Code Pink Journals CodePINK Journals

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, January 16, 2011

Sunday finales

I vow to never miss a sunrise or sunset while I am near the ocean again.

I sit on the beach, saying “no gracias” over and over to most all the vendors trudging by, but I do say yes to several womyn selling food!

I buy a mango on a stick, covered with chili and lime, several fish and cheese quesadillas that I’m sure are totally deep fried, and a coconut, shelled with it’s milk still inside!

And I buy tejocota, a rosy, rectangular fruit candy that I do not know about. It is delightful – or maybe I’m just sugar-deprived.

I am so content and full, my earlier troubles dissipate with the sun, as she slips behind the land mass and paints and repaints her fabulous story across the darkening skies. The moon is almost full and she adds her two billion scents to the astounding palette.

I return to my casa-camion to remove my wet bathing suit and dress in anticipation for my exploration of the Lesbian-appearing club I have seen on my walk today.

“After dark” I’ve been told it opens and so, it is after dark that I head down the 5 or 6 blocks toward the rainbow post.

When I arrive, the place is totally dark, but the chain is off the entrance to the patio, and the glass doors are standing open.

I enter the doors and immediately face a large, circular cement stairway, also very dark. I make my way cautiously down the steps to the sound of loud music.

When I reach the bottom I can see it is level with the beach, and leads out onto the beach and in onto a large room with large cushioned benches, a stage, and a huge bar tucked into the far corner where the only womon in evidence I see is working behind the bar.

I look first out onto the beach and see there is an area cordoned off by vinyl signs the size of narrow blankets, between the bar and the beach.

Two or three groups of young gay men are gathered together, squatting, sitting, and standing, talking rapidly, drinking, laughing, hanging out.

I return to the large inside space and approach the bartender.  I ask her, in my still limited Spanish, if this is a Lesbian bar. She says yes it is and I say, where are all the lesbians? I can only see young gay men.

She laughs and says I have to return after 10 or 11pm tonite. Or I can come on Wednesday nite, the next time they are open, and for $2000 or $3000 pesos, there will be an “open bar”.

I’m like, okay, my two unfortunate choices: return much later or return on Wednesday and spend almost $200-250 us dollars to be around totally drunk womyn?

Oh well, I’ll have to take my chances and keep trying to contact womyn organically, on my strolls through sand and streets.

Oil and the schmear....

I think about the uses of my time and energy, what I am spending my valuable time and energy on doing, here on my Joiyssey and today, here in Acapulco.

I realize I have to make a paradigm shift in what I am able to spend my time doing.

And I realize once again one of my many privileges has been not having to put much energy into obtaining fuel for my mobility. Here in México, I have to dedicate a LOT of energy into the getting of fuel.

At home, I just have to make sure I have the money to buy fuel, and that I am at the biodiesel station when they are open. Traveling in the u.s. it is more difficult to find biodiesel but I can always fall back on buying diesel.

Or since I now run straight veggie oil, I would have more difficulty getting fuel, collecting it from restaurants, but I can also buy it already purified if I get tired of doing it myself.

But of course, the biggest advantage in the u.s. is that I do not have a dependency on fuel for my mobility, as I do here to a huge extent. I have taken out my bike to ride here once and I am able to use public transportation - if i dare risk putting my life in the hands of the crazy bus driver.

Here, if I want to go any distance, I have go through the entire process necessary to run straight veggie oil.

I have to spend time finding the right restaurants, to make myself understood, sometimes convince people to part with their basura, or compete with the farmers who are feeding this gross oil to their animals.

Even when I secure what I think is an agreement to pick up their oil, I never know for sure if I really will pick it up, until it is in my hands and on my truck. Even then, I could be mistaken!

I also need separate clothes for this venture. Oil penetrates everything and gets all over everything – especially when I was not as experienced as I am now, as several pairs of my shorts and shirts will testify!

Not to mention sneakers and socks. Ideally, I can filter barefoot. But then there is the issue of limited water and oil-streaked hands, legs, feet. Baking soda rescues my skin often!

And the equipment for filtering – even though I THOUGHT I brought enough filters, I didn’t. Fortunately I have been able to sporadically find the right filter but unfortunately I end up paying twice the amount which I did in the u.s. – which I did NOT provide for in my daily budget.

So I have to make room in my psyche – and my time and energy – for the entire process of obtaining oil.

Not just the getting of fuel, finding and securing it, making sure it ends up in my little hands, but then also the filtering of it, making sure it ends up purified in my veggie tank.

And the other condition I have to adjust to is the necessity to frequent large cities, or at least places with a large tourist trade, in order to find a supply of veggie oil used.

Even though I feel very comfortable, even drawn sometimes, to large cities, I prefer spending time in the small country pueblos where I find much more tranquil and beautiful places to park.

I remind myself that this is a condition of being able to travel both according to my values – especially not wanting to support war by consuming petroleum products – and on the money that I have accessible to me.

This overriding joy of course, liberating myself from at least some of the benefits of these wars the u.s. is involved in, schmears my being much more entirely then spilt veggie oil usado.

Sunday (dis)appointments...

