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Getting to Hope You Like Me

Mexico celebrates her Independence – today, September 15. Nearly 200 years of staving off imperialists and preserving tradition!

Fiesta is in the air, adding a primary plastic layer to the tropical impasto.

Yesterday I happened upon a parade along the Paseo de Montejo: costumed men, women, and children riding horses, waving, faces running in the 45 degree solar glare of late afternoon.

Tonight at 9 o’clock the governor will ring his bell from a balcony above the zocalo. There will be fireworks and drinking, music, dancing, a profuse display of youth, age, exhuberance, pride, and pleasure.

It is also a small celebration for us personally, as we have been here for exactly one month.

It isnĀ“t difficult to become infatuated with the cobbled streets, vivid squares, horse-drawn carriages festooned with flowers, churches built by pyramid power, literally, from the ruins of T’Ho. The rose women. The peanut men. The ancient brown babies laden with textile goods in the usual patterns. The profusion of Volkswagen beetles…

We’re trying to tread lightly, ingratiate ourselves, become friends, fiesta. Fiesta is a verb. Like God, Yule Brynner, and me.

And, as if for emphasis, as I sit in Independence Square, watching the people prepare for a party, I am engaged in conversation about the heat, the city, my origins and plans for the evening. Do I know about the party? Can we talk in Spanish, his second language, hailing from a Maya pueblo near Uxmel, almost in Campeche. We actually have a chat, more or less in Spanish, and I think we both feel pleased.

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