October 9, 2008

Them Phenomena

For a while now, we gringos have noticed that our lives seem run by a nebulous collective of “them” that make decisions for us without ever mentioning what they are up to. It gives our life here a mysterious undefinable quality which means every day is filled with large and small surprises. This applies to all aspects of living down here—a new maid is hired unbeknownst to the Duena, a man whom Esperando never hired quits his job in Mexicali and shows up on the doorstep to one day ready to start his new job, a guard is promoted to gardener based on a whimsical conversation, the cook sporatically makes a big addition to a carefully planned meal just when we thought she understood we were dieting, new gadgets appear in the kitchen and laundry room that were never approved. These are just a few small examples of everyday occurrences in the land of milk and honey.

Often things are left hanging such as cellular bills that don’t get paid so your phone doesn’t work, TVs that have been waiting to be installed for months because no one ever approved their installation, furniture that was ordered and paid for but never arrived—you never quite know if its in the works or just fell through the crack, but common sense leads you to believe the latter. Its essence is encapsulated by “who’s on first base.”

For the Type A personality this can lead to a nervous breakdown, but if you are more of a Type B and can learn to roll with the punches you can really develop a sense of true meaning of mañana.

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