๐— ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐˜€โ€™๐˜€ ๐—ฆ๐˜๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐˜†, 4/7, Arriving in Madera

After spending the night in San Diego, the coyote picked us up. There wasnโ€™t enough room inย  the car and so dad went in the trunk all the way to Pacoima (LA). I canโ€™t imagine what those 90 minutes must have felt for dad! We were put up in a hotel at about nine in the morning. A man met the coyote there. The coyote left and told the man to bring us food. Six hours later, the guy had not returned. We were starving! So, dad decided to go find us something to eat. At the hotel lobby, dad met the coyote who was coming to check on us. He reprimanded dad for leaving the room but then grew furious that his man neglected us. Dad and the coyote returned with sandwiches and fruit. I had never seen or heard of a sandwich. I took a big bite and immediately spit out the food. I had never tried mayonnaise. To this day, mayonnaise is one the two most disgusting smells and tastes to me. There was no way for me to eat it. So, I had to settle for an apple and banana. I donโ€™t recall what we had for dinner and we spent the night there.ย 

The following morning, we left the hotel en route to Madera. This time, dad rode shotgun. I recall that it sprinkled intermittently as we went up the 99 and across the San Joaquรญn Valley. At 10:30 AM, Saturday March 2, we arrived at the house that we were to call home for the next 8 years. The house was old and made of wood painted a sort of crimson red with white trim. Until then, I had never seen a house made of anything else other than brick or adobe. The floor was wood and I had only seen dirt floors. I had never seen a toilet, light bulb, fridge, stove or sink. Everything was strange rather than exciting. 

The house was shaped like an L. On the short leg of the L, lived Salvadorโ€“a cousin of my motherโ€™s. He died last year, by the way. Back in 1974, he was about 6-2, thin, had light brown hair and blue eyes like my grandfather Juan. 

Salvador quickly fried beans and warmed up tortillas for us. The beans tasted like those back home but I had never had anything else but homemade tortillas. These round flat things did not taste at all like tortillas, however. It was the start of lots of adjustments.

Friday is Part 5: Why did we come to the US

Previous post: Crossing the border

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