“The difficulty with this conversation is that it’s very different from most of the ones I’ve had of late. Which, as I’ve explained, have mostly been with trees.” Douglas Adams, British Comic Writer
“Anyone who thinks the art of conversation is dead ought to tell a child to go to bed.” Robert C. Gallagher, Author of The Express
“Tallulah was sitting in a group of people, giving the monologue she always thought was conversation.” Lillian Hellman, American Playwright speaking about Tallulah Bankhead, Award winning American Actress of Stage and Screen
What the heck, I’ve been trying to harness my thoughts for weeks now. Sometimes I feel slower than a herd of turtles stampeding through peanut butter. It seems, at least from my prespective which is somewhat skewed, the longer I am in Mexico the more difficult it is to pull clarity from the jumble of thoughts that assail me on any given day. Then, of course, there are the odd conversations one seems destined to get into when living in a tiny village in middle Mexico as opposed to Middle America, where I am from.
For instance, how does one harness thoughts when conversations of sorts start with….” I’m licensed to smoke dope in California”. OR … “We had a real dilemma to deal with yesterday because a horse, a mule, a car and a golf cart appeared at the same intersection in downtown Ajijic and…wouldn’t you just know it…the mule decided to assert his/her independence (read stubbornness) at that precise moment causing a back up in all directions!”
OR….I overheard a gringo (won’t mention the nationality as there are so many represented here) trying to explain where he/she lived to a Mexican in Spanish…” Cerca del culodeldiablo”. The Mexican, in perfect English, explained I don’t think that is correct because that means…”near the devil’s ass”. Opps!
Then of course there is the comment…” I’m finally getting used to my Spanish keyboard I know, for instance, the parenthesis are not where they show up on the keys but are, in fact, on the keys just to the right of the keys that bear their image which is also the case for the question mark and dash”. This makes perfect sense to me as I have a Spanish keyboard and have discovered the same thing. You’d be surprised how often you use a dash or a question mark….some of us more than others!
Information or the dissemination thereof, assails us from every direction. It goes without saying though, as you’ve become accustomed to I will say it anyway…there are many ways of communicating in this world of ours. I am sitting here at my desk. It is around 1:30 p.m. in the afternoon. What am I doing you ask since I’ve certainly not been making many posts lately. Right now I’m listening to the news. I am not getting my news via conventional means. The TV is rarely on here, particularly during the day. The radio is not on and I am not watching any stream news station via the Internet. So, you ask, where are you getting your news?
I’m sure some of you will think…perhaps via the voices in her head?? While that does happen upon occasion, it has not happened of late. Why not, you ask…or, even if you don’t, I’ll explain. We’ve been so busy ending one year and beginning the next…art, a book and other stuff…the voices are at one with their exhaustion as is their host body…the brain not so much as that is rarely used.
Parked somewhere just outside of our gate is a car. Speakers are attached to the roof of the car (sometimes they are set in the trunk with the trunk hood up) and it is spewing information out to all who are within hearing distance. That would, I’m feeling, be anyone within two or three miles as the crow flies.
Sometimes the person in the car is doing all of the talking. I don’t know if it is a script pre-written for them or, considering the passion with which Mexicans embrace their lives, simply coming from their heart. The news can also be prerecorded. It can be news about events that may be taking place over the course of the week. A big weekend event – like the Three Kings Festival – a few weekends ago or it can be political comment. They take “town crier” to a new level. You hear, if you are within hearing distance, whether you want to or not.
Often, especially when someone like me is listening and taking into account my nebulous grasp of Spanish, the news, comments, exciting events coming up, etc bring a smile to my face and just as often I’ve noticed my neighbors smiling as well. I don’t think you could compare it the Comedy Central’s in-your-face humor engendered by “The Colbert Report” or whatever it is Jon Stewart does but it is a gentle humor non-the-less.
On top of that, though the US, from whence I come, has had a love affair of sorts with the notion of a paper-less society that has been engendered by the Internet and the storage of what has now become the well-known “cloud”. The Mexican people have – since the dawn of portable speakers – been sharing their news and information without paper. Oh,Guadalajara has a weekly English speaking paper and there are papers from all over the world displayed at our local farmacia (read pharmacy) and there are the monthly magazine-type publications but, for the most part, life would not be what it is without the “town crier” adding to the mix of every day experiences.
Mexicans, at least by my humble observation, do not seem circumscribed to getting their news via the privacy of their homes. And said news takes on a whole innovative meaning when, for instance, wanting to get the message that the circus is in town out to all the villages surrounding Chapala, one decides not to post it on the “Net” but to simply have a parade. The parade will march up and down the streets with the camel leading the way, clowns in attendance, pretty girls (lots of them in Mexico), horses, a mariachi band and the inevitable car with speakers attached (the band and the car being separated by animals and people). Very, very effective in not only letting the adult populace know but letting the munchkins know, as well. And, let me tell you, a camel walking down the cobblestone street in front of our gate certainly gets my attention!
Parsimony might dictate doing something that will reach the masses without costing an arm and a leg and has its limitations. If the speakers on cars don’t get the word out, posting notices on the town square bulletin board will also do the trick as most everyone crosses the square at some point during the week.
Oh, wait a minute….tamales por 14 pesos cada uno..de pollo y cerdo (tamales for $1 US each…chicken and pork)…gotta run…it’s only happening for this afternoon down on the corner of Colon and Ocampo. Viva Mexico!
Below are more photographs taken by David in recent months. I am also including a link to an online magazine article that was recently published. The name of the publication is Informarte and you will come upon David’s article by scrolling through the magazine. Look for the article entitled About Andy Warhols 15 Minutes of Fame. Enjoy!
The Church Above the Crowd
A Child in Custome
Custome of Colors
And now I provide you with a fire to curl up in front of as you read David's Andy Warhols article!