Monday, December 20, 2010

time out

I ran into a Canadian couple examining the large framework (castillo) that supported the fireworks for the Guadalupe feast on Sunday evening.

They had never seen anything like it.  So, I walked them through the various layers.  And what firework surprises they could expect.

They were very uncertain of how close the crowd would stand.  And more so when I told them of the regular scorchings that occur.

The husband asked when it was going to be lit off.  I told him I had heard 9.  Or 10.  But it could be anywhere up to midnight -- depending on how long the rest of the festivities ran.

The wife looked worried.  "Midnight?  What about the children?  It's a school night. Maybe we could talk to someone in charge who has a schedule."

And there it was.  The word that forms the border between Mexico and Up There.

Schedule.  The belief that life can (and should) be lived in equal increments of time.

The talent show that evening was a perfect example how time in Mexico tends to take its own path.

On would come a young singer.  She would present us with a tune or two.  Then off she would go.  Followed with a random amount of loud recorded music. 

People milled.  People talked.  Then on came a group of dancers.  Same drill.  Off they went.  More interlude music.  More milling.

It reminded me of the local rodeos where the event took precedence over the performance.

Anyone expecting a linear progression in any of these gatherings will be frustrated.  Things will happen when they do.  It is all about enjoyment.  Not time.  And certainly not what is going to happen mañana.

I have returned to Mexico this time without a wristwatch.  Without a clock in my cell phone -- because I have no cell phone.  Without my fisherman watch that once hung from a belt loop.

For most things, I do not need to know what time it is.  I eat when I am hungry.  I read when I feel like it.  I write blog posts when the mood hits.  I take drives into the countryside on a whim (or in my Escape, if my whim is acting up).

All of this idealism will come to an end before too long.  At some point, I will purchase a mobile telephone for use in Mexico.  For medical emergencies if nothing else.  And I will once again be time-informed.

I just hope I will not care very much how I spend it.

P.J. O'Rourke once wrote: "It is better to spend money like there is no tomorrow than to spend tonight like there is no money."

That just may apply to time, as well.


Calypso said...

Random acts of acts - you gotta love it amigo!

Felipe said...

Go get a cell phone, Gringo. You need it. And they're dirt cheap. Or can be.

Anonymous said...

Steve, you're adapting to Mexico so effortlessly this time around. It would appear that your recent six month stint working at your old job afforded you the final "nudge" to savor each day in Melaque.

Hey, do share with us a pic of your "whim", will you? (loved that line!)

Alee, Salem

jennifer rose said...

You won't be truly Mexican until you have your cel phone.

Larry in Mazatlan said...

Steve, I'm really proud of you! By jove, I think he's got it!

Do get the cell phone, though. Just ignore the clock.

Anonymous said...

And this, Sir, is but a microcosm of the disintegration of Western Civilization, so meticulously built up over the last 2000 years. It was an achievement of order over chaos.

And now, like an untended garden, that order is slowly being taken over by the indefinite, the amorphous, the ambiguous and vague. In short, the end of mind as we know it.

Soon, there will be no subjects, no verbs, no objects, no clauses, no modifiers, no conjunctions.

Chaos, I tell you! Chaos!


Steve Cotton said...

Calypso -- Random I am good at.

Felipe -- A cell phone is in my near future.

Alee' -- They say the second time is a charm. And,sometimes, "they" are correct.

Jennifer -- I will wear it as a constant badge of having arrived -- just like my neighbors.

Larry -- I think I am getting the swing of things now. I am going to try to get more involved with my neighbors -- as you have.

ANM -- You do not believe me when I tell you certain aspects of libertarianism can thrive. I am starting to live it -- right here in Mexico. Somalia? PHAW!

marthabob2u said...

My watch died the first time we crossed the border into Mexico when we retired. I took that as an omen and haven't worn one since!
And I also sport a 'war--wound' from the local castillo. As a Mexican lady said at the time, "I was kissed by the Pope!"

Steve Cotton said...

Marthabob2u -- Good omen. Maybe that is why my last cell phone broke on the day my dog died here.

I always thought it was vampires that left scars. Not popes. But you learn something new every day.