I’ve started to learn to understand music. I never really liked it for most of my life. I like songs, but never instrumentals. I liked the stories, not the sounds. I was talking with the Musician while we played scrabble in Spanish about it. There is a certain feeling to music that I was never able to find before I moved to Mexico. The only music that consistently moved me was Pink Floyd, and it’s not good to have that kind of connection to sorrow and pain. Learning the piano has begun to change what I can here, something far more useful that just making music.
I think that’s what I love most about learning. It’s all the things you never expected to learn, all the things beyond the basic skill set. It’s like when you learn martial arts but you never really fight. All the things you learn about yourself and how to be better. People always assume it’s the fighting, but if you’re good enough you never really need to fight these days. You can usually avoid or de-escalate the problem. When the time comes that you need to fight, you can, but there is so much more to it than that. The great secret of Kung Fu, as passed down to me by my teachers.
Things have been pretty relaxed here, just preparing for a trip back to San Diego next week for weapons training and a short visit. I had bought the ticket to go back for the move, but since the sale of the house fell through I figured I’ll just use it anyway. It’s been too long since I’ve been back there for martial arts. I miss the old studio and the people. I miss the bruises and the laughter. Too many things that I’ve had trouble finding here.
One thing I have noticed here is the fences. They do construction without any protection for the site, but if they put up a fence, they are tearing the building down the next week. There have been three places on my street that have followed that pattern. It’s interesting to see, since the buildings often touch their neighbor’s buildings. You can’t just tear the whole thing down, at the end you have to manually chisel away the rock that has fused to the neighbor’s house.
One thing I’ve noticed recently with the construction sites is the cat calls. It’s like being in a bad cartoon, guys whistling and yelling, or guys in their cars honking their horns. It’s almost funny when the guy honking the horn is in a shitty cab. I figured you wouldn’t want the attention. I know there are all the calls for this to end in the States, and I know what to do about that, but here in Mexico the rules are different.
First, I am a guest here, and I can’t say that my involvement should be the same as it would be in the US. Second, you can’t rely on the police for backup if things go bad. I don’t have enough money to buy their protection. Third, you never know who has family in a cartel, and you never want to piss those people off. I find it childish and depressing, but I’m not likely to get involved when I live in a place where people have a habit of disappearing. Especially when all dozen men at the work site are doing it at the same time.
It strange not knowing exactly how to act in a situation. I was over at the bar, watching one of the other teachers get angrier and angrier as his team continued to lose the futbol game, badly. As an American, I laugh at his pain, but it’s not the same as back home. It’s harder to see where the line is, and how far I can push it. Still a fun time, but I wonder if I could have been more abusive. It’s always more fun when I can push the boundaries a bit.
The only problem was watching the false New Yorker. He ordered a calzone at an English pub, and claimed it was good. For a guy from Queens, you think he would be able to tell the difference between a calzone and a giant hot pocket. Everything about it was wrong, from the look to the smell. Then he proceeded to eat it with a fork. Sometimes you just want to slap people. It’s like eating menudo made by Chef Boyardee or kicking a puppy. Some things you can never justify.
The final note for the week was dealing with the bank. That ranks as a cloud of bullshit on a hot day. It was hard to get details, between the conflicting stories and the Spanish, but they canceled my account, either because they put my name into the account wrong, putting my last name first, or because over the last four years y signature has changed slightly. There really is nothing as stupid as trying to learn to forge your own signature. I think that is the strangest thing here, that everything seems to make sense until it falls apart. Expectations always seem to fail, and usually at the exact moment you think you have everything settled.