Thursday, October 05, 2006

I am soo Judgmental, in Chacala

The photos are the last of the photos I will be posting
about my trip to San Miguel de Allende and north.
These proud young men were on their way to the big tribal parade in SMA.
Today I was reading a post on a blog written by a self-identified gringa living in Guatamela. She complaining that some places she is expected to pay more, as a tourist, a gringa, something. We're talking about $2 instead of $1, or something like that. She said "It isn't fair!!!" Right, life is fair. That's was four year olds think, that life is supposed to be fair. Not adults.A shrine at a bus station, don't remember which one
I like the sliding scale concept for paying for services. Those who have more, pay more.
According to U.S. statistics, very few people from the U.S. who are wealthy as adults started out poor, or even lower-middle class, econonmically speaking. And the percentage is shrinking every year. More and more people born in the U.S. are stuck in their parent's economic class or lower, than ever before.

I mention this because chances are if you are a gringo/a living in a poor country, you have assets you received mostly by the gift of being born into well-off family.You probably had the benefit, thru little effort of your own, of decent food, housing, medical/dental care, and an adequate education, probably thru University.I think thisis shrine is outsdie the SMA bus terminal,
Caminonera Central, with a Jesus Christ on the other side.
What a joke for a gringa to whine "It isn't fair!" Like being born in a mud hut with little hope for food or health or education is fair. Or in a war zone. Get a grip!!

Why shouldn't you pay a little more? Consider it a tithe, or a thank you, for all the blessing you have received in your life, and are probably receiving right now. It's a way a sharing your wealth.This building seemed to be part of a compound in SMA.
This is one way of looking at this issue. It's an attitude thing. Share, share, share, rather than give me, give me, give me. That post really irritated me. I'm not feeling every well, so that's my excuse for this crabby, judgemental post. I can't remember if "judgemental" has a "e" or not, so I am writing it both ways.

This was the hottest day in Chacala and Las Varas this entire year. Someone stole my thermometer while I was gone on my trip, so I don't know how hot it was, but everyone was talking about it. They use C here instead of F, so I don't get it anyway, when they say a number for the heat. This is the first time this house has felt warm to me, during three very long summers (six or seven months).

My favorite little girl picture
C and J are building a house right next to their old house. Sharing a wall. There don't seem to be any doors between the two buildings, but I am pretty sure they are planning to live in both buildings. There are two little boys in the family, almost 4 and almost 7, and they need the space. It's the third building up the hill from the new hotel, on the paved road. When I first came she was living alone with the kids in that building with no water or electricity. They both have steady full-time work now, and things seems to be looking up for them.

I think this little girl is lovely, but I HATE the sexism in Mexico,
especially the dressing up of little girls in this kind of clothing.
A few weeks ago I learned something that I never understood about myself before. A friend of mine, here in Chacala, was talking about not wanting a certain person to visit her house because that person always gossiped, "chisme" (I think that's how it's spelled), and said terrible things about people. She was talking about someone who also visits me, and understood what she meant. And I had a thought, "Oh, I bet she does that because she is nervous and doesn't know what to say, so she starts talking about other people".

And then, in a blinding flash of light, I realized I have always done the exact same thing, and for the same reason. I have been thinking, without understanding why, that I am a nicer person in Chacala. And now I get it more clearly than before. I don't know enough Spanish or enough of the social history or culture here to really gossip or malign local people. I still do it in English, with gringos, about other gringos, though. Luckily, I hardly ever talk to gringos here, because there are hardly any here. At least from May thru mid-November. And I rarely seen them. Maybe I will eventually break the gossip habit, or at least be aware of what I am doing.

Went swimming tonight. Water wasn't especially refreshing, but walking home in wet clothes was. The town water never came on today, and I don't like bathing in the tinaco water very much because there is stuff growing in there sometimes. So I used half of a five gallon (10 peso) jug of water to rinse the salt-water off. Felt great.Bathroom garden in the San Miguel restroom.
Or at least I think it was San Miguel de Allende.
I got all my new plants I bought in the nurseries in San Miguel planted. I don't have enough pots/buckets, so most of them are slightly crammed together, but in a couple of weeks I will fix that. I ended up spending money I didn't excect to at the pharmacy, so I have to stay on a tight budget for the next couple weeks.

I haven't figured out for sure where I am going to live in Chacala is coming winter, starting mid- November, or a little earlier. I have been encouraging the local landladies with the lower-end rentals to charge a fairer (read higher) price for their rentals, so I have pretty much priced my myself out of the rental market.

While I am thinking about it, if you are looking for an affordable, very basic rental with kitchen in Chacala, consider Socorro's. There's a post from a couple weeks ago on this Blog, with photos and contact info. Or write me if you don't speak Spanish. And of course there is Aurora's, my very, very favorite. And the Mirador, and Concha's, and Casa Chacala, and .......This Senora, dona Lupe was one of my travelling companions.
We helped each other with our stuff, and watched out for each other at the bus stops
But I am still looking around, trying to think creatively about living spaces. I loved the beach last year, but security for my computer and camera was sort of a problem, aside from the salty-air being bad for both of them. And it was difficult gardening there last year. But almst all my plants now are succulents, so it's be easier I think.

I guess I'll just keep my mind and eyes open and see what happens. I loved waking up ten feet from the ocean.


Jill said...

I am a little judgemental myself. I totally agree with sharing the fruits of a well-off upbringing and I don't understand why so many people have issues with it. Some other gringos give me attitude about how much time I spend teaching piano or whatever for free, which I think is so dumb. I had 15 years of music lessons for free, because my parents could afford them. Why shouldn't anyone else enjoy that?? Really, all my education and talents come because I was lucky enough to be born into a family that could finance them.

I kind of had an epiphany one day when I was bargaining in Guatemala for something. I got really into it for some reason and then all of a sudden I was like, "You have that money. Why are you being such a jerk abou this?" That made me change my ways. It still bugs me when people beg me for stuff that I know that they don't need though. I will give you all the food that you want, but please don't ask me for jewelry!!

Anonymous said...

Hi, love your photos of San Miguel.
I was wondering how you were going to get all those new plants home, glad to hear that they made it OK.
I posted a couple of photos (1 tree and 1 plant) on my last post on my blog. I am wondering if you know what they are?
What is the cost of the "desert rose" plant there? I have been looking at them here and they are between 95 and 120 pesos each, expensive compared to other things; but they are so gorgeous. Will see if I break down and get one or not.
Brenda in Guaymas