not much sleep today again. argh.. zombies sleep better than me.
i woke up this morning and saw it staring me in the face as if to say, ‘are you going to read me now or what?’ a book i promised myself to read has been sitting there collecting mexican dust (or pollution) on the shelf for too long now. i throw on some clothes, grab the grumpy book and head out into the mexico sun. i venture into the neighbourhood and find a park bench along one of the walkways. there i sit under the shade of the trees and, rather excitedly, get back into my book. however, a problem arises: theres too much foot traffic for a keen people watcher like me. my eyes are ripped from the page every time a new creature moves by my view of sight. i say creature and not person because people arent the only things catching my eye. dogs of all shapes and sizes running up and down the path vie for my attention and im all too happy to oblige. small lizards dart past my feet and up the nearby tree daring me to chase them. im more than half tempted. birds swoop and dive in random fashion singing all the while. this is far too distracting a place to read for a self-diagnosed add patient.
a pretty girl in a flowery dress passes by. she darts across the street in front of a few cars and a man on a motorcycle. its the latter mans reaction that catches mine. for almost 40 feet his head turns to continue looking at the girl in the flowery dress. thats 40 feet with his head turned while driving his motorcycle in mexican traffic. hes either really smitten or nuts, but most likely both. ive already seen his reaction a million times over since i arrived here two weeks ago. ive seen it in taxi drivers, bartenders, businessmen, policemen and any other occupation or non-occuptation a man might hold here. whether they realize it or not, or simply care nothing to hide it, their eyes burn holes through women (not literally). if lust could burn for real, youd see it here in mexico city. now, to be fair, canadian men do take in their fair amount of glances on the opposite sex. its not the same here. here casual glances are replaced by blatant, in-your-face, lustful stares.
a quick look through the city and its apparent why. no guess-work needed. walking by any one of the thousands of magazine stands in the city you are bound to see a lot of two things: sex and violence. dirty and smutty magazines are plentiful enough to garner their own sections while the most heinous violent acts make front page news, graphic included. just the other day i saw a woman, her head blown to pieces, on the front page of one of the major newspapers. sitting close by that picture sat barely clothed bodies of women wrapped in plastic magazine covers. the two images coupled together. now im no fancy psychology or political expert (i just pretend to be) but it seems to me that this culture is indoctrinated to objectify the female and desensitize everyone the use of violence. its scary, really and something im not sure many inside the culture are aware of. (note: i just arrived two weeks ago so im not sure how valid my experience is) children growing up in this environment are exposed and forced to accept these sinister characteristics as ‘normal’. women who dress for comfort because of the heat are subject to demeaning stares and comments.. or worse. i researched online a bit and found that six in ten women have experienced sexual violence in their lives. 60% seems like a pretty high number, no? a chilling thought, especially when my girlfriend studies here at the present. my very pretty girlfriend who unfortunately is at the end of many of the stares described above. i guess i better start practicing my kung fu more. self note: search craigslist for ‘numchucks’ after writing this blog.
despite that, i really like it here! all the people ive met have been incredibly friendly and inviting. even though my spanish isnt what some would call ‘fluent’ (i can count to ten!) people have been patient while i stammer around looking for the right words. i dont want to knock mexico or even mexican people. not at all. this is simply an observation from a disturbed foreigner staying in a foreign country with disturbing cultural tendencies.
lucas + mexico = awesomeness
ps. theres a spider that lives in my shower. i named him ted 4 days ago. its a beautiful friendship.