the flat version
02.04.2015 - 14.04.2015 90 °F
The Talking Heads have a song --- Once in a Lifetime -- with the line, well, how did I get here?. I ask myself that question a lot in Mexico. How did any of these places get here? I know that the history books will tell me, but the people who put these places on the map intrigue me. San Miguel, Hildago, Allende... all revolutionaries who stuck up for their county and won. Perhaps they are just some of the Angels who fell from the sky and contributed to this world.
I have spent exactly one week with my 90 year-old father, starting in Mexico City, taking a bus to San Miguel, and today we return to Tampico. I can only imagine what the combined heat and humidity are. This has been the longest time that I have spent with my father since I was a child. We talked about the strangeness of our relationship now that I am 56 and he is 90. It took a few days to redefine that. It is so easy to let the inner child wake up when you spend a considerable amount of time with an older parent. It took me a few days to put her to rest, and I am grateful to be taking in these places at a slow and deliberate pace.
I have been a full-fledged tourist on this leg of my journey. Dad bought a blue folding hat on the tourist bus that defines this role. I have my camera slung across my shoulder. The big difference is that I can speak to people with more fluency than ever before. Acquiring a new language is a lot like early childhood development. You learn one aspect of the language and lose another part until eventually they start to weave together make sense. Workbook study puts the language into perspective, and I do it every day, but what cinches it is the conversations with the taxi driver, the waiter, my tennis buddies, people I work with, and women at bus stops or in cafes . I am by no means bilingual, but if I continue this for another year, which is the plan, I hope to be fluent. Anyway, it is fun to think that I understand what people are saying to me.
The first thing Dad and I did in Mexico was hop on the tourist bus. We looped around all of the historic areas. Then we walked back to the hotel gaping at the art exhibit hanging on the gates to the park. Dad's endurance was touch and go in the beginning because of the altitude change. I think I wiped him out because he spent the next day in bed. So we ambled along for five minutes, rested for five and started again. A true lesson in mindfulness on my part.
There is nothing to say about being a tourist. We saw what we saw, and we did what we did. Quite frankly , tourism is a bore. It is not until I settle down, find a place to write, read, play, move or do something that means something to me that a place takes on meaning.
Yes I did street zumba