When you start to look, this city is much harder than it seems on the surface. People of all ages sweeping, or wiping down cars, in conditions that are hard to believe exist in the second largest city in Mexico. You see something similar in San Diego, but usually people are just begging on the side of the road near the freeway. I was talking with a friend about the stereotype of the lazy Mexican. You just have to look to see it’s bullshit.
They sweep every day, even when the wind is high and their work is undone as fast as they work. There is a story of a Buddhist monk who could not memorize the words that lead to enlightenment. The other monks finally gave up on him and put him to sweeping the temple all day, every day. He did this for years, never cleaning the temple because by the time he finished he would have to start again. After ten years he realized he could never make the dirt go away, only move it around, and that it was the same for all things in life and so became enlightened. Nothing can be created or destroyed because nothing is what we believe it is. The noble truth of emptiness. Nothing is real.
The whole concept makes my life easier. Pain, anger, joy, and everything else fall away. They lose the power they once had over me. Life is easier, but not always better. Anxiety is still a nasty driving force sometimes though. Old habits and all. For now, I’ll keep doing what I do and see where the path leads. I expect to be surprised looking back. I still miss home, and seeing all the martial arts events I’m missing is frustrating. I miss being the chauffeur for Sijo. As bad as hours in the borderline can be, I learned a lot from that time. I miss being able to take martial arts, for now my schedule only allows for Qi Gung and practice of my old forms. I’m hoping to find someone who can teach me privately, since my hours of availability change weekly right now.
I was able to please my Qi Gung teacher. Before class started I was practicing a bit of my Buddha Palm form in front of the large mirrors in the studio. She was very happy, and asked me to present the 24 form of Tai Chi for the class. I had some flexibility issues due to my work clothes, but she was very impressed. Que bonito and all. I just told her the truth, I’ve had very good teachers. In that way I’m lucky. I’ve learned more in three years than most people learn in a lifetime. I’ve studied under people who are almost mythological in their knowledge and ability. Grace and power I didn’t believe before I saw it. Healing and harming side by side, but healing always the most important and useful. I wish I could see what I want of the world and still have all that available to me, but everything has a cost.
Fortunately, I won’t have to pay for college just yet. I’ll wind up with some debt, but it will be worth it in the end. If I need to I can teach somewhere like Hong Kong or Korea and pay off my loans before moving to somewhere new. The Peace Corps is always an option, and something I want to do anyway. Maybe when I finish college, maybe later. There are very few roads closed to me at this point in my life.
I’ve started taking Spanish lessons at the school, and I really like the teacher. She knows what she’s doing and she laughs at my bad jokes, which is always a bonus. I’m going to push for the Chinese classes next week. I didn’t want to do solo classes, but that may be the only option to me for now. I have the group class on Sunday and my Qi Gung class covers some Chinese, so I think I’ll be okay. I always try to take on too much, but there is never enough time.
I was able to give some advice to a friend this week. We’ll see how well he implements it on Tuesday. I will never understand why it’s so difficult for men to understand women. They’re not that complicated. Don’t do stupid shit and realize that when they complain there is usually a reason. If there is no reason, that’s a red flag and you reconsider your life choices. Everything makes sense, in some way. Even the insane have logic, it’s usually just extreme beyond measure or severely twisted. Sometimes the only good reaction to another person is avoidance.
My plans continue to fall into place. At this rate, I will be able to dominate the world in less than ten years. Of course I will graciously turn down the opportunity. Really, who in their right mind would want to run this barrel of psychotic monkeys. I’m happy to watch the circus unfold.
It’s weird having the weekend off too. My student cancelled for the morning, so I only have the one night class. That one is easy enough anyway. Book work mixed with role plays related to her work. I like seeing that part of the city too, where the circus is. It’s not as far as it seems, and it is always very relaxed. I’m not exactly looking forward to it, but I’m as close as I can be. I still would rather be practicing languages, martial arts, surfing, and generally enjoying life. I hope I can become rich one day. I’d love the relaxed life mixed with the joy of pretending I’m better than everyone else, in a good humored sort of way.
I’m starting to run out of places to find food that are close and cheap. I have my favorites now, but I’m always looking for new ones. The good thing about this city is you can go down almost any back street and find something you never knew was there. Something familiar and awesome, but done in a unique way. Except Chinese food. Still no luck there, but I’ll keep hoping and searching. I should actually get paid soon, which will make some difference in things around here. At least I’ll know what to expect going forward.