The taxi driver is reluctant to leave the airport because he is not sure where he is taking us. It is 7am local time, 4am Alaska Time, and I am struggling to speak the most basic Spanish. I keep telling him it is a trailer park on Lopez Mateos one kilometer past Walmart. I tell him I can help guide him, but my Spanish is so bad I don’t think he believes me.
We start driving and he keeps asking me over and over again what the name of the trailer park is or what the name of the street is, but I can’t remember. I keep kicking myself. Why didn’t I get better instructions from Matt? Why didn’t I at least write down the name of the trailer park? If I had a phone I could look it up… but I don’t. Why haven’t I learned Spanish better? I let Matt do too much of the talking and don’t practice enough myself. Now Matt is in Guatemala and he can’t help us.
Lopez Mateos is a major road and it is fairly simple to get there from the airport, but he takes a different way to avoid traffic. I start to get even more worried. What will I do if we can’t find it? Will he dump us on the side of the road? I can’t carry all of our luggage at once because I had to bring back new jacks for the trailer. Altogether the luggage weighs about 100 pounds.
The boys have fallen asleep. I look at their little angelic faces, so dependent on me. I will find the way. We will figure it out, we have to.
Is that the Siemen’s factory? I ask, remembering how Matt showed me their enormous campus that seemed to go on for miles. Yes, he says. Good, we are on the right track, I think. We come to an overpass that I recognize. It’s right on the other side of the bridge, I tell him, but we have to go down the highway and return on the other side in order to get there. Only, in my horrible Spanish, I’m not sure he understands. Or maybe he doesn’t believe me.
We pull over into a bus stop and he tells me to try to get internet. I pick up a lot of signals on my laptop but everything is locked. I know how to get there, I keep trying to tell him. Drive that way and take the next turn around, and then by the overpass there will be a street. It’s easy, I try to say, but I actually say it is far away. He laughs uneasily. I think he wants to dump us out right there. I’ve already pre-paid my cab fare, and that does not include getting lost.
He is not convinced, but finally he goes. I direct him to the exit. We go over the freeway and down the other side. Is it a little way or a long way, he asks? A little bit farther, a little bit farther. I know that if we miss the street, we have to drive a few miles down the highway, turn around, and then drive back and turn around again. I am not going to let that happen.
We finally get to the dirt, unnamed (or un-signed) street and turn down it. This is the street, he asks? Really? Are you sure? Yes, I’m sure. It doesn’t look like it leads anywhere, but I know the trailer park is down there. It is a strange little oasis with gorgeous trees and friendly local families living in motor homes that have not moved anywhere in quite a few years.
Then I see our trailer. I am so happy that I almost start crying. Here! We are here! I think the driver is as relieved as I am. I wake up the boys and we get our luggage out. They are super excited to see the trailer as well. I give the cabbie a big fat tip, and he seems happy. I find the keys and unlock the trailer. Our teeny, tiny trailer has never seemed quite so welcoming. It is good to be home!