Border or Bust, Part 8: Blurry Bakersfield and Moving Southward to San Diego

in life •  3 years ago  (edited)

It's been awhile since I've shared the next bit of our on the run tale. We got wrapped up in the flurry of the conference and now it's been nearly a month since I posted the last chapter, the day we found Blimpie in Redding. Many don't quite understand what it means to be on the run, which I understand because it's not a life circumstance most people encounter directly at this point.  During these adventures through California, had a cop run my identity I would have been arrested...sent back to face my charges and prison time. The same goes if I cross that border now. I cannot go back, I want to be clear on that!  We still have warrants for our arrest.  Theoretically, we could be apprehended here in Mexico and returned, although the chances aren't especially high.

Last time, we were out of money in California trying to beg our way to the border. Various friends had told us places to go for the best chance of success but it seems that those places were over grazed for lack of a better term.  There was a huge propoganda campaign in Redding that was anti-spange, which turned what used to be a great spot into a place where you were more likely to get arrested than get paid.  And that was true for many of these money making meccas we were told to hit.  And we only had so many of those in our journey southward.  

According to all of our sources, good spange stopped completely at San Diego and beyond.  The last big area was Bakersfield, which is where we were headed next.  I know some of my readers are particularly excited for Bakersfield in my story but I honestly don't remember it like I do a place like Redding.  By then I was so stressed out at how little money I made that paying attention to where I was wasn't important.  

We were told there wasn't much for money inbetween but we honestly stopped anywhere there was traffic. I'd get out an hold a sign or run around asking, depending on the situation.  Generally I always had the sign held up, but if I was really intending to hold it I always had a can.  More than once people stopped to fill my can with their credit card, which was honestly a huge part of the donations we got through that part of California.  Considering I actually did need gas, I was all for it.

It wasn't without it's near misses.  There were many times I held a sign, to give up just as cops showed up to harrass me.  Many people directly informed me that what I was doing was illegal, regardless of whether or not I had a choice in the situation.  You never knew when cops were going to show.  I was very good at ditching my sign and hiding, a skill I picked up in Redding.  It wasn't easy but it was what I had to do.  

Something I find funny is that some of the most giving people in terms of cash were Mexicans.  I have a memory around the Bakersfield area of seeing a group of 6 chubby Mexican truckers at a truck stop.  I was in the truck mid conversation with John when I jumped out and ran over to them, telling them what I tell everyone else.  Before I had finished they were emptying their pockets.  This was a regular occasion, which is why I went running for them.  We considered it a good sign, considering the only people that seemed interested in helping me happened to descend from the place I was headed to.  It wasn't much, usually a few dollars each at most but the gesture mattered so much that it was worth asking. 

So we hit Bakersfield and continued beyond to San Diego.  We stopped at a few places along the way but we realistically had all but given up on begging, as we were advised not to.  We tried just in case that was the place to try, but it wasn't at the end of the day. It seemed that we were going to have to find other ways to produce capital if we intended to make it over the border, let alone to Acapulco. 

We had put up ads on Facebook requesting help or work and had an offer for some in Texas.  Our goal of a deadline and lack of money to even get there deterred us, so we didn't pursue that option despite the fact that we would have been paid pretty well from my understanding.  I'm glad we just crossed when we did, by the time we did we were nearly loosing our minds with stress.  At any point we could be arrested, especially living on the road like we were.  Every day we remained within those borders was another day we risked losing everything. 

We arrived in San Diego late one night a few nights before we crossed.  This is when we hooked up with out friend who was currently living there.  We visited him in his tiny apartment, if you could really call it that, and discussed what was to come.  He could really feel the weight of what we were going towards as he was an old friend familiar with our background and story. This friend eventually helped us cross realistically and helped us get started here in Mexico, and I'll appreciate that forever.  

There wasn't much for spanging from there on out and my last nights before crossing have been shared previously.  If you remember the story about camping by the border with border patrol joyriding and drones scanning all night long, that happened after this.  We stayed in our truck on the curb of our friends neighborhood that night, worrying us as we expected his neighbors to call the cops on the homeless hippies any second.  We got lucky realistically, and we attempted not to recreate it. 

Our last night was spent on the top of a mountain at an indian reservation, much more peaceful to say the least.  Peaceful as things could be considering the circumstances, however.  We could still get harrassed, although we were likely to be bugged by Reservation police which wouldn't be interested in arresting us, necessarily. We were betting on that anyway.  We weren't bothered though. 

Then we crossed and our adventures post border started.  I remember my adventures through Mexico with a lot more fondness as I had the air of freedom instead of the constant threat of being arrested.  My concern was real life stuff, like how to support myself in Mexico which was a hell of a lot better than "Is there a cop around that corner?"  I've shared some of my adventures through Mexico and I'll get to sharing some more when I get them a bit more organized mentally.

Many people have told me I'm lucky for having made it here in the manner I did.  I'm not so sure luck has anything to do with it.  With street smarts and some guts, just about anyone could do what we did in terms of driving through Mexico on the free roads.  Like much of the fear mongering in Mexico, I think the situation on the free road is vastly overrated, especially for a foreigner.  Most Mexicans had no interest in us.  The ones that showed interest were amused and generally trying to help.  

There was a lot on our minds through all of this and for this reason, it's hard to remember specifics.  I recommend anyone that adventures through Mexico write things down, even if it's just a list of things that happened.  I wish I had done this for the purpose of telling my tale.  Mexico is a huge, diverse and underrated country that is honestly not the scary place it's being put up as in the media.  The crimes here are not more common or more greusome, you just actually hear about them all here (or most of them anyway) wheras much is covered up in the US.  

Mexico is not a utopia, but it was DAMN refreshing compared to what we were dealing with in the US. I've yet to regret my decision to move.  When I encourage people to move here, I want them to understand it's not perfect. It's extremely corrupt, but it is honest about it! There are problems, there are police and government everywhere but they're borderline useless as far as I am concerned.  Their main concern seems to be the cartels to be honest, and that's something most people don't understand.  Mexico is not perfect, but it's better.

The people here are more prepared for whats to come and that's what matters.  The peso is crashing but life churns on here.  In the event of a crash, Mexican's will hold it down and get shit done because they are people with lives to live at the end of the day.  That's why I'm here.  I am here for freedom and because the people give a shit about their lives more so than most of the people in the states.  I wanted to find a society where I could have neighbors in a crash, not people I have to keep away from my shit.

I don't know whats to come, but I feel at home here regardless.  Maybe even more so than in the states.  Mexico might not be for everyone, but it's a good landing zone for people looking to expatriate.  That's all I promise people, it's a good place to start at the very least.

If you're interested in leaving but you've got reasons/excuses to stay, consider our story.  We were in your situation once and made one too many excuses.  If you've got a place to go and a will to do so, try it out because you might be pleasantly surprised at the results.  My regret is not having done it sooner.  Don't hold on to things that might keep you from being free in the long run.  If we can do it, just about anyone could. Just remember that!

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Land of the free, in many ways more free than the USA. There is more petty corruption in Mexico but the US has been rotting from the top down for a long time. People have placed all bets on Trump to clean house but I'm not sure if it's even possible at this point.

I see it all as a game. Things are going to get bad before they get better. I feel safer surrounded by the Mexican people for the most part. That's what matters when moving out of the country, would the people Fuck you over in a collapse or be your neighbor?

Now that's a story! Keep it up and thanks for the follow!