I’ve thought of three good reasons why I can claim to be a good, fully assimilated Mexican hombre. Yesterday I witnessed a robbery in progress, on the bridge a few minutes from home. I looked up, stopped, thought about saying something and then just decided – meh! Shit happens. Walk on by. To be fair, the robber and robbee were already closing their transaction, and they were on the world’s longest and most stupid footbridge, a good ten minutes stroll from my spot. Even though they were directly above me, no more than 12 feet away. And what was I going to say anyway? “Excuse me, are you being robbed? Hey there, you, in the red hoodie – would you mind awfully leaving that poor chap alone!” Not gonna have much impact I feel.
Even more Mexican than that was the way I cut back the tree in our yard at the weekend. Health and Safety regulations used to be the bain of my life back in the UK. Forms, forms and more forms. Here, they are effectively non existent, and I’ve seen enough incidents to drive home why the UK enforces them so strictly. But I’ve gotten into the swing of things. Oh so literally. I managed to cut that tree down to size, with one hand clinging on to a branch, one foot pressed against the lip of the wall, the other hanging free, whilst my remaining arm sawed furiously at the offending wood. All the time my body at a 45 degree angle, at a height sufficient to cause pain if I should fall. I didn’t, I’m happy to report.
Thirdly, a few weeks ago I got a tooth infection. Whilst it did occur to me to go to the dentist, I chose instead to buy some cheap bog standard penicillin tablets from the national fake medicine chain, and finish off a number of Mystery Medicines that have been lying around in our first aid box since…well, I have no idea since when really. All washed down with a goodly dose of paracetamol. My home made remedy didn’t work sadly, and I strolled into the dentist of last resort this afternoon in agony.
Yo soy un Mexicano! Except, when I finish this post and walk out of this room I’ll pass a mirror which will provide three most compelling reasons as to why I will never really pass as a Mexican. Six foot three, fair hair and blue eyes. It’s not that there aren’t any Mexicans who fit that description. But not many. And none of them leave the safety of Polanco to wander around my neighbourhood.