Thursday, June 14, 2007

Peculiar Day in Chacala

I was eating breakfast on the patio this morning, when I heard a strange, bad noise. Maybe glass and metal. I looked over the edge of the balcony wall. Down at the paved road.
It was glass and metal. The dark colored collectivo was stopped in the middle of the road. The windshield was shattered. And a steel beam was halfway across the road at shoulder height and running thru the windshield space.

A truck with a load of 4 very long steel roof beams had pulled into the lot across the street, where building is going on. The driver apparently left the 4 steel beams sticking straight out into the busiest road in town. No flag, or flagman. Just metal i-beams sticking out halfway across the road.

Luckily, the collectivo must have been going very slowly when it hit the beams, because only with windshield glass was broken. If it had been going any faster it could of decapitated the driver, and/or took the top right off the collectivo.

The perpetrator, a young man who was delivering the beams to the construction site, and the foreman and the other workers pretended like nothing had happened and ignored the damage. And the collectivo driver.

It was clearly negligence. You don’t leave a load of steel beams sticking out across a busy road with no flagman or even a flag on the beams. It was unbelievably stupid. And not apologizing or even acknowledging what had happened was even weirder.

So, I went about my business. It didn’t occur to me to take photos until later. But I don’t think it’s a good idea for me to get involved anyway. I did ask the driver if he was okay, and if he needed a phone. He said he had already called the police and his boss. A little later I headed down to Juan’s store, hoping the other collectivo, or a taxi would be there. No such luck.

My luck turned out to be pretty good though. The dark maroon van from Chico’s pulled up next to me. It was full of family and friends. They were headed to Las Varas, and then Sayulita, and then Brucerias. Doing this and that. I was tempted to go with them, but I had some things I needed to do. So I just went as far as Las Varas. We laughed and joked the whole way.

I went to the ATM at the bank. The second machine was down, and the first machine wasn’t working correctly. I went into the bank and reported the problem. But of course, nothing was done. The Bancomer people put customer service at the bottom of their list of responsibilities. The male managers seem to spend most of their mornings hanging around visiting. I don’t know what they do in the afternoon, because they are rarely there in the afternoon.

Anyway, it took 47 minutes for the four people ahead of me to do their transactions. Two of them couldn’t read, so another woman and I helped them thru their transactions. The bank guys never came out to fix either machine. When my turn came I ran my card thru 4 times until the machine finally asked for my PIN. It finally worked. Whatever.

I was walking over to the internet place when ran into Jose, owner of Terry, my favorite dog in Las Varas. I first met Terri, a sort of Sharpei-style dog, when I was helping kids at the after school program in Las Varas to do computer stuff. He was the cutest little guy and he loved being petted. He and his owner would sit in the shade early in the am, visiting with whoever came by.A few months ago I took a bunch of photos of Terry (pronounced with a kind of French accent) and Jose, and had them developed. This morning Jose was alone. No Terry. And he had the packet of Terry’s photos in his hand. And tears in this eyes.

Last week Terry had a series of seizures, and died. Quickly. Jose and I were both crying. I am so glad the photos were done in time. As I walked on, I heard someone ask Jose where Terry was. I turned back to look, and Jose was explaining what happened, and showing his friend the photos. I felt good and bad. Bad for Terry and Jose, and glad there were some photos.

I did my first fax from Las Varas today. I don’t think there’s one in Chacala. At least, not a public one. A property owner here wanted some more photos and also a map of Chacala, with it’s various attractions. Since the mail service here is really non-functional, I faxed the draft sketch of the map. I will find out later if it worked. It was 10 pesos, 90 cents.

Riding home, in the remaining collectivo, we came around the curvy section of the road near the Rancho Miralta, and almost ran into a group of stray cattle with big horns. Very dangerous corner, but Samuel is a good driver and we were fine. So were the cows.

Got home, and found two workers finishing the cement block wall between the paved road and the front garden. It’s going to look good. And my landlady has Buena Noche (poinsettia plants) ready to put there. She just came by, to visit and to get the rent, which is due tomorrow. She needed the money for the cement and the workers.

Today is the last Novena or Rosary or whatever we have been doing for Pilila this past nine days. I was going to go to the six o’clock service instead of the 4pm one. I just realized there were two different services everyday. The six pm was better. Much cooler walking over there, and cooker sitting in the shade.

Yesterday I got a ride for the last half of the walk over to Pilila’s. On a moto. I hate motos, but I took a ride anyway. I seem to have no principles at all when it comes to a cooler ride on a hot, humid day. It’s 3pm now, and I am keyboarding in the shade, in the breeze, and still dripping sweat on my arms, face, back and hands. Whatever.

I slept thru the start of the final service this evening. I ended up just going for a walk. And remembering some times when Pilila and I walked around town looking at plants.

She seemed to know lots about the uses of plants, but I never really was sure about her information. It’s hard to look things up because of the differences in names. Local names for plants, Spanish names, Latin names, English names. It gets a little confusing. Not that being confused in Chacala is unusual for me.

1 comment:

Gin said...

Re: accident on calle. Isn't Mexico the most incredible place? No one ever seems to get upset over anything. It seems it is the responsiblity of whom ever is driving to keep a sharp eye out ahead. It would be interesting to know what the bus driver told his Jefe.