I return to my casa-camion just before 8am. I get out my Spanish lessons and practice, practice, practice so I will be in top form when Belen arrives. I make breakfast for us, in between studying, of oatmeal with cinnamon and fresh bananas, and a pot of tea, as I know she doesn't drink coffee.

I do not expect her to be on time, but when 10am gets here, I think she is probably not coming.

I have two appointments today to return to for veggie oil. I decide to go to them and maybe Belen will have arrived by the time I return.

The old man who spoke english so well was not at the restaurant where I was to meet him. I am late but I still expect him to be there. The staff seems to know me, and know that I am looking for veggie oil quemada so that is at least encouraging.

My second appointment goes equally well. I have missed the owner, and on a Sunday morning too, so I have to return tomorrow.

Grrrrrr. Discouraged, I return to the truck, holding out a small hope that Belen will be there.

Sunday magic

I attempt to jog on the beach this morning as I have time before Belen is to arrive. I am able to stretch in the glorious sunrise, but when I try to run, I realize the hardest surface of the beach, where the water washes over the shore, is on a pretty steep slant.

I toil on the slant barefoot for a few moments before a wave crashes into me, wetting my shorts up to my thighs. I give up running and walk for awhile, passing few people: some brave souls stronger than I am, jogging easily along – and some young guys ambling along, maybe just going to or getting off work.

A shout reverberates thru the calm dawn and the small boat that has been chugging along parallel to the shore moves swiftly into action. I see one of the three men on the boat jumping into the water grabby one end of a long net that has been gracefully flung into the water.

The boat races off as the man in the water tosses a long rope to another guy who suddenly materializes  on the shore. The net tumbles endlessly from the stern into the sea as the boat makes a giant curve.

As quickly as the shout, racing men appear on the shore. I see now that the boat has finished its arc, and both ends of the net are at the edge of the shore, making a giant semi-circle reaching far into the ocean.

And on both ends of the net, about 6 or 7 men place themselves, equally spaced apart, heaving the net onto the beach in small increments, their pulls synchronized with the push of the tide.

I am speechless and in awe with the beauty of all of it as I move closer. The early morning skies, the sparkling ocean, the fresh sun, the amazing coordination and unspoken cooperation and skill between the men, the boat, the ocean.

Now there is only one man left on the boat, two men are submerged up to their necks in the water on either side of the net, while the other men on the shore heave with the waves.

When the last man in the line on shore reaches the place where the beginnings of the net are being piled, he drops the net and runs down past the other men, to the water’s edge, grabs the net and begins pulling again.

This repeats over and over as the curve of the net comes closer and closer to shore. It is a beautiful, unhurried, rhythmic dance.

Now more of a crowd is gathering – tourists taking pictures. Excitement reverberates, illuminated by the rays of the new sun, anticipation swells. Yet the net remains empty as they pull and pull and pull.

Soon there is only a few feet of empty net left in the water and I am afraid there is no fish for these hard working men. The two men who have been up to their necks in water the entire time are now beginning to emerge with the last of the net.

With a final haul, the final curve of the net is rapidly brought to a few feet above the wave line, sparkling with silver shimmering fish trapped and gasping their last breaths.

The boat runs aground in the sand, as a man grabs the anchor, races high up the incline onto the beach, and pushes a spike of the anchor deep into the soft sand.

The fish are unceremoniously shaken, pulled and picked out into large piles onto the sand. One man has a white plastic paint bucket that he fills and then hands another fisherman $150 pesos, a little more than $12 us dollars.

Another man steadily searches for and picks out the tiny fish, putting them in a raggedy cloth bag hanging from his shoulder.

Yet another man picks out sting rays and other undesirable fish, tossing them back to their life in the ocean.

While I’ve been watching the fish tumbling to the sand and being sorted, someone has grabbed an end of the net and three men stand inside the boat – one in the middle and two on either ends – while other men outside the boat tug on the net and pass it off to the men in the boat, who are neatly piling it in the belly of the boat.

I can see now the net, charcoal dark with ocean water, is at least 20 feet wide and must be miles long. I have a hard time believing this huge net will fit in this small boat with its little motor. But it finally does.

The fish are now in several orange plastic crates, about 2 ½ times the size of a square milk crate, that also disappear inside the boat with the net.

The anchor is hauled on board with several of the men jumping on, and, standing with their backs to us, out to sea they go.

The other men melt away as swiftly as they appeared and only a couple of fat kitty cats now mill about in the disturbed sand, searching for their share of the catch!

Sunday anticipations

I get up this morning at my usual 5am. I am so pleased there are so many 24 hour restaurants I can slip into, use the bathroom, and slip out of. The most difficult thing about toilets here is remembering to NOT drop the toilet paper down the toilet – and put it in the waiting receptacle somewhere in the cubicle!

I am so excited about hanging out with Belen today. I will make some oatmeal and add my last bananas to it, if she likes them. I am able to go online because I have finally understood enough Spanish to enable me to purchase a mobile internet device!
Not to mention that the young man who approached me to buy the device spoke pretty good english!

Although the device works all over México, it only works where the company has service, of course – which is mostly in the big cities, and some smaller cities. Oh well, I remember traveling in the u.s. with(out) cell phone reception!