Roberto and Mazatlan

The last 4 nights in Mazatlan i spent at the 'Mexican hotel', it was clean-ish, had a shower and cost very little. The evening Spanish-English lessons went on after 'Happy Hour' at the bar but turned often onto other topics like his family or how i was missing my daughter, i'd never been away from her for a month before, we talked on the phone a few times during the adventure but...compared to Roberto who was away for almost a month every month from Nov. 'til May through the winter tourist season my whining was foolish. i couldn't imagine how tough this guy was inside.

Most days i'd take a bus out from the beach area an then walk through a different part of the city from morning 'til mid afternoon. A couple of days i walked the beach for miles. i'd shower then head for the bar where i'd run a tab for food and beer through the evening. At the end i'd get a bill that was only a fraction of what it should have been. i paid the bill then tipped the waiter-bartender-busboy as much as i could. We never talked about the bills outload but this was undoubtedly more help from Roberto. He did say a couple times that everybody working at the bar-restaurante lived by eating the kitchen's leftovers and that the cooks made lots of extra for everybody.

Mexicana Airlines sure was great to me, they had handy little in-town offices and changed things around for me a few times including here. On one of my walks i went by a Supermarcado, a Mexican department store and bought a doll, doll clothes and a baseball for Roberto's kids. He left late the day before i did. i forced him to take all the rest of my Mexican and some of the US money i had left for his family. Roberto was 30, i was too.

i left the hotel real early the next morning. This time i was taking the metro bus to the aeropuerto cause i was almost broke. Flying from Mazatlan through LAX, then on to Vancouver, through customs, through the city, catching and riding the ferry takes a huge day. During the the trip there was plenty of time to look back. i'd been gone a month though it seemed far longer. i'd learned some things about the inequality on life in Mexico, about the beauty, beaches, food, people, cities and little towns there. i learned flying didn't get me to the little places i'd liked the most. i learned i wanted to drive next time.

i went through Mazatlan 3-4 more times on different road trips in the coming decades. i always searched for Roberto but without success. i've always hoped that he earned-saved enough money to move back to the farm and his extended family, that all was well for him. But that's just my fantasy-hollywood ending and there aren't now and wasn't then very many happy endings  for the poverty stricken majority in 'ol Mexico.