MY MEXICAN ADVENTURE
by Kat Martin
I was a college student at the University of California in Santa Barbara. Being from a small town, my first time living away from home and never been to a foreign country, I was extremely naive. A group of us decided we were going down to Ensenada, which as the most adventurous thing I had ever done. I remember the beautiful coastline and going to the famous Hussong’s Cantina. I remember walking on the beach and drinking margaritas and laughing and just having a wonderful time.
There were a mix of guys and gals on the trip, friends from the dorm where we all lived. Everything was going great until it was time to go home. Just as we approached the border, one of the guys--his name was Toby, I think--a big guy with his leg in a cast to mid-thigh, leaned down and said, “I hope they don’t search us. The hubcaps are full of firecrackers and they’re illegal.”
I remember thinking ohmygod, and then, what a bunch of dofusses, but my heart kicked up a little, having heard stories of people being thrown into Mexican jails and not getting out for years.
I was telling myself it was no big deal when one of the border guards asked Brian, the driver, if we were bringing anything back into the country. Brian must have looked guilty when he said no because the border patrol guard waved the car over to the side, and we all got out, and the guards started searching the car.
My heart was beating pretty hard by the time they found the first stash of fireworks, and border patrol was not pleased. They asked if we had any more, the guys lied again, and the guards continued to search, taking the car apart piece by piece and finding firecrackers hidden everywhere.
They were furious. I was petrified by now, in a cold sweat, and if someone had asked me my name, I couldn’t have told them.
This went on for a good half hour (or maybe it was only ten minutes that seemed like an hour) until one of the girls said, “You guys tell them where the rest of the firecrackers are right now! Before we get into serious trouble!”
So the boys finally relented and gave up the cherry bombs, bottle rockets, roman candles and everything else. Some of my tension began to ease. My heart was starting to beat almost normally as we walked toward the car, then good old Toby leaned down and said,
“Good thing they didn’t strip search us--you wouldn’t believe what I’ve got stuffed in my cast.”
How I made it to the car on those wobbly legs I’ll never know. I was so scared I was shaking. To this day, I have no idea what Toby might have had hidden inside his plaster cast or if he was just being funny. I remember he did have a wicked sense of humor.
Over the years, I’ve only been back to Mexico a couple of times, but writing HOT RAIN gave me a chance to live a high action adventure vicariously through Allie and Jake. If you haven’t read the book, I hope you’ll give HOT RAIN a try and that you enjoy it. Very best wishes for a great 2012.