Wednesday, July 05, 2006

A little good news

I feel bad. I have the weight of a certain guilt upon my shoulders. Thing is, I never say a nice thing about Mexico, Tuxtla, my school, or my job, and soon enough its all going to be history and I won´t be able to remember such details.

1. Mexicans are good.
That´s right, you read correctly a blatent gneralization that I may proceed to back up with evidence. If you find yourself standing in a 27 person long line on a Sunday afternoon in an utterly obscure part of an obscure city in a general store, people do not just step right in front of you, because you are just some stupid-looking tourista. Not at all, they treat you as politely as they do all the others. The Chiapanecas are some of the most decent and fair people you´re likely to meet in this world. And that includes most of my students, despite my oft-stated desire to bind, beat, banish, or fling them out of helicopter, the simple truth is that most of them have the grace of Jesus deeply set into them. Some do not and they should be held underwater for periods of time.

2. My bosses.
A case in point. I am continually in trouble, behind or too far ahead in the material, constantly allowing all the wrong things to happen, whole classes failing tests and such, and they just keep dealing with me respectfully, only with a hint of passive agressivity now and then. They would be somewhat justified in really cracking down, but that´s not their style. They do it with the softer touch, the chain of panoptic surveillence ends only in explanations and problem-solving. Many things have driven me and plenty of other mastros extraños batty at this little school (and country), but I have to say that they´ve had aplenty incompetence in return. And they pay on time in full.

3. Football.
I too have the World Cup fever, and this time of year its a good thing to have. Did you see that Thierry Henry goal when France played Brazil? That was... ¡STUPENDO! That guy is my new superhero - the speed, power, and ball-dribbling grace that man pravails with rocks my world. And against the greatest team in the world. All Brazil needed to do was neautralize Henry and they couldn´t, not with all the king´s men and horses. The %&/!!ing Tour of France is on and I´m mildly infuriated with missing it while they show pingpong matches from Ohio on %$"!ing ESPN. But only mildly.

4. The heat, mosquitos, cars, pollution etc.
Despite my rampant disgust, kvetching, and general hatred of everything, its not really so bad, except for the skeeters, which have turned me into a hotblooded killer. Nothing like a little hunting with yourself as bait. Rationality suffers in the tropical heat, as you can imagine. But its not always so hot.

5. The Mexican Elections. I haven´t seen La Jaffafa (the señora whose house i live in) since the final days, and now they´re deep into the recounts, supposedly with an announcement today of this closest-ever presential race. Lefty PRDista Obrador vs. centrist/righty PANista Caldaron (maybe? what do I know of it all?) Still, pretty fascinating to a political junkie like me. Everyone´s being so... Mexican about it. As in so calm you wouldn´t know its even happening. They´ve only had democracy for 15 years and already they´re bored with it. Surprize, surprize. 60% voter turnout, just like in Canada. (Yes, yes, I know, it was 62.5% last time so good for us.)

And off I go, full of joy and gratitude.

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