Sunday, October 24, 2010

Shooting The Attitudes

The violence here in Reynosa has grown steadily over the past two years with a few huge peaks here and there but growing none the less. You'd think it would freak me out but if there's one thing I've noticed over this time period it's the resilience of a people under fire.

Today my 5th graders were supposed to have a field trip to Peter Piper Pizza but an hour before they were to go there was a shooting across the street. Grenades, huge machine guns, turret guns - the usual stuff - and the field trip was called off.

The teacher told the kids that there was an "occurrence" near the Peter Piper and that it wasn't a good idea to go at that moment. At the school we're not allowed to say "shooting" or "bombing" or "AK-47" ect. or even really acknowledge the violence but luckily the kids help us out. A couple of the boys shouted out "Narks! Narks teacher??" They live here too, they're not stupid.

The kids came up with solutions to the problem "Teacher, what if we just go by my house and get our guards to come with us?" (lol rich kids are funny sometimes) and suggested going to a different Pizza place. All plans were off though, once there's one shooting it's assumed there will be more so the teacher tried her best to make them feel better by saying that all Peter Pipers were closed.

I knew damn well though that not all, or even the Peter Piper across the street would be closed. For even the biggest of shootings here life goes on like nothing happened 20 minutes after it's over. There might be a lingering traffic jam due to the original back up but as far as the rest of things it's life as usual. Schools don't close and nobody goes home early. Shops and restaurants stay open, the buses run and people go for groceries like nothings happed.

There's one plaza with a huge grocery, Mcdonald's and a slew of other eateries and strip-mall type shops that for some reason get's hit alllll the time. Every couple of weeks there's a shootout there or in the street by there or down the road from there but it doesn't stop anybody from going. We need french fries damn it.

There are some in Chino's family who talk about being too afraid to go places but they're out and about as much as anybody else. They just talk about it more. Some of my friends here truly are scared to go out much and there are others that merely refuse to go very far or out after dark, but the majority of us go on about our lives like nothings going on.

If you see a road block and bad guys shooting or a caravan of SUV's you just turn around and go a different way. When there's a big shooting near by you go outside and listen to it or if it's too close you get your ass inside and go upstairs for a bit. After that it's life as usual.

Chino and I drive all over hell going to the zoo, visiting family, going to work and just exploring and finding new things to do. We, like the majority of the half million people here go about our lives and don't THINK about the possibility of getting kidnapped or shot or blown up. What kind of life would that be? Prudence is necessary but we can't lock ourselves up in the house and bite our nails wasting away.

For most people this is where they have to live, no choice about it, and it seems when that's you're lot in life you damn well make the best of it - bombs or no.

I'm not scared.

I've been scared, I've been damn scared, but some part of the brain figures out a way to erase that and I'm pretty thankful. If I think back to yucky times I can re-live them if I want to but 20 minutes later I'm on Facebook and eating cheese doodles wondering just how I'm ever going to get South to Mexico City to meet my friend Mr. Prater.

Eat some taco's, drink a beer for me and live it up yall, never mind the rest!


Larry Prater said...

Oh Lindy, I do hope you and Chino and little Daisy can come visit sometime. We are one hour south of Mexico City. We are about fifteen minutes from Cuernavaca, which has had more than its share of gory killings and beheadings and hanging bodies in front of fancy shopping centers and from bridges on the toll road to Acapulco. But as you say, life goes on. It is almost always one group of narcos killing some rival narcos. But of course I don't think that explains the killing of the young kids up north at the parties.
But do keep looking for a way to visit me when you can.

Gail said...

Your writing style blows me away. That school and those kids are the luckiest in the world to have you on staff. IMO, you are the queen of all bloglandia.

MaryLuna said...

I totally understand Lindy. I have faced both the being scared and the not being scared part. I went to Mexico in August to visit my boyfriend's family for the first year anniversary of his passing. They also live in Tamaulipas (about an hour north of Tampico) and everyone was shocked that I would be so willing to travel by myself on a bus, especially since a few months before there have been a lot more killings and shootings than normal in their town. After that visit I went to visit my grandma in Michoacan. My mom had to call my grandma and convince her to let me go to the "centro" alone after I complained that I couldn't even go to buy tacos at the stand down the block without my grandma going with me.

