Sunday, June 20, 2010

If Spring were a place... this is it.

Mexico City’s subway is amazing. We cut through what would have taken over an hour in maybe 20 minutes.  No traffic, no lights, no people tapping on the window selling gum. Fast and clean, all for the bargain price of three pesos. The time went by even faster with vendors and singers popping in an out. Admittedly, too many bad stories about the metro kept me a bit on edge, but it was in fact a great experience.

While in the past I’ve avoided the metro, I’ve often been on an interstate bus. The experience is almost always pleasant and comfortable. This time the trip from Mexico City to Morelos was great as well, though being filmed by the bus line’s private safety personnel for my safety was a little unsettling. Then again, security cameras do exactly that. I guess having a guard sweep past me with a camcorder caught me off guard.

There are always cheap snacks and beverages offered on board (sandwiches, coke, candy, chips, etc.). This time the vendor was not with us the whole way. Not a block away from the station, he was picked up and, after announcing to everyone that the funds for said snackage would support the strike (he worked for a different bus line), he walked up and down the aisle. Less than 10 minutes later, the bus dropped him in front of a Federal Police station. Now I know to buy right away or decide early on not to snack on the way.

Morelos is a great state with amazing views, delicious food, perfect spring climate, and truly friendly people. My family has been shuttling between the capital and Morelos my whole life (getting away from the swarms), so while it does not have the feel of home, there are sparks of the familiar. I arrived straight to the lienzo charro to watch a full day of charros, eat cowboy fodder and, yes, follow the World Cup on TV—the screens were doing double duty. 

The actual rodeo looks different and much smaller than I remember. It’s the same experience as going back to an old elementary school, walking in spaces that a small body once felt to be huge. I’m not much of a cowgirl, though I do like to ride. Hanging out at the lienzo charro is more than roping cattle, though. It’s an entire cultural experience that involves a lot of unpretentious laidback people hanging out, talking, watching, eating... enjoying a perfect lazy day with brief moments of excitement during death jumps

As a kid I loved coming to Oaxtepec, Morelos. It’s one of those heavenly places where mangos are pulled of trees in your yard and lemons procured from the neighbor’s, almost everyone has a swimming pool, and crime is just a random word in the dictionary. A walk through the neighborhood is filled with hummingbirds, bugambilias, roses, old trees, and beautiful homes. And I love the textures here—no fence or building fa├žade is the same. Even the roads are pretty.

Supper might have been home-cooked were it not for broken refrigerator issues. But as you can probably guess by now, a busted fridge paves the way to street tacos!


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The NONEXISTENT Rockway Press Short Story Contest

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