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Great adventures lead to great stories

The Fly-by Spy

MEXICO | Thursday, 28 May 2015 | Views [443] | Scholarship Entry

In one of my beautiful days in sunny San Diego (California), I had the idea of making a day trip to Mexico, which was approximately an hour from there.

Yes, I am that kind of restless traveler who does anything (within the law, of course) to get a new stamp from a different country to add to my experiences. Therefore, I put my backpack on and left home by myself, since none of my friends had the courage to go with me that day. That was okay because I did not feel alone at all, I had my best friend and travel partner: my photo camera.

As I got off the train, I went through customs and was already in the iconic city of Tijuana, a place that according to what I had read before could be dangerous, but at that moment I was so intrigued with this adventure that I didn’t even care.

When I got there, I started walking, observing and photographing everything about this new country and its fascinating local scenes. When I realized, I had gone very far and was at a plaza taking photos of this huge Mexican flag. All of a sudden, I flinched when two men approached me. They were two guards from the local army and were staring very seriously at me. One of the guards said to me: ‘’Sir, please follow us’’. I just thought to myself: “What the hell is happening?’’.

I followed them around the block while they wouldn’t say a word. At this time I was already very scared, sweating and thinking: “That’s it. Now I may never come back home anymore.”

The guards walked me to a gate that gave access to what I observed to be an army headquarter. My fear rose. They took me to a superior who was in this creepy room and started interrogating me. He asked me about everything: who I was, what was I doing there, where I was coming from. I had to force my memory back to my Spanish classes to be able to communicate with him – trying desperately to save myself! As I understood, he said that it was a military area where photographs were forbidden. Then he inspected my backpack, got my camera and asked me to show him the photos.

As he saw that my photos were only innocent images of the flag, he said I was free to go (I breathed relieved). Had they really confused me with a spy? As if I could ever pull that off!

The sun was already setting, so I walked straight to the customs and got the train back to the U.S. I felt safer there.

But I never regret anything. I learned the lesson that great adventures lead to great stories and I hope to tell these to my grandchildren one day.

Tags: 2015 Writing Scholarship

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