Thursday, January 3, 2013

Waiting for Josh: A travel lesson, again.



We are home from San Miguel, safe and sound in Sylvania, with some great new memories.  Now I can tell this story.  I wrote it last Sunday, about a moment of anxiety, well, for a few hours. This is what happened, and how I felt then:
Josh at B&B Don Quixote.

Josh decided to walk back to the B&B from Starbucks at the Jardin, and he’s been gone over an hour.  I’m here to get online, check email, finish writing and posting another blog, and I’m taking too long. “I want to go back to the B&B,” Josh said.   “I’m almost done,” I responded, “and it’s a winding road.”    

“I know where I’m going,” he insisted. 

“Are you sure? Go down to Zacateros and to San Antonio and you’ll recognize the landmarks, right?”

“Yeah, right, I know Nana.  Trust me.  I know where I’m going.”

Hmm.  I want to trust him.  But now I’m getting a bit nervous.  The young Mexican man across the table from me notices it.  He saw Josh take off, and overheard our conversation I guess, and understood and spoke English fluently, as it happens.

“It’s hard to get lost in San Miguel,” he said, smiling. 

“So you can see I’m wondering where my grandson is!”

"Yes,” he said.  We chatted. He’s from Mexico City and his family has always spent Christmas in San Miguel. He goes to the University of California at Santa Cruz, and loves it.  “Not cheap, but beautiful! I love America.”

“Where are you from,” he asked.

Ohio, Toledo, Ohio.” 

“Oh, I like Ohio. I visited Fostoria once!”

So we had a lovely chat.  But I decided to pack it up and look for Josh around Starbucks and the Jardin.

I’m back at Starbucks.  Waiting.   I’m thinking: I gave him 20 pesos when he left here, but I should have given him 30 pesos, so he could always hop in a taxi and find his way.

 A basic instinct for reassurance surfaces.   

I look out the window of Starbucks.  The Jardin is crowded, a typical Sunday, even more so because tomorrow night is New Year’s Eve. It’s hopping. It’s sunny, warm and bright out, and everyone is enjoying the day. Josh can’t be lost.     

I decide to go to the police and see if they can check the B&B.  They don’t speak English.  Told me to go next door to the Tourist center.  I did, and they called Maria, the owner of the Don Quijote B&B; she  went to check on Josh.  Yep, sure enough, he was there, playing games on his iphone. She put Josh on the phone.

“Josh!  I thought you were coming back to Starbuck’s.  I’ve been waiting 2 hours for you.”

I wonder where my Nana is.
“Nana, I never said that.  I’m here waiting for you!”

Got it.  Lesson learned, again: you can’t be too explicit or clear about meeting arrangements.  How many times do I have to learn this? And actually the young Mexican man was right: it’s hard to get lost in San Miguel!   
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