Sunday, July 30, 2006

Hopelessly deboted to you

It occurs to me that I have ceased to post anything cultural and have now resorted to writing about roaches and Tato. This is likely due to the fact that I will be coming home in less than a week and my brain has shut down, I’m focusing more on all the things I have to do when I get back. We also haven’t had regular classes here in Oaxaca for about two weeks so my source for political information has dried up a bit. I could look at the paper everyday I suppose but my lack of desire to do this goes back to the brain being shut down. So I will try to post a little bit about politics and then continue with my roach tales and a list of last night’s karaoke songs.

Today in Mexico City there will be a march by Obrador supporters, a million people are expected to attend. These numbers are always inflated of course, just like they are in the United States, his last march in the capital drew only about 50k and they were expecting 500k. The situation with the presidential election hasn’t changed much, it is up to the independent tribunal to decide the status of the vote and this decision will be made by September I believe. I could also be totally wrong about these facts because I have been a bit out of the loop so double check if you intend to use this information to wow your friends at cocktail parties.

There are signs all over Oaxaca supporting Obrador that say “Voto por Voto” and “Casilla x Casilla” which essentially means they will count every vote from every voting location. The PRD has also begun to produce bumper stickers and flyers etc. that proclaim once all the votes have been counted again Obrador will be the winner. My señora says that Obrador is claiming he has won and that the situation could become dangerous due to his large following. She is a bit right wing and I think believes much of the campaign rhetoric about Obrador being a violent man, but nevertheless I’m sure there is some truth to what she says. It will be very interesting to see how this pans out when the tribunal rules on the election. Okay, now to basura (trash) posts.

Village Stay and karaoke
I have mentioned several times that I was doing research this week and I should add that so were my colleagues in the study abroad program. This week was labeled as “village stay” on our syllabus so a number of my group went to stay in small villages around Oaxaca to research various topics. I stayed in Oaxaca of course because I’m doing peri-urban stuff but this was also not an accident, I don’t really want to spend a lot of time in a small village in the middle of nowhere. If this makes me a princess so be it but I’m a geographer not an anthropologist!

Two women in my group returned from their village stay last night and we all met around 8:00pm to hear about their experience. They were both very happy they made the trip and were able to live in and experience another way of life. I was actually a bit jealous that I didn’t partake in a village stay but just because I didn’t do it this time doesn’t mean I can’t in the future. After hearing about some of the conditions, including swollen ankles from bug bites and worms blanketing the floor of the outhouse when it rained, I think I will put it off for awhile.

One of the women in our little clan loves to sing and at home actually heads up a band. We decided to go to a karaoke bar in the neighborhood to let her belt out a few tunes and relieve some of the stress from the village stay.

At the bar we are alone except for one other table of men and the karaoke aficionado in the group proceeds to write down seven songs to sing and gets up on stage for her one woman show. The rest of us had a great time laughing at the typos/translations on the song list.

Here are some of the best ones:
Hopelessly deboted to you
Eye in he sky
Queen of herat

Runner up for the best translation:
Cum and feel the noice

I wass madew for loving you

I think I laughed for 10 minutes on that last one and it took us almost as long to figure out what song this actually referred to.

Roach saga comes to an end...
I think this will be my last post about roaches unless something truly crazy happens in the next five days. They are becoming so ubiquitous in my life that I have started to become a tiny bit less afraid of the bastards. Last night I came home after karaoke, a few beers in the gullet, walked into the room and there was one standing in the bathroom doorway. Instead of reacting like a crazy person I drew upon my liquid courage, removed my flip flop and tried to kill it! Bravo Marissa! Well, it ran toward me, around the corner and right under and out the front door. Not only did I realize once and for all that my drain coverage tactic was not at all effective since the roaches know where the front door is and use it, but my roomie was not pulling my leg when she spotted a roach scurrying out the front door a few weeks ago when this whole thing began.

This morning there was another dead roach, legs in the air in the shower and I just flushed him down the toilet. So you see, the encounters are becoming too commonplace to illicit fierce reactions anymore. I do however have a great roach story provided by two of the students in my group. I tell this story because it is funny but also to vindicate myself, I am not the only one afraid of roaches!

After returning home from a late night out these two women are sitting in their room around 2:15am and one of them spots a roach under the others bed. They both jump on top of their beds and one is so afraid of roaches she starts crying, runs out of the room and shuts the door behind her telling her roommate to do something about it. "Just kill it!" The other girl is also very afraid of roaches and while they are throwing hysterics the roach has made it into the crier’s suitcase which is filled with her clothes. Not knowing what to do the girl still in the room pushes the suitcase into the hallway with her foot and leaves it there. Both girls proceed to take Dramamine and Benadryl to get to sleep.

They wake up the next morning, have breakfast around 11:00am, suitcase with roach still in the hall, go back to sleep because they are still kind of doped out from all the drugs they took the night before and wake up again around 2:00 for comida. Suitcase is still in the hallway. After comida they decide they must do something about the roach situation so they start messing with the suitcase using their hammock to poke around in the clothes. The señora walks by and asks what they are doing and the girls tell her in Spanish that there is a “dark animal” in the suitcase, apparently they forgot the word for cockroach. The senora, hearing there is a “dark animal” in the house yells “Pepe!” and an old man comes hustling down the stairs. They take the suitcase outside and crowd around it, still not getting very close. Pepe begins to remove the clothes and items from the suitcase which include bras, underwear, a bottle of mezcal and a bottle of wine (Pepe must have wondered what kind of people these girls were), but still the roach remains hidden. A purse remains in the suitcase and the owner of the suitcase contents says, “I bet it is in there”. Sure enough they pick up the purse, shake it and the roach comes flying out. Everyone screams and runs but the senora keeps enough of her wits about her to crush the roach.

So you see, I am not the only roach freak around.

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