L’Observateur : Payaso Edition
The land speed record from 15th Street, Austin, Texas to the tunnel that leads to Real de Catorce, Mexico is currently set at 8 hours, 35 minutes – set in 2007 in a Nissan XTerra by yours truly. The second-best time is 8 hours, 50 minutes – set by Michael Osbourne in a Chevy Impala. (Times subject to revisionist history)
Going the other direction is a different story. Going the other direction on the bus is yet another story. I left the house with my bags at around 2:30pm and arrived in Austin at about 1pm the next day – 22 hours, 30 minutes.
On the first leg of the journey there is a little bus that takes you through the tunnel to a bigger bus (because the bigger bus won’t fit through the tunnel) which takes you to Matehuala. Being a Saturday afternoon, there were around 200 people sardined into the hot, un-air-conditioned mini-bus when I got there, and there was no room in the cargo hold for my four bags. So the bus driver helped me lug the luggage onto the sizable dashboard of the bus. As a person standing 6'5" can’t nearly stand up straight on this bus, I decided it was best if I stood on one of the steps into the bus – and was planning to ride there when one last passenger arrived – a clown. A clown whose clown shoes were so big that he couldn’t possibly stand on the lowest step, so I was forced upward into the sweaty throng of people mashed into the bus, standing with my head heavily tilted to the side so as to not incur head trauma from the ceiling during the bumpy ride through the tunnel. This was a real fucking clown car.
After we got through the tunnel, the clown promptly paid his fare on the bigger bus (pictured) and sat down in the seat behind me and fell asleep.
I’ll spare you the grizzly details of the next 20 hours.