The Warmth of Mexico - Part IV - Indiana the Face of MexicoWednesday, March 07, 2018
The Warmth of Mexico III
The Warmth of Mexico II
The Warmth of Mexico I
My Vancouver dentist is Doctor Ben Balevi. He is also a Chemical Engineer. He is smart.
One day I asked him something I had my doubts about. He confirmed it saying something like this:
“At one time you could examine a live or dead person’s mouth and know by the dental work their country of origin. Now this has become more difficult.”
The world is definitely becoming like the bread, the only bread they used to sell at Safway when we arrived in Vancouver from Mexico in 1975. It was mostly white, bland. It tasted like cardboard. That is no longer the case at our nearby Kitsilano Safeway. The variety and quality of their bread is superb.
On the other hand, at the end of that lovely shopping street that is Calle Florida, corner with the equally interesting and historically famous Calle Corrientes there is a beautiful baroque building that houses a Burger King. Once inside you could be anywhere in the US, Canada and who knows perhaps even Iceland.
Something like this is happening (but very slowly) with the look of nationalities.
Twenty or thirty years ago if I saw a young man (and not so young) at an airport wearing grey flannel pants, a blue blazer with metal buttons and penny loafer sans socks I would have identified them (100%) as Argentine.
That is now become a bit more difficult for me. I have to listen to a few words of their Spanish or note their accent when the speak English.
In Vancouver in 1975 I was in a state of confusion when I spotted what looked like Mexicans on the city streets. I would begin conversations in Spanish and only when I noted the blank looks did I find out that they were Native Canadians.
For too long I had banked on the incorrect and improper classification of “red Indians” and the “yellow” Japanese. But strange for me to insist here that in those days of my youth people from India (in spite of their colour) where listed as Caucasian. And I then knew, because my mother was born in Manila that Filipinos, Indonesians and Malaysians were not Chinese but of the Malay race.
Now with my knowledge settled I find that the recent influx of people from Iran makes me think some of them are Mexican. And of course, they are not!
In our recent trip to Mérida, Yucatán I found it a supreme pleasure when we arrived at the Mexico City airport to be surrounded and see Mexicans, that I knew to be Mexican. And even better it was to watch the inhabitants of Mérida and note that their profiles were Mayan. They looked like ancient Mayans in spite of the fact that some of them might have been wearing Levis.
I am still very good (in spite of Iranians, etc) at spotting the nationalities of Latin America.
I first met Indiana Luna years ago when I took Argentine Tango lessons from Carlos Loyola. Luna is almost 6ft tall but her face can only be of Mexican heritage. “Tiene ese no sé qué,” or that quality that you cannot quite pin down.
Luna has an alto voice and legs from here to there. She is not fragile. She was booted from an American boarding school of beating up a fellow classmate.
I liked to
dance with Luna because she wore long, tight and black dresses with slits on
the side. When I danced with her nobody noticed my efficient dancing (and no
more than that) because all eyes would be on her.
|A tango voleo|
She posed for me a few times. Now looking at those pictures after my trip to Mérida reinforces my idea that Mexico has a face and her face is Mexico.