December 3, 2010

Crossing on the Diagonal

 We waited to cross the street—first one set of green lights went, and then the next, but the don’t-walk sign stayed steady. Then a few minutes later all the cars got red lights and the pedestrians all got walk signs and we went every which way. It was quite exciting to discover we were able to avoid crossing two streets by crossing on the diagonal.
the skating rink to be...
 After 11 months in Mexico, I like to feel like I ‘get’ it. I may not speak the language—but I enjoy the culture. It’s an easy going kind of place. But it’s also just a little bit off kilter. It’s the kind of place that sets up an ice rink in the middle of the town square when the daily temp is still hovering around hot—a feat of engineering that both boggles the mind and that will cost more than a typical local can afford.
the old prison, or a museum with no exhibits...

It’s also the kind of place where if you show up at the ex-prison and think it’s a museum, you’ll get a museum tour, even if it’s not a museum, or maybe it is. And the sort of place where you can buy Chinese food in a fabric store and walk home in a parade.
I look at this and think, 'a nice place for lunch'
Paula and I took all the girls for an adventure today. The first stop was to be the museum (which may, or may not be a museum) but we were waylaid by the ice rink that is under construction and first had to ask about that. Paula is Chilean—so for the first time I have someone at my side who can ask all the questions I ponder on a daily basis.

In the grocery store I get her to find out what each mysterious bag contains and what to do with the contents. She also finds out when the buildings were built and what they were used for. She asks what activities are happening and how much they cost.
 But even she gets puzzled by crosswalks that sometimes go every which way, and sometimes not, and by museums that might not be museums, and by restaurants masquerading as fabric stores (or maybe fabric stores masquerading as restaurants) and by parades that come out of nowhere and disappear just as fast.

And in those moments it’s good to know that not even speaking the language will make Mexico make sense. And that I can just go back to enjoying it…

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