I pulled into the border parking lot at Los Algodones, strolled through the port of entry and made my way past the hawkers, vendors and beggars to my favorite taco cart. I waited while they fried up the shrimp just for me then assembled the tacos. I ate them slowly, savoring every bite. Then I retraced my steps to a pharmacy where I stocked up on my medications at ridiculously low prices. I moseyed back through the hawkers, vendors and beggars to the border. I was fifth in line. I was stuck behind slow walkers on my way back to the parking lot, but I was in no hurry. I rolled my eyes and shook my head as I approach the Rolling Steel Tent. I had left the engine running. But at least I had locked the doors.
The van engine is rather quiet, and my hearing isn't that great, so if my mind is on other things (like making sure I have my passport) and my automatic pattern of stop, put it in park, turn it off and remove the key it gets sidetracked.
It's not the first time this has happened and it probably won't be the last. That's why I have a spare key hidden under the van.
For those who worry about the wisdom of leaving your vehicle parked at the border, no bad guys came along, discovered my running van, smashed a window and drove away in it.