Back to Mexico.

I’m back in Mexico for 5 lovely months. Here: sea, sand, sunshine, outdoor pools, beachside restaurants… In Ontario: snow, frost, ice, slippery roads, cleaning car windows daily, taking ten minutes to put on boots, coat, scarf, hat, gloves; if you have children, much longer…

Those are some of the reasons that I love Mexico. I have probably been coming here for months at a time for nearly thirty years. And here is another reason I love it: the people.

When people learn I have been going to Mexico for so many years, most will ask an inevitable question. (Even before Covid.) ‘Do you feel safe?’ I will leave aside the implication that I am so stupid as to go somewhere where I feel unsafe and limit myself to saying that I have only once felt unsafe. No need to go into that as nothing came of it.

There is a feeling among people who haven’t been here that the Mexican people are all thieves who will rob you at the drop of a hat. So, a couple of anecdotes to refute that piece of anal waste.

I once left my camera in a bar and headed off. When I realised I had forgotten it, my husband and I drove back and asked the person behind the bar. He told me another guy was working at that time and sent someone to fetch him. This guy, young, maybe early twenties, showed up with my camera. I tried to reward him with a few pesos, but he wouldn’t accept it. We had to buy drinks and give him a larger tip than usual. That he accepted.

On another occasion, my husband unknowingly dropped his keys on the beach. Someone found them and then found the car by beeping it. Obviously, he had a perfect opportunity to steal it. Instead, he wrote a note in the dust on the back giving his telephone number! Not satisfied with that, he then figured if we were no longer on the beach, we were probably in one of the beachside bar/restaurants and he went among them asking if anyone had lost keys until he found us. Again, he refused a reward.

I could go on, not only with my own experiences but also with people with whom we have swapped anecdotes over the years. We have never had a negative experience with the people of our community.

Yes, there are cops who try to hustle us if they catch us doing something on the roads that Mexicans would get away with. And yes, there is certainly a drug trade. But there are bad people everywhere. And there are good. I think the Mexican people get a bad rap.

If you disagree, come down and find out for yourself.

Money, Blood and Conscience by David Steinman

Money, Blood and Conscience by David Steinman

Set in California and Ethiopia. Dissatisfied with the trivialities of his job and the emptiness of his personal life, television producer Buddy Schwartz founds ‘Help Ethiopia’ to raise millions of dollars to feed Ethiopians starving under the government-induced famine to wipe out unwanted populations. In Ethiopia, he meets and befriends the rebel leader, Meles Zenawi and falls in love with the enigmatic Hanna.

When Meles takes control, Buddy, struggling to stay out of politics, has to face the unpalatable truth that the aid he is delivering to the hungry is freeing up more of the government’s money to spend on repressive policies. His wife Hanna leaves him to join the new opposition.

The three main characters, Buddy, Hanna and Meles, are very human. All are idealistic, although their idealism takes them in different directions. The evolving relationships between them is developed well.

This book is aptly named. It is an engrossing story that uses fiction and fictional character to relate a true and horrific episode in the history of Ethiopia in the context of the continent’s struggle to emerge from its dark past. The decisions that face Buddy and Hanna and even Meles show how good people are sometimes forced to make bad choices because sometimes there are no good choices. It is an epic story that shines a light on another genocide of our time. It is not light reading, but there is a section I found hilarious: when Buddy gets married, Ethiopian style.

I do enjoy a historical novel that informs as it entertains.

*****

Sisi the Queen - Sisi, a magyarok királynéja

A blog dedicated to Empress Elisabeth - Sisi

A Writer of History

The World of Historical Fiction

The History Jar

English History from 1066

Exploring London

A blog about London and its history...

Catherine Meyrick

Historical Fiction with a touch of Romance

Pam Lecky Books

Historical Fiction

Charlene Newcomb

welcome to my worlds...

Layered Pages

Artist by Day, Book Nerd by Night