This one goes way back. I honestly don’t recall for sure, but I’m thinking close to 20 years ago in Mexico City.
It reminds me of likely one of the first times I was traveling in a country I wasn’t familiar with… where I didn’t speak the language or know much about the culture… sweating like crazy from the heat and fear adrenaline.
I’d been told there were many areas in Mexico City that I really shouldn’t be wondering around as a foreigner, but I couldn’t find out for sure where those areas were. Just went with my gut and started wondering around the areas that had those invisible voices from somewhere other then the hear and now… ghosts perhaps.
There were a couple of burly Mexican dudes who tried to figure out what I was doing in their hood and also trying to get me to go inside one of these dilapidated buildings for a “tour”.
The whole scene was looking grim for me, but at some point something switched in my brain. It was as if I realized I really didn’t have control of this situation at all, nor any situation for that matter… that everything was completely out of my hands for the most part. I could either be afraid and hide out in the safer areas for the rest of my life, or I could accept the fact I have no control over any of the story that plays out before me.
I decided to let my intuition be my guide and that it was too damn hot to be sweating any more from the fear. It was about that moment that the angst likely disappeared from my face and the burly gang leaders could tell. This crazy gringo is no longer afraid.
A couple other street thugs approached me as well, but I didn’t flinch. I looked them all in the eyes with the faith of blind trust. The burly dudes stepped up, and signaled to the newcomers, “Leave this one alone. He’s ok.” And then they all stepped back and let me pass. I believe it was shortly a half block or so from there that I saw this amazing Mexican jalopy, and I no longer had fear.