But you know who came to my rescue all three times? Immigrants. Mexican immigrants. None of them spoke a lick of the language. But one of those dudes had a profound affect on me.
He was the guy that stopped to help me with a blow out with his whole family of 6 in tow. I was on the side of the road for close to 4 hours. Big jeep, blown rear tire, had a spare but no jack. I had signs in the windows of the car, big signs that said NEED A JACK and offered money. No dice.
Right as I am about to give up and just hitch out there a van pulls over and dude bounds out. He sizes the situation up and calls for his youngest daughter who speaks english. He conveys through her that he has a jack but it is too small for the Jeep so we will need to brace it.
He produces a saw from the van and cuts a log out of a downed tree on the side of the road. We rolled it over, put his jack on top, and bam, in business. I start taking the wheel off and, if you can believe it, I broke his tire iron. It was one of those collapsible ones and I wasn't careful and I snapped the head I needed clean off. Fuck.
No worries, he runs to the van, gives it to his wife and she is gone in a flash, down the road to buy a tire iron. She is back in 15 minutes, we finish the job with a little sweat and cussing (stupid log was starting to give), and I am a very happy man.
We are both filthy and sweaty. The wife produces a large water jug for us to wash our hands in.
I tried to put a 20 in the man's hand but he wouldn't take it so I instead gave it to his wife as quietly as I could. I thanked them up one side and down the other. I asked the little girl where they lived, thinking maybe I could send them a gift for being so awesome.
She says they live in Mexico. They are here so mommy and daddy can pick peaches for the next few weeks. After that they are going to pick cherries then go back home.
She asks if I have had lunch and when I told her no she gave me a tamale from their cooler, the best fucking tamale I have ever had.
So, to clarify, a family that is undoubtedly poorer than you, me, and just about everyone else on that stretch of road, working on a seasonal basis where time is money, took an hour or two out of their day to help some strange dude on the side of the road when people in tow trucks were just passing me by. Wow…
But we aren't done yet.
I thank them again and walk back to my car and open the foil on the tamale cause I am starving at this point and what do I find inside? My fucking $20 bill!
I whirl around and run up to the van and the guy rolls his window down. He sees the $20 in my hand and just shaking his head no like he won't take it. All I can think to say is "Por Favor, Por Favor, Por Favor" with my hands out.
Dude just smiles, shakes his head and, with what looked like great concentration, tried his hardest to speak to me in English:
"Today you…. tomorrow me."
Rolled up his window, drove away, his daughter waving to me in the rear view.
I sat in my car eating the best fucking tamale of all time and I just cried. Like a little girl. It has been a rough year and nothing has broke my way. This was so out of left field I just couldn't deal.
In the 5 months since I have changed a couple of tires, given a few rides to gas stations and, once, went 50 miles out of my way to get a girl to an airport. I won't accept money. Every time I tell them the same thing when we are through:
"Today you…. tomorrow me."
Me and my dad always pick up hitchhikers, always have and always will. We decided we where going to drive down to El Paso (from Salt Lake City) to see Tom Waits live, so obviously in the spirit of things… we where going to grab everybody we could.
On the way we saw 2x young punk kids outside of Phoenix, so we grab them, turns out they're on their way to stand outside the concert hall that Tom Waits was playing at. This made us feel awesome.
The 2nd set of people where 2x people who lived in the boondocks of nowhere. I believe they where 90+ and all they where doing was getting groceries, one of them was in world war 2, and they seemed happy as shit just baking in the sun waiting for a ride. This made us feel awesome.
The 3rd was a Hispanic dude in a broken down vehicle with 2 other Mexican dudes. He made the motions and implied it just ran out of gas.
We're in the boondocks still, nothing around for fucking miles. We take him all the way to the gas station and buy him a thing and a gallon of gas and as soon as my dad hands it over he goes through his broken English and says "Thanks yous" and what not, then the mother fucker just starts walking back towards his car like a champ. I'd say how far it was but I'm not good with distance, and there's no way I would walk the distance in the hot sun.
So we grab him and shuffle his ass back to the car and give him a ride back to his car. (I think it was about a 15 minute drive on freeway.)
When we finally drop him off… and I'll never not hear this in my head when I think about it… he said in the best English that he knew "I… I… thank you… I… I love you."
Best road trip of my life.
Edit: LOL, I'm at work and I started crying when I had to retype this.
P.S. My Dad is awesome, I never learned how to work with my hands or anything, but he taught me how to be an awesome person.
Post imported by Google+Blog for WordPress.