After some desperate efforts at communicating, consisting of a massive amount of gesturing, some of the passengers joined in. Eventually I understood I had left my bag next to the boulder. I gasped and ran out to rescue my canvas tote. "Muchas gracias," I repeated breathless.
"De nada, Señora.” I turned to choose a seat, and a dozen or so smiles and friendly nods greeted me. These strangers cared I had recovered my treasure and were sharing in
Is Mexico dangerous? Well, maybe, but not these happy faces.
Another day, I sat on the same rock waiting for the bus to El Centro, the center of town, to meet a friend for lunch at the Café Santa Ana. Arriving early, I leisurely perused a few flyers on a nearby counter. Once I relaxed into a chair at our reserved table, I reached for my computer bag, first on one side then the other. I checked the floor and bent to look under the table. It was not with me. Since I had lingered over pamphlets, I had little hope my laptop could be recovered.
I must have left it next to the boulder again.The pulse in my ears pounded, my chest tightened, and my body ran hot and cold. The only thing to do is take a cab back. Could it possibly, miraculously still be resting near the stone?
As the taxi turned onto my street, the stone seat came into view. My chest deflated. Nothing there.
I had the cabbie wait for me in case I left it in the house. I bolted up the stairs to my bedroom. Nothing. On my way out, I searched the living room and kitchen, but to no avail.
Distraught, we left for the café. As we slowy rolled forward, I heard someone knocking on my window. An elderly Mexican woman peered in at me. Three young school age children stared from behind her. What could she want with me?
She spoke at lightening speed. Through all her rapid fire speech, though, I detected the word computadora.
“Computer?" I asked.
"Si Señora." She reached into the backpack of the oldest child and removed the aqua bag containing the device. She had spotted it, picked it up, and started walking around looking for the owner.
I sprang out the car, chanting, muchas gracias, due to my limited Spanish, that's all I could think to say. I hugged her and all the children. Back in the car, I waved goodby until they faded out of sight. Once I turned forward, through the rear-view mirror I spied the driver’s eyes widen as he shook his head. He opened his mouth to say something, but nothing came out. He was dumbstruck.
And so was I.