One of those days made of random pieces. Sophy and I had to drop the Jeep Cherokee off at the mechanic, to see if he could keep us on the road for another week or two. We need a reliable car and this piece of junk is sucking money out of my pocket on a daily basis.
The mechanic tells us we’re out of oil and that we shouldn’t drive it for another 100 feet. So Sophy and I are off walking along the road to an auto supply store a mile away. Kind of interesting, being 63 years old and walking down the road with my wife, looking to buy five quarts of oil. But for some reason I can’t put my finger on, I feel like I’m walking through paradise.
When we get back, it turns out that the ring on the oil filter is rotten. It’s going to take an hour to fix. We have exactly 20 pesos in our pocket (about $1.60). Instead of leaning back and holding up the wall at the garage, we decide to walk to an ATM, a couple miles away.
Once again, we’re out on the road, walking streets we usually drive down. I recommend this to anybody since you invariably notice details and gain perspectives you never experience from a moving car, like walking over a highway overpass and feeling the rush of traffic and looking out over the horizon line.
We go into a Calimax supermarket and I get some cash. Sophy has been sick the last couple days, so we head up the street to a pharmacy, where a resident doctor will check a person out for $2 and then prescribe medicine. On the way, we pass an open air restaurant selling ceviche and beer. The pharmacy is across the street.
“The last thing I want to do is sit in a room with a bunch of sick people,” I say. “I’ll wait for you here.”
Sophy laughs, “I’m sitting here with you.”
We have an excellent meal – ceviche tostadas, coctel de camarones, and a couple of ice cold Pacificos for me. While we eat, a solo mariachi serenades no one in particular. Cars gun by on the street. Every person that passes is as fully realized as a character from a Charles Dickens’ novel; if Charles Dickens was Mexican.
I once had a cat that was raised in an apartment. When it was a year old I took it outside and it flipped out seeing the trees wave in the wind and the ripples on the surface of the lake. I guess in a way I’m like that cat. I’ve been staring at a computer monitor for way too long and just being outside is sensory overload.
We finish the meal. Sophy heads across the street to the pharmacy while I sit on a bench in the sun. In my work as a travel writer, I’ve been to lots of resorts, where I sit on a lounge chair by the pool. For some unknown reason, I’m enjoying this bench in Rosarito more than any of those five-star resorts.
It has a lot to do with Sophy – that she’s across the street and in a few minutes I’ll see her dodging traffic, coming toward me.