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Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! I am on my mobile version of the door-to-door, going town-to-town holding readings/gatherings/discussions of my book "But What Can I Do?" This is my often neglected blog mostly about my travels since 9/11 as I engage in dialogue and actions. It is steaming with my opinions, insights, analyses toward that end of holding all life sacred, dismantling the empire and eliminating violence while creating the society we want ALL to thrive in

Sunday, December 26, 2010

My last night in Zacatecas

I decide not to move the truck tonite but to spend the nite here in the middle of downtown centro Zacatecas.

Hopefully I will get a better night’s sleep tonite. The city is hoping tho! A young man is playing the accordion right outside my door, his little 2 or 3 year old daughter holding the cup. She’s been holding the cup all day and I wish I could invite her inside to sleep a little.

People are strolling the streets, and a couple of clowns are putting on a show that is very well attended in the square a few car lengths from where I’m parked. I can hear the crowd laughing and cheering.

Mario has come by to tell me the tamale vendor is passing – I told Mario I wanted some tamales! I get 3 large wonderful tamales for $30 pesos, which is less than $1 each! I’m trying to save one for tomorrow.

Tomorrow I will leave for some indigenous ruins I have seen pictures of in the museum, and I will try to find some hot springs to camp at for a couple of days. I’m ready for some seclusion and less gentes, although if the school was open, I would stay here longer and take Spanish lessons – classes are only $250 for 3 months! That’s pesos!

Museums and Zacatecas

I spend the day in Zacatecas today doing what I don’t normally do: going around to museums and learning everything I can about this place and the people here – from the museums.

First I find an art museum that has an incredible art collection of local Mexican artists displayed on several floors and in the hallways of this amazing old building. But the best display is a large room full of intense ancient masks and and another room of ancient objects collected from the local people as well as people around the world.

Of course all the local artists were men, except for one woman – and half of her display was dedicated to talking about her husband.

I of course have to attempt to talk with one of the curators about this blaring problem. He understands me and is very aware and sad that this is the case. He says in México much machismo still exists.

I assure him México is not standing alone.

The other museum I find is dedicated to the indigenous people of Zacatecas. It is all in Spanish so I miss lots of it but I get lots of it too. There are some great old black and white photos, as well as life-like displays of the Zacateca people, their work, their homes, their rituals and ceremonies.

It is a multi-media museum with a large-screen introductory movie, several videos, as well as objects, detailed signs, machinery, etc. on three or four floors and in another incredible old building.

And there are many squares of brilliant, beautiful, intricate designs on cloth, both hand embroidered and beaded work.

I carry my dictionary with me through both museums and it takes from opening to closing time to make it through them.

I hang out again with Mario, the vender who sells cactus growing out of sand paintings of lizards and other desert scenes that he makes. I get to ask him how he knows about Monsanto. He tells me he has a friend in Pueblo, where he lives, who owns am organic coffee shop.

She has told him all about Monsanto, GMO and sterile seeds. Mario speaks english really well, although he lets me speak in my awful Spanish.

I also talk with Gloria, who is also a vender with three children, selling scarves. She doesn’t speak english, nor do the kids, but we have so much fun talking together. Her kids are 11, 10, 9 and they are all sweet and patient with me.

I can understand Gloria and I think she understands me too. She tells me her father grows some food but not organically. She says the corn he grows is just for cows. We talk about impact on humans when cows are feed inorganic corn.

Gloria tells me in one more month, I will be speaking Spanish perfectly! I kiss her feet!

Night visitors

I suddenly hear voices outside my truck but I don’t think they are related to me – I hope. I can’t tell exactly what they are saying but they are definitely male.

Maybe I have the sorry luck of parking in front of someone else’s picnic home. I did check for evidence of human occupation before parking and didn’t find anything.

I try to peer out my shut curtains. I can see over the very top of one window: there is a street light illuminating the street and part of the park, no people visible, but I only have about 3” to look through. I’m careful not to move a curtain or indicate I am in the truck.

It sounds like there are about 3 guys out there. One is doing most of the talking, the others are laughing. After several minutes, I decide they must just be hanging out and I try and try to go back to sleep.

They don’t seem to be getting closer or farther away, just the same. I can’t make out one word. Finally, I convince myself that if they intended to do me harm, they would be much more quiet. And they would have done it already.

Or maybe they’re working themselves up, getting the nerve together, to approach me. If so, at least they’re not hardened criminals.

I can hear them walking around but they don’t seem to be getting closer. Or louder. Just a few words. Laughter. A few more words. Laughter. Laughter. And more words.

I’m debating whether I should get up and go talk with them. It is close to 10pm now and I don’t really want to open the door. I don’t think they know that I am inside. I think they are waiting for me to come back maybe.

Oy vey. Suddenly I hear a car approaching, then I hear three car doors slamming, and silence.

What a relief. Off to sleep.

But sleep is temporary. Soon I’m hearing the same and more voices. They are laughing and carrying on, giggling like girls sometimes, sometimes howling at how funny they must be.

I strain to understand – the words and the jokes but only “Codepink” floats in the air many times in between Spanish. I think I might hear “si se peude” too.

They don’t sound scary but I think they are also drinking. Maybe they made a run to the liquor store – and to get more buddies. Whatever they are doing, they are really enjoying themselves. I’m through with them, but they are happy.

I wonder, don’t these guys have homes? Have families waiting for them on xmas nite? Have somewhere warm to be? Between putting circles around the truck and me, I’m trying to urge them away.

Just when I think I cannot take this anymore, it is 1:45 and getting really cold, they seem to walk towards the truck and then – nothing, silence, nada.

I don’t hear a car door, I don’t hear footsteps, I don’t hear a voice. It’s like they melted into the pavement. I edge the curtain a little and look out onto an empty street.

Wow. I sleep until 5:30am, when I think it is day time and I am relieved I made it thru the nite. 

I peer outside and there is evidence of several beer cans and bottles at the picnic table that weren't there last night. I think I should have greeted these guys, and then told them I am sleeping and to please be quiet at least. I think they would have.