In 2007 after 3 months spent in the USA, I had to leave the country and go to Mexico. My visa was expering because of my mistake on the calculation of the visa duration (3 months vs 90 days), and I was about to be a clandestine in the States. I was not supposed to be admitted back in the USA, if not after first going back to my home country, but since I already had a non changeable flight to Italy leaving from Phoenix, AZ, bought some months before, I tried anyway the adventure. Here are some colorful stories told with the emotions and feeling of that time, since I'm pasting an e-mail I wrote to my friends.
Nogales, a border town stolen from a song of Manu Chao
"The travel from Mexico to Phoenix wasn't very calm. Our bus was inspectioned by Mexican Army and American patrol, so we had almost 2 hours of delay. At the border I was able to obtain a Visa to enter again in the US, after 2 deep interviews, inspection of my videocamera's videos and of all my baggages. But they gave me only one day of permit restricted to Phoenix Airport and they told me "We give you another change, but pay attention, don't do it again!!". The week in Mexico was a mix of relaxing, funny and scaring. I stayed in the state of Sonora that isn't touristic at all. I mean...I was the only tourist! In Nogales I slept in a very cheap hotel, found with the "help" of a man following me from the border to the immigration office, to the Atm. Eventually I had to give him 5 dollars. But can I call it hotel? No, I can't. Twenty dollars for a room with 3 beds, I had no key, the windows were broken and I had to wait because at 9 PM the room was still dirty! And also after cleaning, the beds weren't really clean, so I slept in the sleeping bag closing the holes in the windows with a blanket. Girls waiting in the corridor, probably prostitutes. During the night I was waken up 3 times. Twice was an Hotel employee talking in spanish. I didn't understand what he was trying to tell me. Probably he just wanted to see if I was away to steal something. The third time was a man with only one arm asking me for 50 Pesos. You can guess that it wasn't a really relaxing night. The morning after I escaped from this sick city, thanks to a ride that a kind girl gave me in the back of her truck till the "Central camionera". And she left me also the phone of one of her friends in Hermosillo!"
Hermosillo: where is the party?
"So I went to Hermosillo, capital of Sonora. But there wasn't much to see, and I didn't meet much people around. Also the "supposed" nightlife zone was completely desert. Finally I went to the tourist office to ask for a bus away from Hermosillo. And this was the funniest part of this city. It was in a government building, but also inside the construction itself, nobody knew where was the tourist office. Finally 2 guys found it reading all the plans. They brought me there and walking trough several offices I finally arrived to Patricia. She was assigned to tourist informations. But she didn't know how to answer my questions, and she just read from the guide. I mean...I can do it by myself! But at least she was a very cute girl, very kind and she spoke english! And to find someone that speak english in Mexico is very hard! Probably I was the fist tourist in Hermosillo, ever. And in fact Patricia offered to pick me up with her government car and brought me to take my stuff in the hotel, to see what I still was missing of Hermosillo, and then to the bus station."
A beautiful sunset in Bahia de Kino
"Next city was Bahia de Kino. Reading a flyer I took in Nogales it was supposed to be the best, funniest sea city of Mexico. When I arrived here I found only one paved road and many little dirty streets from the main street. It wasn't a "cool" place as described, but at least a very mexican style spot. Mexican classical music all around (I found it everywhere in Mexico not only here) and mexican people. Whatever you ask for in Mexico you will be asked to pay. So I had to pay 20 pesos to a man that just showed me where my hotel was. I then walked several miles along what seemed to be a nice and quiet beach until I met 2 guys fighting with punches and throwing big rocks each other. After that, a man that was following me for a long time started to call me. Fearing bad intentions I stopped next to a group of people, but he revealed to be a University teacher from Puebla searching for someone to chat with. So we kept on walking and we saw an amazing sunset."
Chilling out in San Carlos
"The day after I went to San Carlos, still souther in Sonora State. Another sea place, where I decided to stay until the end of the trip. I got off from the bus and I got into a restaurant with wireless connection to search for an hotel. I made aquaintance with the Mexican restaurant's owner and his friends from US. We started to talk and then I was invited to hold on to wait an italian guy that was arriving. They seemed friendly, so at the beginning I accepted. After a while I went to the restrooms and while going there, I was stopped by one of these guys that told me something like "Hey if you want you can stay in my house for tonight, I've 2 free rooms. But you have to know that I'm gay. I won't touch you but you will have to get naked in front of me". Obviously I refused the offer, not only because I'm not gay; I wasn't there to sell my body for a room!! After that I found an excuse to leave the company and reach my hotel. A very nice and cheap place with a patio and nice people. Not many but enough. I spent these days with two canadian guys Simon and Jeff and Juan Carlos the hotel owner, going to the beach, playing freesbe and beach volley, hanging out and exploring the surroundings. Juan Carlos was a very weird subject, driving his car at maximum 15 miles per hour while eating chocolate, listening to metal music and talking about energy and vibrations.
After that my travel back in Rome started. But you already know about it. So, that's all folks!"