to partake of the feast as a voice beckoned from afar, "You there!!! From where dost thou depart?" The voice brought my plate to the ground shattering like tin can man. I jumped twice in the air as I quickly turned to see who the intruder was. A stout man built of muscle and pure human form stood amongst the mingling uniforms. I ducked under the table as to not be seen as I snatched a few more tacos and some cheese cakes from the dessert stand. This fiesta had not seen the last of me. I caught a glimpse of the man following me through the reflection of the waiter's tray. He was in hot pursuit and I needed a quick escape. The exit was closed off due to repair so I would need another route out. Why hadn't I planned this better from the beginning and why was this man after me? I was now on my third lap around the small restaurant and found myself in the dance floor. I had stuffed the mini cheesecakes in to my pockets and they were beginning to spoil. I took one out and began to eat. I was dizzy and lost my sense of direction but was relieved that the man was no where in site. Few...I lost him. I sat on the ground and ate the last of that days ration.