Oh, our first journey opened up so many things we had never thought about before. By travelling we came to understand that good attracts good. And by doing good one only can receive good. On our way, we met only kind people who helped us along the way wearing their heart on their sleeves. That was truly amazing! Oh we have changed so much during our travels! Not only knowledge, experience, overcoming difficulties. We would never ever throw anything on the ground as we know that the Mother Nature has to be protected, nurtured and respected. We would never waste any food as we have seen so many hungry animals around the World that we always keep some snack in our bag for anyone we could meet on our way. We have learnt that anger will never be a solution and that actually everything happens for a reason. We really could keep like this forever. But hey, let`s share a story!
We have driven with drug dealers that were caught and we had been robbed in the jungle of Laos by small indigenous people who we were chasing the next two days. We have lived in a monastery on the mountains of Greece with a monk with whom we emptied all the centuries' old wines and we have flown in a murder investigator helicopter in Colombia by pretending to be journalists. We have those four books published and can you imagine how many stories like this we can tell you? But here is the first that popped up in our mind.
Halloween party on US-Mexican border
Mexico.. That far and unknown land.. One step and we’ll be in this new world! But for now we are following Martin, the truck driver who has given us a ride. Martin’s friends have a ranch in this border town, which is still in the USA side, although mostly populated by Mexicans. We have decided to accept Martin`s invitation to stay here for a day or two. Our new friend buys a lot of meat and beer. Why? Because today is Halloween, which actually originated in Mexico – from the Mexican Day of the Dead!
So in a short time we find ourselves in a car workshop. In the middle of nowhere five Mexicans are sitting around broken vehicles. Suddenly Arturs has stomach problems, so he runs to the countryside bathroom. That`s probably because the new dishes and spices are far from the menu our stomachs have experienced. Various car parts and beer cans are scattered around. Happy dogs are playing and hens sitting in the trees. The owner of this car workshop lives in the trailer in the very middle of this place.
The first beer cans are opened, and we’re not standing aside. We say hello to our new friends, who speak only Spanish, and see what we can do to help. And now we have to speak and understand Spanish. At the moment we understand only “si” and “no” (“yes” and “no”), but it doesn’t slow down the communication at all, and the talking is going smoothly. After several beers a tequila bottle is opened – the kind of tequila we’ve never tasted before. We start talking about the Halloween, Martin does some translation, and soon enough the idea of organising a party comes up. This is such a special day and in such a special place after all!
The men decide to visit some other friends, and we finally get to see a real ranch – a country house with a vast area of land. Horses, goats and dogs, family and neighbours. The grill is set and meat cooked, together with Mexican music in the background. The owner of the ranch is a chubby man with a handlebar moustache. His wife gathers all the make-up she has and starts painting our faces as it appropriate in Halloween. We’re being taken on an excursion around the ranch and get to ride with horses. The men are laughing that we don’t understand a word they’re saying. However, the company is great! After a lot of dancing, we continue the party in the city together with Martin and another small Mexican man. Martin has been drinking only water for a while and now he can drive, but the owners of the house are staying, they’ve enough with our small party here.
We continue the Halloween celebration is in a small bar, not far from the ranch, and only Mexicans are there! All of them quiet down for a moment, when we come in, but, after seeing that we’re happy and open to all the new, they are less tense. A quite tipsy Mexican is playing the guitar on the terrace, and the rest of the celebrators are trying to sing along. But what’s happening inside the bar? A dance competition! And we really like dancing, so we join a group of Mexicans on the dance floor. After every dance the contestants receiving the loudest applause participate in the next round. And then there is the competition finale – Arturs against a little Mexican woman, who’s dressed in a traditional Native American costume. Arturs is “warmed up” already and doesn’t feel shy to take off his shirt or lift the little woman on his shoulder and spin her around a few times. And victory! Free beer to our table and the evening continues!
The party is over at 3 a.m. and we have to go home. It’s a 15 minute ride till the ranch, but who’s driving? Our driver Martin gets in the back seat besides Laine and says he can’t drive anymore. He’s Mexican after all – if he loses the license, he won’t be driving a truck ever again, but it is the way he makes a living. The other man doesn’t even know how to drive, but we don’t want to spend the night in the car either. Arturs bravely steps in the driver’s seat and has the little man beside him to tell the directions. Then it seems like a very good idea to all of us.
The car has an automatic transmission, which Arturs hasn’t driven yet. It is dark outside, we’re in a foreign country. The car smells like beer and nobody remembers the exact way home. But we’re driving. The little Mexican tells different directions in Spanish and incoherently points with his fingers. It’s not clear where we are going at all, but the car is moving. Then we miss the necessary turn, because the small Mexican sign language is quite unclear, but Martin has no strength or will to translate anything.
And then we hear the police siren behind us!
Arturs stops at the side of the road, and the police officer approaches us. Everybody is wide awake now – especially our non-English-speaking friend in the front seat, who is sitting straight and scared, although he’s not the driver.
Arturs opens the window, and now the police officer can greet a black-painted face with some lighter lines from the drops of sweat. The officer says we’re driving in a restricted area, but Arturs starts explaining that it’s our first time in this foreign country and he didn’t know the roads so well. The officer goes around the car and Laine opens her window as well. After seeing a blond girl, the officer softens a little. Then it`s Martin`s turn. He explains that we’re going home from a Halloween party. All three of us start laughing: “Such a fun party!” The officer continues to speak with us through the window on Laine`s side. He asks if we’ve been drinking. “Yeah, Laine and Martins both have, but the driver not a sip”. How easy it is to convince the policeman! He smiles. Then he knocks at the front window, but our friend keeps staring at one point like hypnotized. Again, we three start joking around just to keep the officer distracted. He doesn’t make us do the breath alcohol test, nor asks for any documents – the man just tells us to get home safely and be careful – the smell of alcohol in the car is quite strong.
We close the windows, Arturs starts the engine, and we breathe a sigh of relief. Pheeeeeew!
Everything is ok. No license lost and nothing bad has happened. But Martin explains our luck – this wasn’t a traffic officer, but a border guard looking for illegal immigrants. We laugh that luckily there’s no one in our car. Then Martin points at our friend in a front seat: “And who do you think he is?” Now we understand the small Mexican behaviour. We almost sent him off to his homeland! Turns out that some men we met in the car workshop and ranch are illegal immigrants. But it’s a happy ending – Arturs keeps his license, and our friend stays in the USA.
And what lesson is learnt? Just go with everything life has to offer. Smile, be happy, be positive! There is no need for frustration or stress – everything happens as it suppose to happen!
It`s necessary to be a little crazy. But very modest. It`s necessary to be reckless. And thankful. Open, but cautious. And all this is taught by the path that hasn`t been taken by countless pedestrians. But the path that is overgrown and leads deep into the jungle. That leads into unknown and unexplored. A path that can only be walked by oneself. And only then those abilities that have been hiding in the deepest consciousness corner appear. Abilities that have never been used. Because they were not needed. But now? Our treasure chest is open. And it`s necessary to share those treasures. We love this opportunity to share with someone. Because there is that someone to share with. So beautiful is the moment when the eyes are truly open. Because it does mean that a new day may start. And new adventures!