Thursday, August 11, 2005

Hometown Houston

We are back in problems.

We left San Miguel de Allende about 6 AM. Between Saltillo and the border it was greener than I have ever seen it. Usually from Saltillo to the border is dry with scrubby brush and lots of open ground. The mountains have always looked very harsh and stoney. But this trip there was deep grass all around the scrub and the mountains looked like they were wrapped in a green velvet with lovely folds of shadows....except for the area just north of Monterry. There the pollution was so thick in the air that you could not see the mountains across the valley floor.

We did cross the border in Nuevo Laredo even though I was nervous about doing that. Of course, we didn't go straight through town, we took the by-pass that goes around town and along the river to Bridge II. The highway into Nuevo Laredo didn't seem to have as many cars and trucks as we usually see and everything looked quite normal. The salvage yards and truck repair places line the highway and the shoulders of the road are lined with vendors under awnings.....kind of your temporary/permanent strip centers....selling pots and pans, bicycles, clothes, CD's....well as I said a strip center. Everyone was going about their business. Bread was being delivered to stores and mothers were walking children home from school.

Everytime we are driving along this road on the north side of Nuevo Laredo and you can see across the river to the USA, I wonder what has made the difference in the way people live on each side of the river. And there are differences that you can see from the condition of the road, the kinds of houses, and the swarm of vendors on the Mexican side just trying to survive. So many political, cultural and social issues that I don't know how to even sort through my thoughts and write about it.

There was the usual jam-up at the Bridge and the traffic was solid across all 4 lanes the whole length of the bridge. Sometimes we only have to wait for traffic for about one-half the bridge length, but today it took us about 20 minutes to reach the US border agent.

It feels like it is a straight line from the Laredo border to our house in Houton. We are on I-35 to San Antonio. Then we peel off on to I-10 and when we exit I-10 in Houston we are just a few blocks from the Houston house.

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