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Sep 06

Farewell Mexico… Farewell.

Crossing the border into Belize

It was a day that I was beginning to think would never come, but after 7 months and 3 days, 7450 km,

approximately 500 riding hours, 17 states, 4 clock changes, 2 pairs of tires, and 32 new unique bottle tops, Tony and I have finally crossed the border into Belize and left Mexico behind on our southward journey to Colombia.As I got stamped out of Mexico for the final time, I chatted with the immigration officers for a while.  It was the same old chat I had already had a thousand times before with a thousand others along the road, but this time I found myself not wanting it to end.  I found myself hesitating at the immigration window – rearranging things in my bag that didn’t need to be rearranged, going through my wallet and throwing out old receipts, taking my gloves off just to put them back on again – but finally I nodded to the immigration officers, exchanged a couple mexican hand-slap fist-bump combos, and said goodbye as I gave Toño a push and rode away.

I’ve written many many times in this blog about how much I love Mexico.  More than anything else though, it has been its people that I have fallen in love with.  I have visited around 50 countries in this world of ours and I always reject questions like “which was your favourite?”.  “None”, I always answer, “each place has something to offer that the others don’t”.  Now though, I have an answer to the question that usually comes next.  “Which country has the most wonderful people?”.

Mexico, definitely Mexico.

I am proud of what Tony and I accomplished here, and I am grateful that we had the opportunity to do it.  From the deserts of Baja California, to the jungles of Campeche, from the field workers in Sinaloa, to the city slickers in Mexico City, Tony and I have gotten to know Mexico more intimately than any other country I have ever been to.  I’ve learned a lot from my time here.  Not only did I learn the spanish language and how to speak Mexican, not only did I learn to make tortillas by hand and salsa from scratch, but I learned a lot about patience, strength, generosity, understanding, openness and respect.

Mexico is a country deeply misrepresented by the world media right now.  Yes, it is true that Mexico has it’s problems – from the drug cartels and corruption in politics to indigenous rights and the growing disparity between the rich and the poor.  Yes, I am fully aware of the complexity of the issues and just how deeply ingrained they are in all aspects of Mexican society.  But people who just point at these problems and say “look at how messed up that country is” don’t know Mexico, and don’t know Mexicans like I do.  I have immense faith in the Mexican people.  When I think of all the individuals I have encountered in the last 7,450 km, I feel a strong sense of brotherly pride for each and every one of them.  In the words of a the tacky 1 peso Oxxo sticker stuck on Toño´s frame:  Mexico creo en ti.  Mexico, I believe in you.

I’m going to miss this country, and I am going to miss all my wonderful friends scattered across the country  from Tijuana to Cancun.  This is why, when I said goodbye to the immigration officers, I didn’t actually say “goodbye”Instead, I considered my words carefully and told them “Hasta la proxima”. 

Until next time.

 

 

1 ping

  1. The End. » Zack Skerritt

    [...] and eventually domineered by the extremely effusive and casual charm that Colombia is famous for.  Back in September I wrote that Mexico has the most wonderful people of all the countries I have ever…; word of that claim must have gotten out because it seemed like Colombia was making a determined [...]

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