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 Sinclairification by Grant Sinclair


Ocotlan, 03 June 1999


03 Jun 2009

The 3rd of June found us in Ocotlan, a small town outside of Oaxaca where we went to the townís famous restored church.  It was very, very well restored, very pretty and well kept.  One of the most impressive things was the wood carved walls.  These were placed in front of the door inside the church so people couldnít see in from the outside.  However, if you peeked through the carvings, you could see out into the courtyard.

I found it difficult to believe the church is as old as it is, based on appearance.  There were still markings of parishes past and present, including candles on either side of the altar where people make a donation, light a candle, and say a prayer.  These were my only clue into the days of old, as the paint, woodwork, and meintenance made this pace of worship appear no less than 100 years old.

We also visited the home of Rodolfo Morales, famous Oaxacan painter.  He has a beautiful home, and I understand that only his relatives work there.  Good idea.  His house is open to visitors, tourists, whatever.  We got to go on the roof and look around the place with no hesitation and little guidance.  We even got to see his studio, and it we thetn that I felt like I was in someone elseís place.  I felt like I didnít belong there, I didnít need to be there, and I was intruding.  I would hate it if someone were in my study room, going through my things, so I left his place immediately and waited outside.  The paintings I saw, though, were really, really nice.

On the bus on the way back to Oaxaca, Jennifer and I discussed one of my favorite topics, and that is the theory of fractals, or a smaller thing represents the whole.  I first read about this in Michael Chritonís Jurassic Park, and I may be confusing it with chaos theory, so please forgive me.  Anyhow, this is what I understand, observe, and sometimes practice when trying to figure out time, or what is going to happen next.

As I said, a smaller thing represents the whole.  Letís discuss this, for easier understanding.  Letís say I work in a restaurant for one week straight, both shifts, lunch and dinner.  Monday is the slowest day.  Tuesday is busier than that; Wednesday is busier than the day before it.  Thursday and Friday business increases, and the peaks on Saturday.  On Sunday, things begin to decline slightly, and the whole process repeats itself on Monday.
 
Now, letís take one day of the week, Saturday.  Saturday starts out slowly, at about 11:30 AM, begins to build around 3:00 PM, is busier and busier or at least steady until about 9:30 PM, when business begins to die down.  At 11:45 PM, you are back where twelve hours ago.  This one day represents the whole week.  On the same token, that one week could represent the entire month, but not necessarily from the 1st to the 30th.  It could be from the 14th of one month to the 15th of the next.  Businesses actually plan their fiscal reports, orders and staffing around this type of thinking, or ďwhat it was like this time last year.Ē

Great. So now we have discovered the secret of the restaurant business.  Whoopee.  As interesting and impractical as that may sound, I will explain what Jennifer and I were discussing on the bus.  I was reasoning that in a situation like the ones we were in, where you are meeting people for the first time, and spending a lot of time with them, certain things are accelerated.

For example, some people keep to themselves when it comes to personal matters.  They donít reveal much, or talk much, and it might take about two weeks before you really start talking.  In this situation, everyone knows we all have a month, so people are more likely to open up more quickly.  What takes a month in other circumstances might only take a week here, depending on what it is.

Iíve noticed that even that time allotment changes depending on whom a person is dealing with.  For example, when an American is dealing with a Mexican friend they have just met and may never see again after this month, things appear to move along rather quickly.  However, when two American students from Kennesaw meet, things will accelerate, but not as quickly as with the people you may never see again.  Something that may attribute to this  may be the attitude of ďIíll see them again when we get back.Ē  I have noticed, however, that itís still a faster pace of confiding in one another than if those same people were in the United States.

There is some speculation here, of course, as there are exceptions to this rule.  A lot of this depends on the people involved, but I am making a very general statement in order to get my point across.  Hopefully you will be able to comprehend this, and learn from it.  By the way, I stronlgly recommend reading Jurassic Park.  The movie is good, the book is better.

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