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Published: August 8th 2007
Oaxaca Street art
Take another little piece of my bag old lady ....
The longer (size and time) bus takes 8 hours and leaves Puerto Escondido at 22.15pm from the old bus station, which we got to just in time. Stu sat with the bags, I went to check in but we had somehow come to the wrong place. The informant grabbed my hand and in a blind panic we both sprinted 10 ft to the left which was then the right place. Its ok if you miss this bus, like three separate sets of people did that night, they all individually tail gated the coach by speeding taxi, the coach stopped and let them all on at various points on route.
The bus journey was similar to being in the Apollo programme, we took off with the force of a solid rocket booster as we thrusted up hills and around many tight corners, an anti sickness pill would have been a good at this time, a slight over sight on my part in the packing process. The boys driving looked barley legal to hold a licence and throughout the whole night they had an open mike communication with their controller, probably their dad.
We pulled up at Oaxaca bus station at
5am an hour and a half ahead of time and the temperature had dropped considerably too freezing. I gave all 4 shoulder bags to Stu, while I got the bigger backpacks. We were ready to go when we realised one bag had gone, out of all four bags that looked exactly the same they took Stus bag. Apparently during the split seconds from us getting off the bus to us leaving, some very old twinkle fingered wrinkly banditteress asked Stu for the time, therefore diverting his attention from his single most important job at hand. That is all it took. We ran into the station to catch any sightings, not a recognisable shoulder strap in sight, the old lady vanished.
Now our attention was drawn to the inner sanctum of this decrepit bus station, so many homeless bodies sprawled out on the floor, a lot of them were kids, most of the adults resembled motionless corpses covered by one in a million white blankets. For a minute Stu wanted to throttle who ever had done this, but sympathy took hold super quick, which made me see him in a new light, oh well, look at these poor people let
them have it. The only down side for the thief was they didn’t get the various chargers and adapters for the UK appliances for it to have been the perfect steal, as they were all in my bag. 77% of Oaxaca’s population lives in extreme poverty and this morning 2% of them were on the rob the other 75% soundly sleeping in this one bus station.
Less than six hours later and after no sleep for over 48 hours and much running around trying to find the right place to report the incident, a simple cop shop would have been suffice, but because we failed at 6am to report this incident immediately we had to go down another route. We came across ‘The Agente Del Ministerio Publico in street named ‘Murguia’. We sat down with a man from the law enforcement section of the tourist incident desk, who reminded me of a Mexican Windsor Davis, one bushy eyebrow authoritatively cocked upward, moustached and wearing half glasses carefully balanced on the bridge of his nose.
He was to hand type our entire statement on an old fashioned Olympic typewriter that pinged like a microwave at the end of every
Oaxaca Street art 2
writings on the wall
sentence and thudded back to the beginning like a machine gun in full throttle, he translated word for translated word what happened intending to originally use a single slice of blue carbon sandwiched between 2 bits of A4 paper. We listed all that was in the bag, translating the value from UK pounds in to US dollars:
• Black North Face backpack
• MP3 full of new music
• Portable speakers
• Special’ Headphones
• 7.1 mega pixels digital camera, pictures inside (intuitively copied the day before)
• Camera case
• Game boy x 6 games and carry case
• First aid kit pain killers, expensive malaria pills for the year, antibiotics, IV needles
• MY moleskin notebook & foldaway pen
• 1x Acapulco cockatoo beach towel
• 1x Mexico guide book
• Key ring with padlock keys for big backpack, lucky I have the spares.
All this stuff was more convenient than the things I went travelling with 10 years ago, when I travelled with no insurance, yicks! I had one of those chunky wind on camera holding x 4 AA heavy batteries, I carried roles of used and unused film in colour and black &
white. I had a separate video recorder, which was the size of a shoebox, with spare bricks of film cartridge. I had a brick sized Sony walkman using 4 x AA batteries, that clicked and chewed up tapes, I carried only six- 90-minute tapes to listen too and got very bored with them after a short time.
Back then phoning home was an expensive and time consuming task, email was still being developed around here, the long emails Id write while online at 20p a minute written to a couple of mates who owned a computer, but I had no intelligence on how to save the document or attach photos as I didn’t get my proper film developed until I returned home some months later. Normally the power in the street went and nothing was saved let alone sent, just darkness within very frustrating times.
Now I have the best travel insurance, 1 slither of a camera smaller than my hand mirror with a chip that recharges from the mains, stores 10,000 photos in black & white and colour and it can take video footage as well. I can cram 10,000 music albums photos and videos on an
MP3, headphones are powerful, noise cancelling, in ear, sweat proof, head looped pieces of science. Not only can we email with unlimited connection speeds from most funky 3rd world cafes, but also many places have free wireless connections, we can fully document our travel tales with fancy photos and videos for millions to see anywhere in the world.
We don’t even have a mobile phone, we can contact anyone anywhere in the world using Skype, we can see their faces using web cams or write quick messages using MSN messenger or through night dreams/astral projections, telepathy and psychic connections. Gene Roddenberry was a visionary genius. Iv bought postcards here but iv only used them as bookmarks so far!
'You're a materialist, like all ignorant people. But your materialism doesn’t make materialism true. Don't you know that? In the final summing up, it is spirit and dream, thought, love and act that matter' 'The Citadel Of The Autarch' by Gene wolfe.
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