Saturday, June 20, 2009

Bird in a Bucket

In Mexico, if you have hot water at all, you have to turn it on so that the gas you buy in canisters (to use for the stove and oven too) heats it up. When G was turning off the hot water this morning, he went out back to the switch, and found a bird drowned in a bucket. It's been raining a ton so the bucket kept back there was full and when I went out to see the bird, I saw a gray thing, floating, with it's little orange claw-feet curled underneath. My thought was to throw it away, but G said we should bury it. I let him do it, with a wooden spoon we use in the kitchen, and I hope he put the dead thing deep enough under the surface of our garden soil.

I have been following this whole Iran thing online. Crazy how the NYTimes has been following the blogs and posting Youtube videos. Crazy the new Google Translator. Of course it's not accurate, but damn if it's amazing they just put it up. And for this. In my mind, Tehran is something like a mix of Beirut and Damascus, but with even more rules. How must it be to live in a place where in public a woman must basically be invisible. Covered up and quiet. Or maybe that's not what it's like. And now the streets are a war-zone, with fires and clubs and people chanting their battle cries. I am intrigued by the use of such nomers as "The Supreme Leader" and "The Guardian Council." Makes it all seem a bit like Star Wars. And I can take it as ironically as I want, but of course to a good number of people it's just not. And I can barely begin to grasp whether there might be irony in the physical reality of being there.

Been away from San Cristobal for more than a week and it's good to be back "home." Why the quotes? Because this is a temporary home, because the word "home" is problematic in its definition. For me. Meeting so many new people, I have been getting asked a lot where I am from, where "home" is. And because it's most often Spanish and my Spanish is limited at best, I don't give the long explanation I would in English, but I simply say "Estados Unidos" and "Virginia" and, often "circa de Washington." That's it. Yes, we were gone to the lovely university city of Cholula, and then Mexico City, and then Cuernavaca. Since these are all G's places, I met a lot of G's people, including a drama student putting on a play that he'd worked on with poor kids in a nearby town and a group of his drama friends, one kid a drummer living in an apartment with sloppily spray-painted walls; three sisters in middle age who danced flamenco to the mariachi band that showed up as a surprise for G during a lunch in his honor--minus the dancing they reminded me of my mom and her sisters; a woman who has recently opened her own weight-loss clinic using a technique that employs body-sculpting through massage; a woman who had just come back from a landscaping job in Canada; a half-slav, half-British English teacher who has lived in Mexico for decades and made us a desert that involved berries and cointreau and chocolate and cream, as well as her translator-husband who had good stories about Obama and the Queen of Denmark and her basketball-playing daughter; an Mexican anglophile, living in an apartment with modern furniture and lounge-bar lighting; a Basque woman living with her father in a beautiful apartment in the embassy neighborhood of Mexico City; a Basque guy who just got his urban design degree in Berkeley and is about to go back and look for a job; a proudly out (kind of hard here) conservative gay man living in Mexico City's "La Zona Rosa," a neighborhood that surprisingly has a lot of Korean restaurants; a group of artists planning an arts festival in the skeleton of a house on the property where they live, south of Mexico City, in the neighborhood that claims Frida Kahlo; the woman who runs the pulqueria in San Pedro and has been selling pulque more than forty years and was going on and on about it's health properties; and many, many more.

What a varied world we live in. May the bird rest in peace. And hoping some good comes from what's going on on the streets of Tehran.

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