Jun 30, 2008
May 09, 2009
Our morning departure for Mazatlan was severely delayed when we were kidnapped by some of the new in-laws, a trio of Sinaloan housewives, and taken on a pilgrimage to the town they were born, somewhere in the Sinaloan countryside. "Here," they gestured at a row of white houses in the 300 person hamlet, "lived the rich, and over there," pointing across the river, "the poor. Us!". The houses didn´t look all that different to me but imagining what it must have been like 50 years ago, with the ancestors of the same pigs whose chicharrón (skin) we were now snacking on with warm tortillas, running free in the dusty streets, and I felt increasing respect for these women whose lives now consisted of big houses in the ´city´/ghost town of Guasave, with children living (albeit, not 100% legally) in the States and afternoons and evenings spent playing cards for money or in the Casino. Appearance and status are so important in Mexico, but unlike in Europe, wealth is so fragile and recently acquired that it´s difficult to fault the constant need to show it off, as deep down everyone still remembers running around with the chickens a mere generation ago. The fact that this aspect of life is still very much part of everyone´s lives, despite the soap star masks, was no more apparent than during lunch when one of the señoras took us to her brother´s farm where his wife fed us delicious steaming tamales and fresh tortillas, which we ate surrounded by cats, dogs, chickens, donkeys, pigs and turkeys. The meal was interrupted several times, first when I felt a piglet licking my bare foot and flew half away across the yard in terror (well, might have been a snake after all), then when Señora Hilda, who was animatedly gestulating mid-story had her taco grabbed out of her hand by a bold turkey and jumped up screaming. The bellows of a bull across the road grew more animated when a herd of cows were slowly led around the corner and he trotted after them, visibly excited. My last view of this place was of a placid cow half-heartedly trying to shake the delighted toro off her behind, amongst guffaws of ´pinche toro cochino´ from the women who swear more often and eloquently than most men.