Thursday, September 06, 2012

putting it together -- bit by bit

Living on a hill in Morelia has is advantages.

And I am not talking only about the view.  Even though the view is worth the price of a stay.

Temperature.  That is what makes living on a hill pleasant.  Lower temperatures.

My source of all things Morelia tells me the temperature can be 15 degrees cooler on the hill than it is in Morelia proper.

I proved her correct on Wednesday afternoon.

I decided to walk the three miles down the hill into Morelia's historical center.  What was a pleasant day at the house was noticeably warmer at the base of the hill.

But the walk was worth it.  Where else can you stroll past a zoo on a public street and watch impatient door-banging lions pace for their dinner?

Or stop for a rest in a park best known for its women of free enterprise?

(Now, you didn't really think I would post a photograph of working women, did you?)

I had only one item on my agenda yesterday.  To listen to a performance of the University of Michoacán’s Chamber Orchestra.  Its last performance of the season.

The performance was scheduled for 8.  And it was only 5 when I finally arrived in centro.  So, I walked over to the auditorium to be certain I knew where it was.

My Morelia source also told me earlier in the week that the university students were restless.

Take a look at the doors to the performance venue.  Students everywhere seem to have the universal misconception that paper, tape, and trite slogans can create an impermeable cordon sanitaire.

Rather than spend the rest of my afternoon walking through buildings I have seen on previous visits, I decided to walk over to the plazas surrounding the cathedral.  There is usually something interesting to see.

My timing was perfect.  I arrived just as the striking of the colors ceremony began.

With a drum and bugle corp dressed in black.  Assembled dignitaries.  A huge flag.  And an honor guard of mixed beauties.

And in well-timed sychronization, a student protest march began as soon as the colors were retired.

I have heard of these demonstrations.  The students marched for about six or eight blocks stopping traffic along their entire route.

They then reassembled where they began -- in front of the state government building -- and listened listlessly to young men do their impersonations of Mexican politicians.  With a few languid chants.

If I had followed up on the Spanish lessons I wanted to take last month, I could probably tell you what the demonstration was all about.  From what I know of past protests, the demands are devoid of any possibility of occurring without the repeal of several laws of economics.

Having said that, their demonstration is a tangible expression of the principles of independence trivialized in the symbols and souvenirs on sale in the plaza.

But there was yet another ring to fill in my circus day.  And Morelia did not fail to produce.

The plaza came alive with a troupe of clowns.  Unicyclists.  Jugglers.  Balloonists -- the kind that turns latex into poodles, not the kind that turn passengers into pools of paranoia.

While the students chanted, the crowd roared and laughed at the clown antics.  And who says llfe cannot imitate life?

But I had to get over to my concert.  When I arrived, the door was still closed.  And the signs were undisturbed.

Remember my glib comment?  "Students everywhere seem to have the universal misconception that paper, tape, and trite slogans can create an impermeable cordon sanitaire."

Well, it turns out that the signs worked.  Even the musicians would not play during a student strike.  Whoever heard of musicians allowing politics to trump Mozart?

If I had taken a broader view of the building, I would have understood no concert was going to be held in that auditorium.  Doctor Zhivago could have been remade in front of the place.

So, there was no concert.  Instead, I trudged up the hill to the cool heights.

But it was a good day.  I saw Mexican patriotism in its refined flag ceremony form.  And a type of raw democracy in action in the streets.  And clowns to add grace notes to a good life.

All in all, a nice day -- especially with the view over the cool temperature mountains.


norm said...

I've always enjoyed rallies, a bit of energy pouring out of like minded folks. The ability of people to rally in a peaceful way is a major cornerstone of any society that wants to settle its problems without killing each other. (even if you might want to kill'em when they are blocking the road).

Felipe Zapata said...

I made that walk a few years ago, from top to bottom. Did not do the uphill return leg, however, so you must be made of sterner stuff than I am.

As for the students, they should all be locked up.

John Calypso said...

Those caged lions sadden me. 

Steve Cotton said...

They have a much larger space for roaming, but I know what you mean.

Steve Cotton said...

I managed to get a whopper of a blister on my right foot for my troubles.  Babs's hill was great training, though. 

Steve Cotton said...

The problem with shutting down streets is that the demonstrators usually lose more support for their cause than they gain.

Andean said...

It's amazing how many sunsets we can see and they all have their special charm. That was a beautiful one.

Steve Cotton said...

And how different they can be.  I think the altitude makes a difference here in the colors.  No Melaque yellows.

Cheeky said...

How much do the Park Ladies charge?

Steve Cotton said...

Even for my dear readers there are a few things I will not do.