So as of last Friday we had been in Laredo a couple days just gathering some forgotten items locally, acquainting ourselves with fellow crews and preparing to go to the boarder to get our documents in line. Laredo Texas is very much a working class town with the extra element of being a border town so it has a very strange mood in general. Regardless Friday afternoon our entire group traveled to Mexico by cab to get our visas and attain our Automobile permits to cross the trucks/cars/trailers. It was quite a mix of fellow people from all walks of life and from all over the world for that matter. I the while I was a bit nervous, not because of the border crossing but because I knew that Mexican law only permits one car to cross the border per person and I was going to attempt to get thee across (truck/trailer and Alfa). Mark had pre-registered and attained permits for the Alfa and trailer bit being that he had very recently purchased the Ford, he did not receive the title in the mail in time to temporarily sign it over to me so that I could cross the truck over in to Mexico as my own as law requires. We hoped we could slip through the check by having Mark sign a letter giving me permission to bring another person’s vehicle into the country. When I finally approached the border agent, I was very quickly turned down and denied permission to bring the truck in. I asked to speak to a supervisor in hopes to be able to explain my situation, supervisor quickly turned me down, shit! Well I had no choice but to turn back to Laredo and try again later.
My second attempt was a lot more of an adventure Mainly because I had no choice but to try again and this time I was by myself and it was well past dark. Now Mexico/USA borders are always somewhat “sketchy” places in my opinion, but the Laredo border at night, is a lot like the cantina in Star Wars. My hopes that I would arrive to the transportation office and see a new set of faces after a shift change, but to my horror it was the exact same people who had turned me down earlier in the day, shit again! I waited in line anyways, and asked to talk to the supervisor. Supervisor came down, this time he quickly became angry with me. I pleaded with him that I had no other options and I HAD to get across, I asked him if there was ANYTHING I could do and this is where the story got interesting. He told me that there was someone above him and I could talk to this person above him if I was willing to wait. Minutes later I was waiting in a hallway inside the building and a Benicio Del Torro in the movie Traffic looking character came down in plain clothes walked up behind me and tapped me on the shoulder and says “I heard you have a problem” (en Espanol). I asked him quietly if he worked here, and he replied yes, “let’s go for a walk” he says. I walked next to him as he talked under his breath, he asked me to explain my situation, and it very quickly became clear that he was asking for some $$$ to solve my problem. We negotiated a rate and I asked him where he wanted payment, he told me to go back and wait in line and this time he assured I would not be denied. He also told me to meet him outside the building down by the “Rio” after I get my paperwork so that I could pay him. Outside by the Rio was a dark place away from government cameras, it was sketchy as hell but I got my permits!