As I’m driving to Mexico from Chicago, I notice how flat the terrain is compared to the mountains I will negotiate once I enter Mexico. On the U.S. side there were some rolling hills along the way, but nothing compared to the steep grades in the Mexican mountains that sometimes cause my car to sputter on the way up. And as if that weren’t scary enough, some roads actually run alongside the edge of a cliff for long distances. They don’t believe in guardrails in Mexico. Talk about the thrill of adventure!
In Laredo, the streets are gridlocked with traffic from Christmas shoppers. Everyone seems to gravitate toward Wal-Mart where I went to use their ATM. I actually had to wait in line to drive into the parking lot. Everyone, Mexicans and non-Mexicans alike, is speaking Spanish here. This part of town sure feels like Mexico right now. A lot of Mexicans came to Laredo to shop for the holidays. One man told me that he came all the way from Monterrey. I don’t quite understand it. There are plenty of Wal-Marts in Mexico, which I like because that’s were I can get Mexican pesos with my ATM card. This is my fifth time here in a year, but this is the most crowded that I’ve seen it. I wait to drive into Mexico and get out of here. As my mother said when asked why she was moving out of Back of the Yards, “Too many Mexicans!”