Monday, January 03, 2011

back of the bus

Some sights in Mexico become so common to me that I forget to remark on them.

The photograph at the top of this post is something I see almost every day I am on the road.

I would like to know the back story for the scenario that played out in front of me on a recent afternoon trip to Manzanillo.  But the basic facts are evident.

The truck pulled out in front of me in Cihuatlán, the equivalent of our county seat.  The family is enviously coming from an appliance store.  There is a new washing machine in the bed of the truck.  You can see the energy efficiency sticker on the right side.

Daughter and mother are in the bed steadying their new acquisition.  Look carefully at what they are sitting on.  They are not sitting on the edge of the bed.  They each have a common patio chair around these parts -- made of wood and leather.

I have managed to tip one of those chairs over on steady ground.  It is amazing neither of them toppled over on one of the road's curves. 

On the other hand, they could have been sitting on the other chair I often see in truck beds -- the white plastic chairs that are omnipresent in Mexican cafes.  And those truck bed chairs are usually occupied by a grandmother.

But these two women appear to be having quite an outing.  With their chairs and their big gulp drinks.

I never gave much thought to why the two women were in the back of the truck.  I imagined the daughter had invited her mother along to help steady this artifact of middle class respectability -- to accompany their late model truck.

And, of course, husband would be driving the truck.

The truck turned off the main road in the village of Emiliano Zapata.  I don't know why.  But I was surprised to see two men in front.  Husband and wife's father (I assume).

Men up front.  Women in the rear.

I guess it gives extra meaning to Cihuatlán.  In Nahautl, it means "place of women."

And the photograph tells us a good tale on that topic.


Islagringo said...

You are so right. I was just saying the other day that I think some of us have lived here for so long that we have stopped seeing this sort of thing. I promise to try to put my newbie in Mexico glasses back on and be more aware.

Leah Flinn said...

Road and automobile travel definitely are very different. It's something we just get used to over time. Being in the US at the moment, I find driving far less defensive, yet less interesting. Happy New Year and love the new blog look :-)

paty said...

Around Chapala we never see equipal chairs in the back of pickups. We see the ever present "Corona" chair with the grandma holding the baby.

Steve Cotton said...

I am probably fascinated by the sights again after returning from my brief stay up north. But I think it is fair to say I would have found the same sight just as amusing in southern Oregon. I will share them as they come along.

Steve Cotton said...

I agree. Driving in The States is almost boring compared to the adventure down here. I am headed off to a new beach this morning. It should be an interesting diversion.

Steve Cotton said...

This family was far more upscale than your run-of-the-mill grandma in the bed of the pickup. Acquistions were at hand.