18 April 2012

A Blown Day

Sometimes it is difficult to get these phony, heart-warming shots set up.

Yesterday morning I was wandering around the apartment in my skivvies, drinking coffee, scratching myself, congratulating myself on the emptiness of the day before me. Then I received a text message from Isabel summoning me to her new, little rental house.

When I go to Isabel's home, there is always at least one chaperon present, usually multiple chaperons. When I arrived yesterday, her older sister, her mother, and her sister-in-law were there. Their men were off earning a couple of pesos or looking for work so they can earn a couple of pesos. You can get "familied up" to the gills in Mexico instantly.

The crisis of the day was this. Isabel had somehow lost every key to every lock in the house before she had had copies made. However, we deal with crises differently here. There is always an enormous amount of fucking around involved before we get down to the business of resolving whatever the crisis of the day happens to be.

As it is in the face of any such little crisis, nothing is going to happen for a long time after your arrival on the scene. Therefore, you might as well get comfortable while you wait. 

The main course of the day was chile relleno with rice and the obligatory tall stack of tortillas. The chile was relleno-ed with goat cheese.

Now then, as for the crisis itself, we needed a locksmith, a cerrajero. Here you do not simply telephone the locksmith's shop and then check your bank account while waiting for a big panel truck to pull up outside. No. Rather, you first drive down to the mercado san juan de dios, the market of Saint John of God, where all things can be had, theoretically, and try to find the kid or score his cell phone number. He circulates around in there with a backpack containing an amazingly small number of tools.

When you find him, if you find him, you immediately take a break, order up cold Coca-Colas all around, and sit down on a curb in the shade. You inquire after his health and his family's health. He inquires after your health and your family's health. Eventually, you come to a discussion of the crisis at hand and its possible resolution. You then drive him back to the house because he has no vehicle, surprised that you are apparently not going to have to lend him your tools, too.

While he works his magic disassembling six locks and providing six new keys--however he does that with one screwdriver, one pair of pliers, and a bent spoon . . .

. . . you take your siesta on the couch while Mexican hip hop music is playing at an earsplitting level. An hour and a half later, you drive the locksmith kid back to mercado san juan de dios 420 Mexican pesos lighter in the wallet. $31.94 American.

Finally, after getting one of those phony, heart-warming shots successfully set up, you can go home, having blown off an entire day in Mexico in a way that you did not expect at all when you awoke.