About a month later my grandma received a call asking her for money or else they would kill her or my grandpa so I guess she had a point in keeping close watch. But even with the threats and all, they still keep wanting to live in Mexico. They don't have to at all because all their kids are here now, but they remain firm that they want to stay. Sometimes I wait for the day they have a health scare that will give us permission to move them here. I know it is a bad thing to say, but I really wish they would just stay here and be safe! I guess when it comes to me I am not scared, but when it comes to my family then I am scared s***less!


Mathilde said...

Now that's the attitude ... Be cautious obviously but as you said, life goes on ...


Please first...let me introduce myself. My name is Jill and I have been living in Cuautla Morelos now for a total of a year(4months this time). I have been reading your your writing style and flat out honesty. Your blog today really caught my attention. My husband and I just got home from a friends house. Not the normal trip though. We went to his house tonight to tell him goodbye. He was murdered last night. We dont know by who or why! We just hung out with him last week. I have become numb to the violence here. Things have been hitting close to home lately here. 2 weeks ago they found a dead body down the street from our house...half eaten by the street dogs. Last week they found the kidnappers in Tetel de Volcan...and tied them to the pole downtown and the towns people were going to burn them at the stake. Oh, this is the town we sell in on Wednesdays. And now our friend. I have had a lot of friends die and I cried and I cried. But today...I am numb. My family does not understand how I feel safe (well ok) here. How I can become numb to the things I see and hear here. But you are so right. You can not stay locked up in your house scared to go out. You must continue living and going on. I hate that you too have to experience the violence...but I am glad to know that someone else out there feels the way that I do. I needed to read your blog today...I needed that reassurance that the numbness I feel is ok that I am not loosing my mind. Thank you for sharing with us. Take care and well... BE SAFE.

Gail said...

Lindy you're so young but so wise. You have such a unique personality to see life in ways that most of us can not. I read you and I get inspired. I read you and I get encouraged. I read you and I laugh and feel all better--the blues are lifted. I read you and I say "I wish I could be like HER!" You are a go-getter extraordinaire. You are my hero.

Please be sure to keep back up copies of all your blog posts because someday (sooner than you think) your material will be required reading in universities and colleges for students of English, cultural anthropology, sociology, women's issues, Latin American studies, psychology classes.....and the list goes on.

Hugs and kisses to you and your family! We love you!

Gringa-n-Mexico said...

Larry - We sure darn will! Daisy needs an English speaking Uncle too! :)

Gail - You're just too darn nice, I'll get all fluffy headed if I read much more of that! ;) I wish I could think I'm wise but LOLOL that seems to be the last of things on my list of ¨I am's¨! :D And lol if people read about me in books - and took it to heart - the world would be full of people running off crazy-like and doing LORD knows what in the name of Love. ;)!! :D

Mary - you know it's funny, I would do the same as you wanting to go off to town and the taco stand, but READING about YOU doing it... LOL... makes me worried!! :D

Mathilde - tru dat!

Jill - Gosh I'm sorry for all that's been going on with you and your family and friends!! You know...some of the same stuff has been happening - months ago and just this week to my husbands family - I think I'll be inspired by you to write about it. I apreciate you coming out and filling me in - it makes ME feel not so lonely too! And no darling, you're sure as heck not losing it, it's called survival of the body AND mind! :)


Yeah it was pretty hard this morning on us. We went to my doctors appt. and on the way at the stop light and here came the little guys selling the Extra here. I told my husband lets buy one today. And right there on the front page was our friends picture. Him lying there on the ground in a pool of blood. I am quickly learning how the people here become numb. My 6 year old picked up the paper and said "hey daddy that is your friend dead isnt it?" Wow! My 6 year old is already numb. Is it better to start them out young so they dont go through the shock as an adult. I dont know the answer to that one yet...I created a blog before I left West Virginia this time. But for some reason I can not make myself use it yet. Dude I read so many of your blogs last night. I felt like a lot of them I wrote myself. You question the same things that I do. Your experiences are so much like mine. Thank you for sharing. You seem like one freakin cool person.

Vegas Linda Lou said...

Amazing. Jesus H. Stay safe, huh?

Sparx said...

You're so fucking hard-ass and sensible, I love you; you've managed the switch from your... er... *old* blogging style to parenting, to politics to shootouts with real ease and style, lady.

OK I know you probably won't read this comment so far back but heck, it's here.