Friday, February 3, 2017

Illogical Maps and Glass Shards

Man, I am so ready to be finished writing my saga. Yet here I am, hammering out one of the last blogs in this series when I should probably be doing something more productive.

In the last segment of my tale, we left off with me lying in my hotel room watching Coraline and drifting in an out of delirium because of my sheer depletion of nutrients and, therefore, energy. I was truly shocked by the amount I could sleep in my state of illness- I must have gotten 15 hours or more of shut eye. Even upon waking at nine to get ready to head to the passport-pickup location, I felt drowsy and as if I could sleep another 15 hours. The woman at the consulate told me to go to the passport pickup place at 10, as that is when they are typically delivered.

I got dressed, grabbed enough money for the cab, and put the map to the passport place in my pocket. I showed the map to the first cab driver I could wave down, and for a good five minutes he just stared at it, his eyes furrowed in confusion. He informed me that he knew the general area, but had never heard of the business.

The maps I was given in Mexico seriously baffled me. Some gave incorrect directions entirely, while others, like the one the cab driver was holding, had certain sections scaled down smaller than others for no apparent reason. Also surprising was the cab drivers' lack of knowledge of the city in which they worked.

He drove to where he thought we were going with one hand on the wheel and one holding the map. The way cab drivers drove down there was ever-so-slightly concerning, one of them texting the entire time without even attempting to hide it. Our journey to passport pickup place took around fifteen minutes. He handed the map to me, and based on landmarks written on the map, I realized that we had allegedly arrived. I couldn't see the sign for the shop, however, and I should have waited until I actually knew where I was going before I got out of the cab, but I didn't wait. I figured with the map showing exactly which two shops it was between, I'd be able to find it quite easily.

I think I've got you all trained by now to expect that essentially nothing I had to do on this trip was easy at all, and finding the passport place was yet another one of those things. I looked at the map and  saw Bancomer, then directly next to it, according to the map, was the passport place. Once I reached the restaurant on the map, I had gone too far. I felt so unbelievably confused. The lady at the consulate the day prior specifically told me it was between the bank and the restaurant, but all that was there was a row of abandoned-looking buildings. I wandered back and forth for at least 15 minutes, squinting at every sign on every door to see if I had somehow missed it.

I finally caved and asked a lady cleaning outside of a store if she had any idea where the place was. She looked at the map with a puzzled expression and said she had no idea, but that the man selling mangoes on the street corner a few feet to the left would know for sure as he had been the corner-mango-selling-dude for many years and knew the area well. I walked over to him, ready to collapse from my physical weakness and my frustration, and showed him the map. He said that the street on the map used two different scales and so the four lines depicted on the road were meant to be four entire blocks. Why?? I mean, if you are going to make an illogical map like that, at least add a small explanation about it. So, I walked back the direction I had already gone, this time really staring at all of the buildings and looking inside each one.

The four lines next to the highlighted square apparently represent four  blocks

FINALLY, I came across an abandoned looking office building with the tiniest sign written in marker on construction center saying SMC, the name of the passport pick up. I could't even believe that that was the place. Inside was one lone employee sitting behind one lone desk starting blankly at the floor. She asked me if I had come for a passport, I said yes, and she told me they were running late and to come back in a half hour or so. Of course.

I decided to take a little stroll, in spite of the sketchy look of the area in which I wandered. I mean, I had basically no valuables on me, and was ready to mace anyone in the face or stab him or her in an instant if he or she tried anything. My legs were so wobbly from lying around in bed for almost three days straight, so I had to take a seat for a bit and rest. Honestly, I felt like a newborn giraffe as it tries to learn to walk and starts stumbling about awkwardly, all four legs shaking, until it teeters over or run into something. 


I popped a squat in the cleanest looking grass patch I could find and called my friend back home, trying to kill time. Across from me, a wall covered in graffiti with a tall gate chained shut loomed tall. As I looked closer at the wall, I realized that shards of glass were poking out the top of the entire wall. Curiosity washed over me; what could possibly be behind an ominous wall like that. I eagerly waited as I watched an employee walk towards the gate to unlock it. However, he opened it just enough for him to slip through to the other side. 




I got over my curiosity, checked my watch, and decided I'd head back to SMC to see if the passports had arrived early. About five minutes after I walked in the door, a truck pulled up to the store. The man came in with a stack of envelopes. He laid them on the desk in front of the lady at the desk. She looked through them one by one, my anxiety growing exponentially as none of the envelopes contained my name. She continued to sift through, and I began to panic.

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