I went looking for the immigration office today. In preparing for Ink and Talea´s departure, and mine, as well, I needed to get some paper work signed, fingers printed, and fees paid in order to insure a smooth getaway. All I had was an address the airport policeman gave me more than three months ago when I arrived here. I normally take a bus into the center, but decided on a taxi being that I didn´t know exactly where I was going. Taxistas are the best informed people in Mexican society. Bet you any Mexican taxista could find Hoffa if the fair was decent. Except one. My luck, I score a novice chofer. Guy´s only been back in town a year after spending ten years in Chicago. I had to tell him which way the addresses go in town. We got lost twice. Our misadventure not only allowed the fair to skyrocket, but we got to know each other. He spoke little English (“Check it out” was his verbal tic. He wanted me to “check it out” every other sentence, and then he´d go right back into Spanish), and knew little of the U.S. outside of Chicago, but he held Americans in high regard. He said gringos were always very helpful and understanding of him. Plus, he commented, his American-made wages help send his kids to school – his two boys are engineers now. By the time we pulled up to the immigration office, the fair was the highest I´ve seen in Durango ($3.00 US more or less). I got out of the taxi and bent into the passenger window to pay him. He waived me off saying, “Check it out. You are my friend. No way,” and he drove back into traffic.
Something else impressed me on this taxi drive. As we were nearing my destination we stopped at a light. I recognized a lady on the corner, a fellow teacher. I waved at her, and she waved back, than looked at the driver and yelled, “!Se lo encargo, ¿heh?” (I am putting him in your hands o.k.?). She was ensuring that the driver knew that someone here is accountable for me. Watching out for me. You see that alot here. A sense of responsibility for the welfare of another. Confianza.
Con mucha confianza,