“It’s life that is hard: waking, sleeping, eating, loving and dying are easy.”   Marvin Bell

I moved to Mexico for the lawlessness . The first six years I lived here I saw a NO sign twice. Now they’re popping up like kudzu . So when Graco was elected (Felipe voted for him) and the Nuevo Vision implemented, I cringed. Because it looks to me like the new vision is to become a U.S. clone, even though most of this country’s citizens aren’t welcome there.

To be fair, the new vision’s focus is to eliminate government corruption. Our only experience with the initiative is that of a family member, arrested on his way to help a neighbor slaughter a pig for having a pistol lying in his front seat (no comment). Rather than the standard negotiation, a bribe to the arresting officer, he was jailed and advised by his lawyer to bribe the judge. A judge’s bribe is ten times that of a local cop. A new vision indeed!

Mr Graco’s program also includes enforcing revenue generating regulations like car insurance. Not say, public health programs (also revenue generating) like sewer systems.

I have a fundamental problem with the insurance concept. We buy insurance to protect ourselves, if we feel the need for protection the bedrock of this feeling is fear. And fear is the enemy. Not the adrenaline get out of the way of an oncoming bus fear; but the low grade buzz of anxiety that makes us inclined to insure everything from a parcel to our pets. It is the fear of loss, and the possibility of injustice.

If we aren’t willing to trust people to act responsibly we can’t expect to live in a healthy society. If we fear financial ruin and pay a company to protect us, we don’t believe in our own self-reliance. Though I realize having insurance is a near inescapable necessity of life in the U.S., which is one of the reasons I am willing to forgo triscuits and electricity to live here.

In our area, we’ve been introduced to Morelos’s Nuevo Anglo Vision with Roadblocks.
We are stopped on a remote intersection by state police, our cars and their contents searched by surly(perhaps due to their pay cut?) officers with rifles and are asked for proof of insurance. A driver’s license is requested but it’s not as important as insurance. I assume because the Nuevo Vision is more interested in installing the multi-billion peso insurance industry than driving expertise.


Blessedly, Mexico can still come to my rescue. Its wayward heart still thrums. The scene above occurred at the same corner that the day before we were harassed for the third time in a week, but this day we were waylaid by friends.

They’d set up a makeshift bar in their van. We stopped to drink a beer, filling our palms with semillas, spitting the shells on the stickyhot blacktop. Cows passed, plopping massive piles clomping, syncopated rhythms. We talked about La Tigra, Mexico, and Mezcal. There was spontaneous singing.

We had to move on and as we departed they invited us to a party. In Mexico, there is always a fiesta on the horizon. Much later we met again, and I sat in exposed bulb light gnawing chewy ears of feed corn prepared for people. The moths danced a shadow quadrille above us and I talked with my neighbors about women’s roles and why I live in La Tigra (an endlessly fascinating topic it seems).

Several of the people there had both wronged and helped us. Felipe had stood in debate with them and the Auydante, some things were settled amicably– others not. In La Tigra, rather than insurance, we rely on the Ayudante(mayor). If your neighbor transgresses you, you talk with them about it. If you’re not satisfied with the results the Auydante intervenes to restore accord…sometimes.

But that night we ate and drank together, we talked and laughed, because we’re neighbors. Today we celebrate; tomorrow we may quarrel, because we’re human.

Disasters will occur. Health is its own reality. Tragedy, loss and injustice are as fundamental as joy and satisfaction. We cannot protect ourselves from life. We cannot invest in fear and a lack of confidence in humanity (to the benefit of corporations and fear mongers) and ever hope to live in a world of peace and equality.

The quote is from the poem; Poem After Carlos Drummund De Andrade, by Marvin Bell.

Interested in what else I’m up to? Visit me at my Etsy Store and Face Book page Eloquent Remains.

© 2013 Abby Smith, Writer

4 thoughts on “Roadblock

  1. Nothing like a makeshift bar in a van! I absolutely love this: “But that night we ate and drank together, we talked and laughed, because we’re neighbors. Today we celebrate; tomorrow we may quarrel, because we’re human.” It encapsulates everything I love about the small neighborhoods I’ve experienced (sometimes even within the big city of Paris, oddly enough).

    Best wishes for a happy new year, Abby.

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