Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Divided Nations

I'd like to say our little fishing village turns into a mini United Nations during the winter months. Well, maybe not United Nations, but a Pan-American Cooperative. But such is not the case. You pick up little barbs in conversations with the gringos about the Canadians (if the speaker is American) or Americans (if the speaker is Canadian -- and they don't think the term "gringo" ever applies to Canadians) or the Francophones (if the speaker is an English speaker) and although my French is not good enough to converse with the Quebequois (and unlike the French of my Parisian friends, I find theirs nearly impossible to understand) they are probably saying similar things about the English speakers. Everyone seems to be in a competition over who is more in touch with the locals.

At the north end of the beach, there is a funky dry camp area. For those unfamiliar with RV life, it means that it's a place where RVs can park but there are no facilities, no hookups. They pay a small fee to the family that owns that strip of turf, get a hole dug in the ground for their waste (a questionable practice at best) and get their water from the agua truck and propane from the propane truck (both with jingles blaring from loudspeakers mounted on their trucks.) This is an unofficial "no generator" zone, as well, so if you stumble upon it and fire up your generator at night, you will be bad vibed out of there in no time at all.

But there are more walls between more groups:
Seasonal versus year-round non-Mexicans
Big Rig RVs versus Small Rig Campers
Businesses (mostly restaurants) run by non-Mexicans for non-Mexicans versus Businesses run by Mexicans for non-Mexicans

No wonder the world is such a mess. If people can't be friends with each other here, where life is easy and laid back.... What's more, it's those who have the most in common who want to divide themselves. Bizarre. I haven't really heard any negative comments from Mexicans about any non-Mexicans, but then again, my Spanish is so retarded I could never have that deep a conversation. (Yesterday, we had the longest conversation with a stranger from Guadalajara as we were doing a beach clean-up as part of our morning walk. He was embarrassed by how the locals who come here on weekends trash the beach so much. Big Dog did most of the talking, with my interjecting a few "Si!" "Claro!" "Bueno!" and such. I wanted to tell him that actually, this was pretty minimal compared to all the industrial waste the Northerners spew onto the planet, but it will be a while before I have that much vocabulary!)

There's a Chinese-Mexican dentist/doctor family that looks after both the locals and visitors. And there's a Japanese guy who runs a restaurant by the highway. Everyone seems to like them and have nothing disparaging to say. Maybe Asians are too much of a minority to be anything but a novelty here where I am known only as La Japonesa and Big Dog is probably known as El Gringo de La Japonesa.

"Why are they so petty?" Big Dog wonders about the Other Gringos. He feels immune from it all and hangs out with everyone. Who knows what they say behind our backs. We don't care.

Everyone seems to hate Bush. Shouldn't that unite us all?


Blogger Marti said...

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5:29 AM  

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