The Aftermath…


You probably think I am writing about the election but I am referring to the Super Bowl Finale in Houston, Texas. I work for a variety of companies who organize events here and occasionally am contracted to meet and greet VIPs at the airport. Well this year there was so much work for everyone and from all accounts visitors loved the welcome they received in Houston.

It is a friendly, if ugly as a bug, city and the weather was damn near perfect. The Bostonians must have thought they were in Mexico! One day I worked a 13 hour shift in every terminal (there are 5) and on the drive home, couldn’t remember which foot worked the brake or accelerator. Muscle memory kicked in… There were so many funny moments. Volunteering is very popular in Houston and everyone was represented by ethnicity, disability, age and gender. After 13 hours of little girls cheer-leading at the terminals, I and my colleagues had nightmares about H O U S T O N!!! The older volunteers were just as enthusiastic. I was meeting a VIP coming from Mexico and the volunteers had lined up to greet them, shouting welcome and giving out free maps (with discounts). Watching the Mexican flight, I was curious about the reaction – head down, no thank you – until I realized that they probably thought they were timeshare vendors! As we all know, football is really soccer or ‘futbol’… The American version is based on a very rough Irish game. Oh, I can hear the boos over the internet!

At another terminal, I nearly got a new husband. A handsome silver fox came in with a Stetson, jeans and a BIG belt buckle. I couldn’t resist asking him, “Are you a genuine cowboy?” “Why, yes ma’am, I am”, he responded while doffing his Stetson. We started talking (he was not my VIP) and I found out that he had a farm in East Texas. “Oh”, I said excitedly, “Do you have Brahmins or Longhorns?” By then he had caught the Scottish accent and you could see that I had become his ideal woman. Blonde, with an accent and loves cattle. Given the argument I had with Teddy this last week, I should have taken his card. I am just jesting – 13 hour shifts make one testy…

Like every major city, immigrants come and join in whatever business their countrymen have gone into. After the WWII in Scotland, many Polish people came and set up as cobblers. Jews became tailors and Italians opened cafes. In Houston, Iranian and Iraqi immigrants often become limo drivers. They had all been chatting with me over the days and one Iraqi driver said hello. His cheeky friend asked why I hadn’t said hello to him, so I responded, “Salam Alaikum”. He then accused me of profiling him and we all fell about laughing. It was a light moment in an otherwise somber week at airports. This week I saw some Patriot fans heading home and asked them if they had enjoyed their visit. Their eyes lit up and they said, “Houston is AWESOME!” I laughed, bid them farewell and thought, ‘so you got laid, too’.

The exciting bus ride

cowboy and horse

After walking down along the estuary at San Jose del Cabo we rounded the corner to see the beach. Despite a few modern hotels on the seafront it still has a rugged air of an authentic town. I just loved this shot of the elderly Caballero with his lovely horse (for those of you who watched Father Ted on UK TV my lovely horse will make you laugh). Tourists like to ride horses down the estuary. We were getting tired so stopped at a cafe for coffee. In front of us was a nice older American woman stumbling over her Spanish to order lattes. Her ignorant husband said, “Don’t bother, Honey. They all speak American”. I wanted to go across and slap his stupid face. ‘We speak English, you idiot’, I thought. What would American be, I wondered – an early Mayan or Appalachian dialect? It wasn’t just what he said but the rudeness to his wife and the server.

We drank our coffee and moved on before I created an international incident. Crazed woman attacks another American in Mexico because he was rude.  We eventually got to a large supermarket called Mega. The food was amazing. The seafood and fish counter smelled of the sea and the range of fruit and vegetables was fantastic for a small town. Our long walk was at least 6 miles in the heat so the prospect of going back was daunting. I had already found out that the local bus (No. 6) went past our hotel and was about 70 cents. My husband does not share my enthusiasm for using local buses in strange places…(I am so cheap)

We went to the area where the buses seemed to be stopping. They were all ancient American school buses – some yellow for the urban area and red and white for the countryside. The first bus driver (No. 3) was very eager to help us and we managed to communicate in my bad Spanish. He confirmed that we needed No. 6 and it would be along soon. When it did, I was surprised that the bus driver got out closed the door and disappeared. When he came back zipping up his trousers we realized he had a pee behind the bush. Ah, that brought back happy memories of bus drivers in Scotland. The bus was up to Egyptian standards or perhaps a little below… My husband was so delighted to disembark but I was having great fun – nothing like roughing it. This was our elegant transportation. All that was needed was some chickens in the back. 🙂

bus seats