07 January 2007

A night of suspended action

The toilet broke and we had to buy a new one. Painful for our ever lighter wallet, but better for the apartment. The only problem is that they couldn't finish putting it in today so we have to stay at Toño's parents house for the next two nights.

While walking and driving around, I've notcied more this time than any other time I've been to Mexico that there is a huge American influence here. Everything that we've bought so far is in Spanish and English, Shops in English, restaurants with English names and American stores (Wings, 7/11, AM/PM, KFC, McDonalds, Starbucks, Carl's Junior etc). Obviously I'm aware of the imperialism that we Americans impose on all countries and cultures....I'm quite aware that there is a McDonalds in just about every country but still it makes me sad and a little angry. At the same time, I wish there were certain stores here like Cold Stone (oh how I miss that ice cream....although nothing compares to a mango with chile ice cream) and Urban Outfitters, even though they would never survive here.

I'm even infected with the imperialistic disease. I told Toño the other day that I wanted to teach the kids English, he pointed out to me that it was a bit of a colonialistic idea....it certainly was.

I love going to the crowded markets. Everytime we needed something for the toilet today, I volunteered to go with who ever was going to the market to buy....It's a huge out-door market called San Cosme that we literally live across the street from. They sell everything from $2 pirated movies to clothes to make-up and puppies. It's a beautiful, beautiful thing. They make Esquites there (corn off the cob) with mayonaise, chile, lemon and salt (of course you can choose what you don't want....I don't like mayonaise)....they are my life! I love them! The fruit is very fresh in the markets, along with the vegetables....you can find anything in the world there. We bought our toilet in a market today for $45 USD. Incredible.

I was told today that our apartment is old, old, old. The toilet alone has been there for over 50 years....and as Eddie Izzard says "50 years! NO! No one was alive back then!" Of course there are cathedrals and monuments 4 times older than that in the country. The entry I wanted to put here explains our apartment almost exactly....

"The house is of brick with high ceilings and tall arched windows, barred, heavily shuttered, seeming to suggest possible attack....The brick walls of our casa are fifteen inches thick, and plastered in and out. The last occupant had papered the rooms with hideous results, and I, curses be have been laboriously removing it, while the landlord stands by aghast." --Edward Weston.

The streets here are strange. You can't make a left turn (well, to be fair, there are places to turn left but it's a tricky maneuver), in order to turn left, you have to make a U-turn. All the buildings are painted bright, contrasting, happy, happy, happy colors. The outside of our apartment is just yellow, but the inside is teal and the bedroom is dark maroon. The Super wanted to paint the bottom half of the walls (in the maroon bedroom) teal with lighter green spots....thankfully Toño's mom said no but that's the moda (style) here. Our neighbor's front door and the inside of her apartment is an orange base with yellow spots. Restuarants are painted similarly. It's an extremely folkloric place. The streets definately lift my spirits.

School starts tomorrow for the chavos....We'll see what that means for the city.

No comments: