An Angel In the Border

An Angel In the Border

It was one of my first export sales. My company had no shipment department to send merchandise to our customers yet, so they usually paid a company to get purchased products at their own business’ doors. However, this time was different. I closed a deal to sell 200 boxes of shoes to a customer living in southern Mexico who did not wanted to pay for shipping service and asked me to deliver merchandise at Tijuana custom office.

It seemed to be easy. I would drive an open truck from Los Angeles to Tijuana and I would leave the merchandise to my buyer in matter of minutes and I would go back home for dinner.

It seemed to be easy, but it was not. My buyer traveled one or two days to reach the US-Mexico border on December 25. Oh! It was Christmas day and life in the border had been stopped for holiday. Of course, the custom office was closed and there was no way to leave merchandise in a safe place. Plus, I did not know who my customer was; I did not know anybody who may help me to find him and it would not to be a good idea to leave the open truck in the American side parking lot while I would try to cross the border.

Perhaps I wasted two hours before I met my customer who did not speak any word in English at the time I did not speak any word in Spanish. We were not able to communicate each other, but the most important issue to solve in that moment was how to cross the truck full of shoes if custom office was closed.

I took my decision. I went back to the American side, I prayed and suddenly a man came from nowhere. I explained him what was happening. He rode the truck with me and we crossed the border to Mexico. Nobody stopped the truck, nobody requested for documents, nobody but my customer was waiting for us.

We were three persons which did not know each other. The man who helped me to cross the border also helped me to translate speech between my customer and I. My Mexican customer needed to find right away a freight service to download merchandise from my truck and the unknown translator stayed with me at least two hours until my client found a safe place to leave merchandise. Later, he went along with me back to the American side, got down from the truck and disappeared in the same way he had arrived. He did not ask me money, he only spent his time helping us and vanished at the border.

R.H./Los Angeles, CA.

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