SNAPSHOTS OF EL PASO
Sylvia, my host in El Paso, cuts the core from strawberries before she blends them in our ‘shake’. According to her, everyone in the USA does it.
‘Not Mexico,’ she adds.
‘Not Australia,’ I shrug.
Apparently, that strawberry core contains bacteria that causes migraines.
Urban myth or stark reality?
Yesterday, a dust storm stole the land.
By mid afternoon, there was nothing left of El Paso but a windy blur in town – no jagged mountains corralling the town, no Mexico on the next hill.
Oh, and I found out why it seems like they hardly see strangers in this town.
All those swivelling heads my way, as if I’m a barkin’ stranger even though I haven’t opened my mouth?
‘It’s cos you’re white,’ says Jim, Sylvia’s husband.
According to Jim, of El Paso”s 15% non-Hispanic community, very few are blonde.
Well, there you have it.
Not just stranger, white stranger.
And yay! It’s dawn in El Paso, because technically I’m on Day 5, and I’m sittin’ in Starbucks again milking their free internet and drinking sugary water masquerading as soy chai latte – and there is Texas country music on the stereo.
And soon I’m off to White Sands for the day with Jim and Sylvia – an ancient ocean in the middle of the Texan desert.
The wheel turns.