04 June 2010

Hemorrhaging Pesos

I know that my snapshots have been heavy on the plant life and landscape and such. I appreciate that some would prefer more photos of people. There is a reason for this photographic emphasis, if you will, which I will now explain. A couple of examples. . .

Finally, I happened upon a lady actually using the colonial laundromat at the foot of El Chorro. I have written about this laundry area that is centuries old several times, and I am too lazy to link up to those entries right now. Anyway, I asked this lady if I could take her picture. I was polite. She wanted money. I took her picture anyway because I was in an obstreperous mood. She was upset. Here is the picture. She can sue me.

Another example. . .

A few days ago I bumped into this donkey train, the operators of which were selling some stuff door-to-door near Parque Benito Juarez. I took a couple of pictures. The young man saw me and promptly walked over and asked for money. I lost whatever command of the Spanish language I have when he did that.

I assure you that this is not uncommon. A good many of the folks here are simply into working the gringo guilt thing and hitting up the tourists for money for anything and everything. But goddamnit, I don't think that I count as a tourist anymore. I am just trying to capture a little local color for my pals.

It is not that I am not tithing to Mexico. I still give pesos to the two beggar ladies that I have adopted. I give pesos to the guy in the Mega Store parking lot who helps guide me in and out of my parking spot and washes the windows on my GMC truck while I am inside--a service that I lived quite well without for a lifetime in the United State of America. I give money to those guys in the middle of the street at the speed bump who are collecting for some unknown worthy cause.

Today, once again, I overpaid one of the greatest con man in the world, Fortino, to wash my truck on the premises that (1) his children need school books, and (2) he needs to pay a coyote $1,500 to get him into Texas illegally for a few weeks. So, I mean, there you go once again.

I am continually passing out pesos in other words. But there is a limit.

There is a limit to my tithing, is what I mean. I am on a fixed income. I remember when I used to serve as City Attorney for several small towns in the United States of America. Old folks were always coming to City Council meetings to make a pitch for this or that discount on some city service or another. Their main argument was always that the old people in town lived on "fixed incomes." Having spent most of my productive adult years self-employed, the thought invariably crossed my mind that a fixed income sounded to me like a really good thing. Now that I am old myself and on a fixed income, I am singing a different tune.

So anyway, I am going to be taking more pictures of folks who expose themselves out in public, and I am not going to pay them. If that makes me a paparazzi, then a paparazzi I shall be. I am not going to sit down with one of my beggar ladies and have my picture taken with her, however. That seems tacky. You will just have to take my word on the beggar ladies.

My attitude may be entirely wrong on this, in which case I would listen to reason.

The more I think about it the more I think that I will go with the flow and hand out five pesos or so to anybody I take a picture of. Going with the flow is so much easier. I will just skip a couple of meals every month so that ya'll can enjoy some photos of the Mexican people hereabouts.

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