Correspondence

Lawless Roads

It is 10:00 P.M. as you step off the Greyhound bus in Laredo, Texas. By all rights you should feel exhausted after your 36-hour ride from Minneapolis. But the truth is, you feel pretty good. The air is cool but muggy on this late-August night. You are told that the Rio Grande is just a few blocks from the depot. You had intended to spend a night in a hotel on the Texas side of the river, but what the hell, you came down here to see Mexico, didn't you? So you throw your backpack onto your back and start hoofing it toward the bridge.

You've done some crazy things in your life. Going off to teach school in Honduras was one. Well, that one wouldn't have been so bad if you had done it for just a year. But, no, you had to eat of the lotus plant—root, flower, and stem—and now you just can't seem to pull yourself away. Except for summers, of course. Honduran schoolteachers don't make squat, so you find yourself returning to the real world every few summers to earn some real money. But this latest idea of riding the bus all the way from Minnesota back to Honduras? That's truly crazy.

There appear to be absolutely no formalities at this border. You pay 25 cents to pass through a turnstile on the United States side of the bridge. On the Mexican side, the migracon official waves you into his country with a smile. He shakes his head "no" when you attempt to give him your passport....

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