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 Sinclairification by Grant Sinclair

Welcome! 15 May 1999

15 May 2009

As promised yesterday, here's the next part of the story where I meet my Mexican host family and - you know what?  Just read it.  It's short and fairly entertaining, according to me.

Welcome! 15 May 1999

To say I procrastinated with this assignment would be an unfair statement.  To say I started late would be more accurate.  I wanted to start writing yesterday, in the Mexico City airport, but I could barely move.  I was too tired to play guitar, let alone write anything legible.  We breezed through the entire process so quickly (even the four-hour layover in Mexico City) it felt like there wasn’t enough time to write.

The things we write about, talk about, or whatever, are the events that stray from the norm.  Think about it.  When someone says to you “Tell me about your day,” what they are really saying is “Tell me about your day that was different from yesterday.”  Things that are unusual, weather they are good or bad, are the E-mail we send, the stories we share, and the events that shape our lives.  I guess I needed to write that paragraph for a while, and hopefully it will stand out just enough that it’ll make you not only think, but tell someone else.  That is when it will prove its point.

Let us not forget that everything is relative and what may not be exciting to me may be a huge ordeal to you.  After a while, however, things begin to lose their novelty and that is when you stop mentioning them. 

A few of the points I’m trying to make here is that some of the things I’ve experienced are no big deal to me.  I flew into the Mexico City airport.  Whoopee.  I’ve flown in and out of enough foreign airports in my life that this doesn’t phase me much anymore.  The only noteworthy event was when they took my wire cutters from my guitar case and made me check it because it’s a tool and they don’t allow any tools on their flights in Mexico.  Ah well.

I was much too tired to really be phased by the customs procedure of pushing the button on the traffic signal and waiting for the result.  If the light turns green, you get to go.  If it’s red, the Mexican customs agent opens all your bags and searches through everything.  It makes me wonder how many bad guys the Mexican Government has caught by luck of the draw.

The only time we really had to do this was entering Oaxaca.  I was too tired to really think about it (Green, good.  Red, bad.  Hope for green) but not too tired to notice a fellow student was unfortunate enough to get a red light and the agent wouldn’t let me stay with her until she got all packed up.

Meeting my host family was as nice experience.  I met the mother and Joel (pronounced Hoyle), her son at the airport.  They are very friendly and kind.  I met the father, David, and their daughter Valeria at the house, who are equally nice.  They seem like a typical American family, except they’re Mexican.  The father is an architect, and does some work out of his house.  The mother is a very well meaning lady, even though her English and my Spanish are equally limited.  Joel is about twenty one and keeps pushing his glasses up with his index finger, about six times a minute.  Valeria, the sister, is about twenty-five, and took the liberty of walking me into the Zocalo, or town square that night.  She is friendly and speaks English very well, and she will probably be my link to the rest of the family.

The house is a four bedroom, three bathroom house.  It’s nice, and there were some things I noticed immediately.  First of all, there are a lot of religious artifacts in the place.  Roman Catholicism seems to be predominant in this household as in most of Mexico based on my research.  As Valeria and I returned from the Zocalo, I stepped on a broken brick on the landing.  She looked at it, laughed and said “the alarm”.  I laughed and thought “Hmm, better save that little piece of information for later.”

These people, like most American families, have pictures of their children on the walls, eat together, and watch TV together at night.  We watched a Mexican Soap Opera, “Rosalinda” and “Bichos” or “A Bugs Life”(in Spanish) last night - the first night I was here.  I want to mention one specific thing before I go to bed, and that is a particular commercial I saw.

The commercial opens with a shot of two guys in a canoe, canoeing down a river.  The next shot is of a pair of women parking their car on a bridge that crosses that river.  One of the girls places her purse on the railing.  She then poses for a photograph, and in doing so knocks her purse over the rail, spilling a singular women’s panty liner down into the river.   As soon as the panty-thing hits the water, it absorbs up the entire river immediately, leaving the canoeing men stranded on dry land, who are now looking around, wondering where the water went.  Funny, funny stuff.  Should win a Cleo.  I’m tired, I’ll write more tomorrow.  

15 May 1999
Oaxaca, Mexico 


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