131. PASSAGES. South Padre Island, Texas. There is a big difference between traveling for vacation versus traveling for education, but against my better judgement I was convinced to do a “sun vacation” on this narrow strip of an island in the Gulf of Mexico. The rain and freezing temperatures forced me to buy a winter jacket on the first afternoon, and I lost the bag with my wallet while doing so. The rest of the week was a frustrating search that made enemies of the hotel staff and half the town. It turned up on the afternoon of the last day, brought to my hotel by the guy who found it, a tough-as-nails Mexican cowboy. I thanked him for his honesty and made some pretentious speech about integrity, but all he said was “I couldn’t keep it. It doesn’t go with any of my outfits.”

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