Skip to content

From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Lake Texcocobebone

16 November 2004

From the halls of Montezuma…

We had a high-level bi-lateral conference (US — and them) here last week. This was a challenge for my favorite Mexican newspaper. It’s newsworthy when the usual suspects, Colin Powell and Tom Ridge for the US; Vincente Fox and Santiago Creel for them – get together and talk about… whatever it is discredited, ineffectual high government officials talk about. Jornada in the spirit of Harpo, not Karl, Marx, covered the non-event effectively:

Colin Powell arrived in a Lincoln limousine. President Fox also arrived in a limousine. They went into the Palace. They stood on the balcony. They posed for the cameras. Then they left.

I guess the late Rodney Dangerfield was the Colin Powell of comedians. But speaking of cabinet officers who don’t get no respect, the Chairman of Pemex (Pemex profits keep taxes low, since they kick in more than enough for the politicians to steal, mismanage and sometimes use… so, the chairman of the board is a Cabinet Secretary), Raul Muñoz Leos received one of el Presidente’s famous cowboy boots up his backside last week. At least metaphorically. It appears using government funds to pay for his wife’s fat butt was not exactly what Fox had in mind, when he talked about investing in tapping new and unexplored oil reserves. But, misappropriating government funds for his wife’s liposuction treatments really wasn’t that strange. LOWERING the price of oil sold to U.S. companies by 3 dollars a barrel.. now that’s really shady.It’s no wonder Fox, and his party, are seen as losers. They are. Fox was supposed to be a Mexican Ronald Reagan… Muñoz Leos was like a lot of Reagan’s cabinet officers, who saw cutting their department down to size and running it like a business (or even better, selling it off to corporate interests) was their purpose in life. But Reagan was able to see the idea that bureaucracies are supposed to be cost-efficient. Fox can’t make the argument that cheap oil for ExxonMobile (or is it MobilExxon?) is good for Mexican workers.It’s not the best source, but it’s in English: The Mexico City News has a longish, superficial article on the doings at Pemex.

I had the best Sopa Azteca the other day, and asked the chef for the recipe. It was an old family recipe, and he wasn’t about to give away the secret, but I did learn one thing… use fresh ingredients and start with a whole Aztec…


To the Saint Mary’s Shores …

Meanwhile, life here in America’s oldest bedroom community (if your burro was plodding up the Tacuba causeway about 1535, you would have seen a sign reading “If you lived here, you’d be home now… swampside lots now available!) goes on as always. And, as always, I’m amazed at the number of gringos who can’t place this neighborhood… who think it’s out in the boonies somewhere (not since the 16th century anyway). Poor benighted souls… they think anything further away from Polanco than the Zona Rosa is “injun country”. What they don’t know is we’re the “French Quarter”… and the Spanish Quarter, and the Kenyan Quarter, and the Brazilian Quarter, and the Russian Quarter … and, yes, we have injuns too.When I go to the mercado on Sunday, I meet a few elderly French men and women in the park. Most of them came here in the 1940s, and we still have a French lycée facing the park… along with a 100 year old store specializing in bugs – right next to a Russian taco stand.The way to meet the neighbors is to have a dog. Eva Perra is the one who meets and greets everyone… I’m just along for the walk. Besides her canine buddies and boyfriends (including Filomon the Yorkie… who is madly in love with her, but alas – or thankfully – unable to consummate his love, being about a tenth her size) there are her political contacts – like her Argentine namesake, she’s been trying to organize the poor and dispossessed… in her case the pack of half-feral collies … los perros sin hogares… or at least bring them into her Perro-ista movement.

Mexican dogs have their own political persuasions. Roof dogs, like Manches the Jack Russell, are capitalists and generally right-wingers. They are sticklers for order and complain loudly about any violation – or presumed violation – of their property rights (in Peru, where property titles have been screwed up since Pizarro, a conservative economist seriously suggested drawing up deeds based on the mid-point between where roof dogs start barking). Pure bred house dogs – like Frieda Kahlo the French Poodle are the neurotic petite bourgeois … forever worried about what the neighbors are up to, and their own place in the social hierarchy. Frieda the Poodle, like her Commie namesake, is an annoying pest… if she lost a leg or two, maybe it wouldn’t be so bad… yeah… hmmmmm….

The less pure-bred house dogs are probably leftists, though you find a few reactionaries in there.

Street dogs are anarchists. Some work hard, like Paloma the taco-vending German Shepard (really… he sits in front of the taco stand all night, and when you want a taco, he informs the jefe, who’s inside watching the futbal game) or are struggling to get by, like Canello who works as a security guard at the corner newsstand in the morning, and the farmacia at night. Others want to live on the dole, like the Cantina dog across the street. Don’t know his name… he’s just the Cantina dog.

Then there’s dogs like Eva… who never forgot where she came from. Like all doggies, she’d make a good fascist, though saved by her anarchist streak from mindless obedience. And, being a Latin American, of course, she’s open to bribery and flattery.

When NOT being walked by the dog, I’ve been writing propaganda for my company. It looks like I have to really, really work now (well, not now, but manaña… or the manaña after that) since our propaganda is starting to pay off and it looks like we have a shitload of new people to train. “Those that can, do. Those that can’t, teach. Those that can’t teach are administrators”. Pretty cool trick, huh? Make the programs so good that I wouldn’t hire me to teach them. So… anybody know where I can find some excellent teachers, with experience – preferably in business or administration – and interested in making not a lot of money in Mexico?

And that’s all the news from Lake Texcoco-begone, where all the women are getting liposuction, all the men are tasty (if prepared properly) and all the tourist’s children are uncomfortable.

No comments yet

Leave a reply, but please stick to the topic

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: