In search of oil - BONANZA or should I say BUDDHANZA!!!
Leaving Cafenio, after moving my truck into the space directly in front of the cafe for tonite's sleep and access to internet!, I walk down the street looking for the tortas place that I THINK the hotel guy came running out to tell me about as I was leaving.
I cannot find it but I also need to exchange more money, as the forced purchase of diesel, not to mention the toll booths I have been unable to avoid, has left me with little pesos. Did I mention that diesel costs $9 peso a liter, which makes it about $3 per gallon here? And the toll is $89 pesos which is close to $8.
I support high prices for fuel, but how can people in Mexico pay the same as people in the u.s. when they make so much less?
But I digress from my FABULOUS news.
I decide to go to a bank where, when I was driving into town, I saw a good exchange rate posted for dollars - $11.88 per $1.
I try to exchange $200 us dollars (half my cash stash...ut on!) and the womon behind the glass wants to see my passport, which of course I have left in my truck.
The bank is closing in 5 minutes and my truck is about 6 big blocks away. I tell her I will try to make it back. As I am asking what time will the bank open in the morning, the customers at the teller next to me come over and the womon Pati, gives her card to the teller and has her change the money for me!
Pati and her son Neil, who speaks a little english, tell me they are buddhists, Tina Turner's buddhists! And my sistah Shirley's buddhists!
We begin talking and I find out that they are working for world peace in their way! I try to ask them about aceite vegetal, but they, like everyone I've met so far here, cannot understand me the way they did in Hermosillo and Yavaros. hmmmmm - maybe my tongue has gotten lazy.
They try really hard to understand me. Neil and I talk in english to no avail. Then Pati calls a friend who speaks english. I speak with him on the cell phone.
First he wants me to go to the supermarket! It is so very hard for people to fathom using veggie oil to run a vehicle.
Finally he understands and suggests macdonalds and burger king - they are lower than the bottom of the barrel in the u.s. but all things being relative, I may have to seriously check them out but I KNOW they don't use 100% veggie oil - why should they? Who eats at those places and cares about hydrogenated oils or lard?
Pati and Neil understand now! YEAH!!!! Pati is an amazing womon. She is a womon who can - and does - do anything in life. Even though I cannot understand her words, I certainly understand and appreciate so much her energy.
She is short, beautiful, lively, and boisterous with a truly infectious laugh!
She tells me to get in the car waiting at the curb with her esposo behind the wheel. First I say no, I'll walk but then I figure I have taken my chances with Mexican drivers as a pedestrian and survived, I might as well try with a driver!
As we invade the car, she rapidly explains to him who I am, what I am doing, and where we are going. He points the car in the direction she indicates and off we race, avoiding collisions, bicyclists, and the random pedestrian.
We go to a restaurant that is two blocks from my truck. In fact, you can see the giant pink peace symbol that Phoebe redid for me - THANK YOU Phoebe - from way down the blocks!
I go into the restaurant to ask the womon there. She has no idea what I am saying and calls for the man mopping the floor to come and see if he can understand me.
As I attempt to talk with him, Pati bursts through the door, grabs her friend and hugs her, all the time speaking rapidly about what I want.
Her friend from childhood, Carila (I think) grins broadly and sends the man to the back. Out he comes to the sidewalk with not one but TWO containers of oil!!!
With no lids. But Neil speaks with his father, who gives him a wad of napkins, and voila! the containers have lids.
Neil tells me he is a student, a singer, a guitar player, and his mission in his young 18 year old life is to bring peace to the world! He also has a blog, which he is taking mucho pictures for! I will try to remember to ask him to email me those pictures so I can post too!
We load the oil, and ourselves, back into the van/station wagon, with no seat belts... and off we swing around the corner to make it back to the truck.
All the way, Pati is talking about where we can go to get aceite vegetal usado! She tells me most of the restaurants are closed by now - it is becoming dark - anochecer I think, that moment before it is really nite and no longer day.
When we get to the truck, Pati cannot believe my "Arriba Mujeres, Arriba!" To say she LOVES it is to say there are a few grains of sand on the shore!
Pati has called friends, brainstormed places faster than I can understand, and taken me to the local cooking school, that uses very little oil for frying which is malo for me but good for people's health!
Pati tells me she is a teacher for special ed children, the director! Another special thing about Pati! Her husband corrects her saying one of the few words he has uttered the whole time we are together "principal". She laughs. Director, principal - who cares, I image her saying.
Now she tells me, I think, that she will return in the morning and take me around to find oil. When we return to the truck, she rapidly tells me her friend lives two houses away. This is after she has grabbed yet another womon walking down the street, hugged her, and introduced us, all the time asking her for veggie oil usado!
We go to her friend's house, who invites me in with Pati and Neil. I'm not sure of her name, but she is also buddhist. She tells me her home is my home and invites me to sleep on there, eat there, go to the bathroom, etc.
Pati tells me her friend writes for the paper and they will want to interview me tomorrow. In english! At least that's what I think she says.
I wish I could invite all of them for cena, dinner but it will take me forever to cook for so many. I need to know how womyn here have a perennial pot of food always ready!
So tonite, I will sleep REALLY well, knowing I will most likely get enough veggie oil here (I hope I hope I hope) to travel far and wide in Mexico, ecologica (like english but w/the soft 'g') and economica (and with a couple of accents!
But best of all, without support la guerra - WAR - in order to travel! YES!