Trip Start Jul 25, 2008
18Trip End Ongoing
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My computer continues in its broken ways. What a joy.
We last left off shortly before dia de los muertos. I kinda had the wrong impression of this Mexican holiday. From what I have read and heard about in Spanish class I imagined big colorful parades with brightly colored masks, catrinas, and monuments/alters.... More of a cheery take on Halloween. Ha. I was wrong. As It turns out, dia de las muertos is celebrated quite differently depending upon where you are in Mexico. What I was expecting out of the day is what is more likely to be seen in the southern part of Mexico. However, I still feel that I was lucky enough to get an inside view of the day, thanks to Oscar's family.. and after everything's all said and done, I really like this holiday. Again, dias de los muertos is a day -two days, I you include the day before dedicated to the innocents-or children- who have passed away- holiday to remember loved ones who have passed away. In most any house, you will find what can best be described as a mini altar with photos, favorite foods, candles, religious items, ect of deceased family members. In Oscars house there were candles and pictures of his grandparents and some uncles- and everyone was very quick to tell me about each and everyone of them- what they liked to do, where they lived, what they did. It was really sweet. Later on in the day we all went out, bought flowers and headed to the cemetery. -this is where I was lucky, because they don't just let anyone go- another experience where I was the only foreigner there. As I have mentioned before in talking of the mummies- there is not much room to bury the dead in the ground, so the majority of the bodies are in huge wall mausoleums -I think that is what they're called. I was expecting a small little cemetery, but the place was huge, and multi leveled- and so beautiful. Practically every single tomb had brightly colored flowers and candles-which just made the entire place look amazing. I didn't take many pictures, as I said I would- it just felt wrong... here there are people crying and sharing stories in remembrance of their family members... and the last thing I was going to do was whip out a camera and take pictures- I would have stood out like a sore thumb... however Oscar insisted that I took a few inside the cemetery because he understands why I take them- so he blocked me from public site so I could snatch a few pictures. It was really a beautiful day to remember the family.
Side note.... Also, as I was confused before in how the gov. has the power to check the bodies of the deceased for mummification... Oscar told me that when someone dies, you can either buy their place in the wall, or not. And if you don't buy their place, the gov. decides where they go, and has the power to remove the body the replace it with another-or whatever they want without obligation to notify the family. I think this is a little odd....
As much as I would love to say that Sunday was perfect, I really cant. Sunday was also the birthday of Oscar's younger brother lalo. -it's a nickname- For his birthday, the huge-I mean huge- Granados family all got together for cake... including oscar's dad. Which ive never explained in my blog.. but in short- Oscars dad ran off with some other woman- whom he is still with- right when oscar was graduating from college- about 2 years ago. Because of this, Oscar had to move back home, from Leon, find a job close to home and help his brother Marcos pay for everything that was previously under the responsibility of his father. As you could imagine, this is a very dramatic and sensitive subject for everyone in the family. I had met his dad at a previous family gathering and didn't really like the guy- he's basically a big ol jerk and was giving me a hard time about being a gringa... this is a story better told in person, but ill still throw the idea out there. Anywho... on Sunday- in a room of about 25 people... haha probably better described as a small room with 25 people.... His dad grabbed a chair, plopped it down next to him and called me over to chat with him. As soon as I sat down in the chair he threw out the following questions... -mind you I cannot punctuate properly.... "Why are you with my son... I know that this is just one big joke to you. Lets face it, youre a gringa, and you will never be happy with oscar. Do you even have any idea how much he makes a week...he is poor and I know that you will never be happy in life without stuff, and oscar cannot provide you with anything that you want. I know how you gingos are. Do your parents even know you are dating a Mexican- because im sure they would never allow you to be with him. You need to stop playing games here, because I know you are never even going to look back when you go back home to your huge house in the states. ..... blah blah blah...... yea. About 5 second in, he was the only person in the entire room talking. Everyone was in shock. I told this story the next day to mom, and she asked me why oscar or anyone else in his family- who actually know me- didn't say anything. And my answer is that everyone was in shock. Oscar's face was so white, I thought he was going to fall out of his chair. And oscar's dad demands control over a room, and when he is around every single person in the family acts differently. He is always saying that I cant understand Spanish and lack the ability to communicate properly- so the conversation ended with me pretending like I had no idea what he was saying to me. Looking back I am really mad for not standing up for myself, and my parents, but anything that I had to say wasn't going to make him think any differently of me.. and honestly I didn't want to get all emotional in front of everyone. It was really hard to sit there and pretend like what he was saying to me had no effect. Ha... oscar and his older sister Erika, quickly came up with an excuse as to why we had to leave, and by the time we got on the bus to go downtown I was crying. ... it was really embarrassing... and frustrating on so many levels. And to the day, people in his family are still apologizing.... They all say that its just how he is- but none of them ever expected he would talk to me like that. It was one of the hardest things that ive had to go through here in Mexico. Never in my life have I been on the other side of racism -which is really what it was- and never again will I make assumptions or cheap generalizations of who someone is based upon where they come from. It would be like me saying you're polish, so you are this way, you think this way, you seek out these things in life, and there is nothing you can do to change that. People are not defined by where they come from -it may have a huge importance in their lives, but it is not who they are. I know for a fact that no one else in Oscar's family, or anyone who I know here in Mexico, who actually know me and who I am, would ever in a million years describe me the way Oscar's father did. It was a learning experience, and for learning what I did, and experiencing what it feels like to be treated like that, I am grateful. Oscar still hasn't spoken with his father and told me that he will never even allow me to be in a situation to talk one-on-one again with him. ... but as far as im concerned.. I don't have to like the man, but it is still important that I have respect for him- he will always be Oscars dad. I have respect for Oscar, and therefore for his father.... But I def. wont allow him to talk to me like that again. And that is out of pure respect for my own family and myself. ... But lets keep our fingers crossed that I don't have to. The man only comes around when he wants-, which isn't all that often,... overall I am grateful for the experience.
Two of my four classes end this next Friday- the 21st- so I am very busy with papers and projects... that is why it's been a while since my last blog. I have a 10page literary analysis due on Thursday... ugh that will pretty much consume my week. I am going to try to make it to irapuato or Dolores this Sunday, we'll have to see how things go.
I hope that everything is going well back at home. -aye home-
Miss you all
ok.. so this cafe will not let me upload my photos... i will do so later... BYE