Power in Mexico

Just when the wifi was working again, we have a new issue. There was a big storm last night and now the entire block is having brownouts. It’s always something here. I’ve been here too long and I’m losing my patience with it. You never really know what’s going to happen next here, but it never seems to be really good. I’ve met a lot of great people, and seen some amazing things, but the surprises don’t tend to be something to celebrate.

I’m sure I’ll miss this place when I’m gone, but for now I have to focus on my internship. It’s hard to set one up when you can’t walk over to the place and ask questions. I’m looking in Atlanta so I can spend Christmas with the family, but I don’t know how that’s going to work out. Just have to keep working on it I guess.

The problem with sociology is that it’s such a wide spread field that I don’t even know where to begin. I have been looking into working with the indigenous Mexicans, or the refugees in Africa, but there’s a good chance I’ll have to pay to get one of those set up, mostly for room and board, but also for the flight. I really want to work in South Africa, but it’s just too expensive at this point. I’ll have to look to Africa when I get done with my degree. Hopefully I can get to Taiwan for the next year, then Africa, then, who knows. I enjoy imagining what will be. It’s like when you imagine what you’d do when you win the lotto, but it’s already my reality.

I think that’s the best thing about being out here. When I get tired of a place, I can move on. I’ll miss the friends I’ve made, but there is too much to do. In some ways I’m glad we have modern technology. I can never completely lose touch with people now. I know there was once a time when you could go completely off the grid, but now you really have to work at it. I was looking at a position in Mongolia where they still lived in yurts and cut their own firewood. I’m considering that for long term. Some time away from the world. I wonder if it will be better than this sketchy connection. Choosing isolation versus forced isolation.

It will still be a week and a half before I get my phone back. It’s easier for me to go back to the States and pick it up than to ship it into Mexico. Something that small and expensive has a tendency to go missing. The Diplomat’s 3D printer was out for repairs and had to be shipped back to the US. Apparently the guy at the border didn’t know what he should do with it so he shipped it to somewhere else along the border instead of finding out the process. I ordered a tie one time and it took three weeks to get here. These are the kind of stories that do not comfort me in this country. I used to read H.P. Lovecraft because I like scary stories, but now I just have to ask my students about Mexico.

I did have my first stop and search by the police last week. I’m not sure if it’s legal or not in this country, but I know enough not to question them. It was early, and raining, and I had my heavy raincoat and my messenger bag, walking through the light rain when they pulled up next to me. I wasn’t sure what they wanted, but when two uniformed people with assault rifles stop you to talk, it’s not good. They asked the typical questions, searched my pockets, then my bag. Fortunately I never carry anything valuable, and right now I don’t have my phone. The guy said it was because my coat could easily hide a pistol under it. I am a six and a half foot tall American in Mexico. I will never touch a gun here. I know enough about the law to know that the legal system is questionable, the rule is guilty until proven innocent, and owning a gun is considered treason here.

When I tell that story here everyone asks if they wanted money, but they never asked me for anything. The guy who opened my wallet did it where I could see it, and he never opened the section with money. He only looked at my work ID then gave it all back. They were very polite, spoke slowly enough that I could understand, and I didn’t worry until he mentioned I might have a gun. I have only fired a gun once in my life, and I am not going to a Mexican prison for something stupid.

It’s strange how things seem to cluster. I had problems with bad luck here for the first month I was here, then no real problems for almost a year. Now, two stolen phones, and a stop by the police in a month. I wonder if it’s just how I’m seeing the world right now, but it’s always hard to tell. Perception means a lot in this world, even if it isn’t Truth.

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