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“You Asked for It”—Mexican Reasoning

“You Asked for It”—Mexican Reasoning

Bruno says "Huh?"

Bruno says "Huh?"

One of the joys of travel is to see how other people think, or not, in foreign cultures.  Mexico is quite surreal in this regard.  You get used to it, and can even enjoy it after a while–“When does the movie start?”  “Soon–at 5:30.”  “But it’s 6 o’clock now!”  “That’s correct, sir…”   Until you are in the right frame of mind, it can drive you mad, especially if you subscribe to silly notions of  linear time and real life logic.

June 1, 2007

I wanted to get into rough and tumble Belize City as early as possible, to avoid running through the streets clutching my bags after nightfall.  In Mexico everybody picks their noses.  In Guatemala they spit.  And in Belize they rob you–but with much better manners.

I walked to the Cancún station and looked on the boards for the earliest morning bus.  4:30 AM.  Miserably early, but better than arriving late in Belize.

“May I have a 4:30 ticket to Chetumal, please?”

The woman at the window looked glum, and sold me the ticket without speaking.  I was set.

In the morning I stumbled out of bed after three hours of sleep, packed up the rest of my things, dragged everything downstairs and out to the street, and walked bleary-eyed through the darkness.  I stepped over people sleeping on the pavement, stumbling into the yellow-lit station interior.  Bolts of lightning streaked through the fluorescent bulb above my head, and I vaguely hoped it wouldn’t explode until a little later.  I wondered what the hell I was doing with my life.

4:15.  4:30.  4:45.  No bus.  I lugged everything from one side of the station to the other.  Could I have missed it?  What now?

At 5:00, the ticket window opened.  It was the same grim woman who sold me the ticket the day before.  “Is the 4:30 bus late this morning?” I asked her pleasantly, fearing the worst.  I got it.

“There is no 4:30 bus, Señor.”  She wasn’t smiling.

“But–the schedule…” I said, beginning to forget the little  Spanish I ever learned.

“The schedule is old.”

“There is no 4:30 bus” I repeated, making sure of the already certain.  “If there is no 4:30 bus, why did you sell me a 4:30 ticket?”

“Sir,” she answered, looking exasperated, “you asked me to sell you a 4:30 ticket.”

***

“Does your dog bite?” asks the man.

“No.” is the reply.

The man bends to pet the dog, and is promptly bitten.

“I thought you said your dog doesn’t bite!”

“That’s not my dog.”

Mexican reasoning.

Dan and Omar

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Categories

A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.