Adios Mexico: Once Again, Cab Driver Gets Wheels Turning

I’m having a hard time deciding if I’m hung-over or not.

I might just be tired, but I’m thinking it’s a little bit of both. I’m sipping on a Corona at the Cancun Airport, people watching and organizing my notes for upcoming stories and travels. With each sip I can feel a bit of energy rushing back into my spirit – a sure sign it’s more the booze than a lack of sleep.

Last night, we filmed at the discoteca on-site at the Barcelo Maya, and I definitely needed some liquid encouragement. I haven’t been into that scene since I was a kid (line dancing in grade school to the Macarena, for example), and although I’m trying my best to open myself up to the different cultures of dance, the hip-hop, wall-vibrating, no-conversation atmosphere of the night club does absolutely nothing for me. I’ve given salsa and other forms a fair shake, but these hips don’t lie: I’m a first-rate gringo when it comes to my movements.

I didn’t make as many strides on this trip as I had hoped in terms of my Spanish, however I did just have another epic cab ride (1 hour). The driver didn’t offer me a prostitute like the one a week and a half ago, but we talked the entire way – our life stories, work, routines, the end of the Mayan calendar, sports, how I was sad to leave Mexico, music (even though he can’t understand the songs, he likes Celine Dion, Elton John, Michael Jackson, The Police).

I told him I wished all the people of the world spoke the same language. I said I thought it was a shame that we could only take our chat so far. He spoke no English – zero – and I taught him how to say hello and goodbye, that novia was girlfriend and esposa was wife. We went back and forth practicing greetings and responses, repeating after one another. I had a hell of a time explaining the difference in pronunciation between “well” and my name, Will.

Towards the end of the ride it got a little eerie, as if we were meant to have the conversation. I was complaining about how I wanted so badly for things to be different between Mexico and the United States. I thought about the problems people have accepting diversity, how they’re more interested in arguing opinions than sharing them. I said in Spanish, “Do you think the world will ever change?” With both hands on the wheel, he looked over at me and smiled.

Entonces el hombre me dijo: Nosotros somos el mundo.

I too smiled, and right then, I felt like I was doing my part.

Barcelo Maya Discoteca.

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