It’s been many years since I experienced the ‘community’ feeling in the UK. It seems nowadays you need a Royal death, a Jubilee or the World Cup to get a bond going! The high streets are all dying, or in some cases long dead.
So it’s a refreshing change to wander the streets of Mexico, seeing the full Church congregations (not that I’m a believer in any church, but I’m sure it helps their togetherness!), the busy markets, and people helping eachother in allsorts of ways.
It’s so nice to walk in a shop and be served by someone who actually knows the products they are selling. They can tell you exactly which cable you need, what recipes work well with your veggies or when an item will be in stock. Invariably ‘manana’ by the way!
So many homes have part of it (or an add on) turned into a shop of some sort – you never need go far to get what you need, and the people are friendly and helpful, and even if you’re and ignorant English speaking only plonker like me, they will make every effort to talk to you in a new form of Spanglish!
In my neighbourhood I have the little old couple running a burger bar, Augustin the gay barber, several little convenience stores, a veg stall, a stationery stall and there is of course the plethora of food vendors on the streets (just finished my dinner of elote (corn or the cob – see previous post) and a Mole tamale.
My mum’s visiting at the moment, with a friend, and they both were reasonably horrified at the poverty, disabled and the lack of governmental help. And here the community comes in to it again. There is no real govt. social security system – the people are the social security system. Of course, as so many are poor, it’s not the most effective system. But so many give what they can, albeit just a peso or two, or maybe some leftover food.