Saturday, May 12, 2012

Why We Live in Mexico, Reason #16

Because you can go out to a junky antique shop in the countryside to pick up old irons for bookends, a huge slab of mesquite for a table, a red metal birdcage to fill with tall candles, and afterwards you sit under a blue Pepsi tent to shade yourself from the sun and order a crazy hamburger with cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise ($1.10) and two super-cold Modelos ($0.95 each) and eat them while dust is blowing across the highway and your view is of the same kind of roadside stand across the street, with its cinder block walls and its signs for carnitas and tacos and cold beer, and a truck might roar by and it will get even dustier for a minute, or two kids on a donkey may trot in front of your table, the boy at the back just five years old and barefoot, and an old man might stop for two small bags of Cheetos, leaving his wheelbarrow with its broken front wheel and filled with chunks of freshly cut wood and a machete right next to your table, and while he tries to open his bag with very bent fingers and long, dirt-filled nails you go back up to the counter and buy him a Coke and when you give it to him, before he downs it in one long, delicious swallow, he says to you in heavily accented English, "thank you."

Friday, May 11, 2012

Why We Live in Mexico: Reason #159

Bo: "We found an old tennis ball at school today and there was just no end to the entertainment."

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Do You Have The Time?

Yesterday Sam and I took our pooch, Nacho, out for a walk in Parque Landeta, a vast, arid and now incredible baked piece of land about 10 minutes from our house. It's bordered on one side by the Botanical Gardens called Charco Ingenio and on the others by campo--shepherds and country folk tilling their land and living in small pueblos.  There once was a large presa (dam) in the middle, but it's so dry here that it's completely cracked and brown and you can walk across it with its tiny yellow wildflowers blooming in the crevices.  

So we're strolling together, Nacho trying to round up a a flock of dirty sheep, though his timid barks didn't stir them at all.  We come across an old Mexican woman, brown and wrinkled, sitting under a tree in the middle of nowhere.  Though it's about 90 degrees in the sun it's shady under her mezquite tree and she has on her requisite shawl on and a plastic basket of vegetables at her feet.  As we pass she asks me what time it is.  When I tell her 4:30pm she gives me an enormous smile with the whitest teeth I have ever seen on a Mexican country person.  Sam notices too and says, "That woman had the most perfect teeth."  We keep walking.

Exactly nine minutes later we cross paths with a man riding bareback on a beautiful white horse.  He too asks me what time it is, calling out and pointing to his wrist.  I tell him, "4:39."  He thanks me, kicks his horse in the sides, and gallops off across the dry presa.  The horse is going so fast that before I know it the man is out of sight, beyond the cattails and the tall bamboo that used to grow around a small island that is no more.  Sam says, "Wouldn't you like to know where he's going, what exactly he's doing?  You know there's some story behind all of this."