This is the single story of a single baby boomer on a single night in Mazatlan, Mexico, where she lives. Kerry Baker, who has written for Forbes and Huffington Post, has written for BoomerCafé about being a baby boomer who knows how to make the best of a bus ride.
The water taxi that I take to my gym in Mazatlan, Mexico, a five-minute ride, operates only until 7:30 pm, forcing me to return to the house that I share with a friend— it’s on the beach in northern Mazatlan — on the late evening bus.
“It’s a good thing you’re so white,or I wouldn’t have seen you!” exclaims the bus driver as I step on board outside my gym. His expression immediately turns sheepish, concerned that he has blurted out a racist remark instead of stating the mere fact of my spectral image, like the Ghost of Christmas past, waving him down from the side of the road.
Buses here will stop practically anywhere, anytime, but at this time of night they sometimes zoom by me as they compete with one another for the nocturnal finish line.
My dancing by the side of the road seems to help, any sense of personal dignity dissolved by the anonymity of the darkness and the workout at a 95-degree dew point. Tuning in to invisible headphones, I wave my hands above my head in tandem to whatever song I can’t get out of my head that day. The drivers are usually laughing when I board, a nice way to start the ride.
These late evening bus rides have become one of my favorite parts of the day. Often the bus is empty. I sit in the front passenger seat, my eyes glued to the road with the driver’s, like my uncle’s Irish setter used to do from the front seat of the Ford Explorer back in Colorado.
[Kerry’s website is VentanasMexico.com]
Not long ago I stepped on with Madonna’s “Material World” playing solidly through the bus driver’s personal music player. I had never realized what a hard song it is to sit still to. What began as a little mutual head-bobbing ended up with us belting out the refrain, humming audibly to the same missed words. I thanked him as I boogie off. He grins and waves.
A few nights before, I took one of the non-air conditioned buses, which I normally avoid, that travels with all the windows open. As we sped along the mostly deserted section of highway toward my community of Sabalo Cerritos, we passed a peloton of road bikers, their red seat-lights flashing reassuringly in the darkness. The open windows allowed a moment of waving and cheering as we all continued our journey together.
Follow Kerry online.