Thursday, August 30, 2007

Waiting Around in Chacala

I just read a mystery where the Cuban heroine complained about her gringa friend having been brain-washed by a rigid Anglo-Saxon grandfather on the subject of punctuality. And how it drove everyone else crazy. Which got me to thinking about how hard it’s been to adjust to the relaxed attitude about schedules and dates, etc, here in Mexico. If you think U.S. doctors are horrible about keeping on schedule, you should give Mexican doctors a try. Dentists too.

The quote from the book got me started thinking about the promptness issue in Chacala again (as in “Mexican Time) . I have a new little insight, I think.In some ways being punctual means living in the past, not the present. You base what’s important now on the what was important at the time you made the plan, appointment, or whatever. Not on what’s important at this very moment. It’s pretty likely that at least some of the factors that were important last week, have changed by now.

On the other hand, if you change your mind about your priorities without letting your co-conspirators in your plans knowing what you are up to, you probably won’t have a lot a friends, especially of the Anglo-Saxon persuasion.
Chacala just had about a week of wild, rainy, windy weather.
But today it's bright, sunny and calm, at least for the morning.

RE culture stuff. On the other hand……

I thought I had finally developed my ability to be patient. At least for ½ hour or so. As compared to B.M. (oops) Before Mexico. When three minutes at a traffic signal would have driven me mad. In Mexico it can easily take 5 or 6 minutes to get thru a signal at a large intersection

I finally have stopped spending the entire waiting period at signals wondering why Mexicans don’t do signals the “right” way. As in the U.S. I read the Economist most weeks here, and according to the Economist almost everywhere in the “developed” world has better traffic patterns than the U.S. And the U.S. is finally trying modern traffic circles, etc.

However, I spent 7 hours straight at the Las Varas internet place (lost in time) today. I was trying to learn how to do Goggles “Pages” thing. I sort of figured it out, but……

Then I went out to the collectivo waiting place, and waited for an hour and a half. I am really on a tight budget right now, after my Oaxaca trip, and I didn’t want to give into my frustration and spend 70 pesos for a taxi. So I hung in there. And ate grilled ends of rolls used for sandwiches and had a 7UP at “Dany’s Tacos” next to the collectivo stop.But I got pretty frustrated. There isn’t really a driver for the second collectivo right now. They keep getting hired and fired or hired and quitting. So it’s not Chacala guys and I don’t think these drivers give a sh……
And the owner of all the collectivo taxis really doesn’t care. Chacala has the cra…iest old vans around. Worst than any of the other towns. I don’t know why that is. We have a good driver right now, Samuel. He’s been driving since before Prieto (above) switched to the La Penita-Las Varas run. He is great at customer services. Really pleasant to be around.

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