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My neighbor the truck driver

Alex Vinson

What was all that whirring and buzzing noise coming from downstairs?

My new neighbor from Mexico City was spending a sunny Saturday polishing the fuel tank on his semi tractor.

I introduced myself (against my wife's wishes, apparently there is some kind of discrimination toward those from Mexico City) and we struck up a conversation.

After a week on the road, apparently the gas tank was due for a cleaning.

"That seems like an awful lot of work, only to do it again next week", I say.

"If not for work, what's a man to do?" he answers.

I can tell right away that this guy has some interesting things to say.

From our vantage point on the hill leading up to Guaycura we can see the road that passes through Colonia Murua below.

The military roadblock is set up again. I tell him that I don't think that I will ever get used to the roadblocks. The soldiers are polite enough, but the sight of all those guns scares me just the same.

"I suppose they are looking for drugs again", I offer. "Yes, I suppose so, but it's a waste of time." "Why do you say so?" "The drugs don't pass via the highway, pasan por arriba."

" What do you mean?"

" ARRIBA, by airplane, by the ton."

This is one instance where the less that I know about something, the better off I am.

We compared police corruption stories but we didn't talk politics, lest the Article 33 police come get me.

He then went back to work polishing, polishing, polishing.

It might be a dilapidated, twenty- year old semi, but guaranteed, its got the shiniest gas tank in town.

Published or Updated on: January 1, 2006 by Alex Vinson © 2008
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