Sunday, September 13, 2009

Descent into madness

Houston is a wild, large city, so heavily populated that the locals are forced to say, at every possibly interval, that everything is bigger in Texas. Even the billboards were littered with this proclamation, and it made me feel like a small fish in a very big pond. Which I believe is where the great Texas attitude may stem from. It is the heart of much of the American tradition -- a final frontier for those who have come seeking a taste of the wild, wild west.
It was a wierd, but short time, and there was not much else to say about it. When I return I will investigate this phenomenon further.

But now down to business, right?

MEXICO, the true land of the free.

There are no words to properly explain the scenery as the tiny, 35-person express jet I arrived in decended into Queretaro.
Thick, ominous clouds, still red from the setting sun, hung less than 50 feet from the ground, drenching the streets with rain. It was not a place for the claustrophobic. From a bird's eye view, the state looked sparsely populated, with plains of farmland separating small settlements. Clusters of homes were spaced apart by miles of empty land, and small freeways seemed to be the only things connecting these hubs. It was unlike any city I had seen before.
Thick bolts of lightning struck the tarmac around us as we rolled to a stop.
A middle-aged white woman in the seat next to me was rambling on about how she had lived there for six years.
"Ex-pats have no fear," she said. "We will live wherever the money is. I am constantly on the defense, and my children are followed and harassed mercilessly because they look different."
Finally, another local could take no more of her nonsense talk and doused her with a cup of coffee, sending her screaming into the lavatory.
"That woman is crazy," he said. "She lives in the center of town and sells trinkets and drugs to all the children. The village is helping to raise her kids because she has long been out of her mind."
I knew immediately that he was telling the truth.
We sat in the small jet for nearly an hour, waiting for the rain to let up since we were several hundred feet from the small airport. Another old gringo was demanding umbrellas and that our luggage be shuttled into the station. I wanted to barrel out of the plane, grab my bags and get out already.
When we finally did get out, my umbrella went belly-up and I still got soaked.

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