Vodka Purchase

I took a walk around the block this evening. The temperature was warmer then it has been lately.

I saw Aqualung sitting on the bus stop across the street from the Circle K. He appeared to be sober, believe it or not. I haven’t seen him since last fall.

Aqualung: “Hey Pops. Wanna buy some vodka?”
[I assume that I was to buy it and give it to him.]
Roger: No thanks, I don’t drink.

Roger: Where have you been?
Aqualung: Mexico
[It seems that the wall was keeping the wrong people out.]

One Woman, 5 Jobs

I needed to go to the dentist. I decided to try a dentist in Mexico. The cost is less in Mexico and the reputation of the dentists is quite good.

We stopped in a dentist office when we visited Naco. The receptionist, Carmen, spoke very good English. She said that the dentist was out to lunch. We made an appointment for the next day.

The next day we showed up at the appointed time. Imagine my surprise when the dental assistant was Carmen, yesterday’s receptionist. It turned out that the dentist needed a translator to communicate with me. And the translator was … Carmen.

The dental work was fairly extensive, and I saw the dentist, and Carmen, often. The most recent visit to the dentist, the dentist was late for the appointment. I got into a conversation with Carmen.

I found out that she was from Mexico, attended high school in Tucson, and that one of her daughters lived in Tucson. Naturally [gulp] I asked if she went to Tucson often. Her response was that she had been deported for drug violations in the US, and was not allowed to cross the border.

One woman, 5 jobs — receptionist, assistant, translator, mother, deportee.

Migrants

I was eating lunch at the High Desert Market. At the neighboring table, a women was  reporting about a trip that she had made to the border. There she had contacted migrants who were about to try to get across the border. Surrounding the migrants were some Mexican soldiers, and a couple of cartel members, who were dressed identical to the soldiers. The soldiers and the cartel members were all carrying AK-47s. Was she following her conscience, or was she a coyote*?
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* http://www.npr.org/2012/04/19/150973748/inside-the-hidden-world-of-immigrant-smuggling

Eden Valley

Today we drove on the highway that goes north out of Douglas (AZ). With the rain that we have had lately, and the mountains on both sides of the valley, the road was quite scenic. A resident of the valley apparently had the same feeling. There was a sign on one of the fences that said “EDEN” in large letters.

It had rained recently, and the ditches still had a layer of mud. With this evidence, we could see tracks which looked like some teenager kids had pulled off the road to drive in the ditches instead.

The valley was scenic, but there was a downside to it too. The vehicles that we met were almost all semi trucks and SUVs. Virtually all the SUVs had “Border Patrol” painted on the side. The tracks that at first glance looked to be the result of kids, were actually, Border Patrol vehicles.

Geographical Conundrum

I got a call from a friend in Tucson, asking what I knew about the shooting of a border patrol agent that happened early yesterday in Naco. This was a surprise to me. He had read/heard the news long before I had.

“Tucson is Closer to Naco than Bisbee”, was my immediate off-the-cuff response. But in the sense that I responded to him this is true. When travelers* cross the border, it is rarely their intention to get to Bisbee. There are few jobs available in Bisbee, they don’t pay very well. [Who works in Bisbee anyway?] Tucson and Phoenix have more economic opportunity for travelers.

Actually, Naco is the small border town 5 miles south of Bisbee. Do I know any drug dealers in Bisbee? Sure. Bartenders. Do I know any drug users in Bisbee? Sure. The people on the other side of the bar.

Oh, do I know any illegal drug dealers in Bisbee? Only by rumor. Such drug deals are done around the corner, or in private spaces. Do I know any drug users in Bisbee? Again, only by rumor. Were I in the market for drugs I would know more about the players.

Was the shooting drug related? Quite possibly. Ordinary travelers don’t shoot border patrol agents.

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A friend of mine introduced me to this term. This seems to be less pejorative than “Illegal Alien” and more accurate than “Undocumented Immigrant”.
* Traveler = An undocumented immigrant or illegal alien or one with a valid visa , or a US citizen passing through.