Of Home and of Mexico
For a moment we hear about the regrets of working far from home, but soon we are plunged back into work and adventure...
Very few are my regrets about having come to Mexico, and my life here - it is a very full, very enriching experience. But I am sorry that I've missed Grandpa's birthday, the family reunion, and especially a trip to Eagle Lake with Sharlet in the summer. I feel that all of these are very important events in keeping people together and reminding who we are and what our clan is. It seems that these events were pretty common when I was little - they hold a big place in my foggy memory.
And I'm super sorry I missed Eagle Lake - for me I feel as if I'm denying instinct, contradicting my genetic code if I don't go to Eagle Lake in the summer time. With all the spectacular and exotic places here, the heavy coast, burning jungles, misty sierra's and broad valleys - with all the variety and excitement in the newness and uniqueness of things - there is nothing to satisfy my Eagle Lake instinct. There are things here that tease it - the wind blowing in the pines, the smell of manure, even the smell of diesel to remind me of the police boat in the marina - but nothing satisfies it.
Thinking of this makes me ponder my work and life - and while this job is superb, I can imagine few better, it has a major drawback - It's a long way from home. When I start making money - which is very possible in this business - I will be able to fly home for a couple of weeks in the summer, because while it is a few days on the ground it is only half a day through the sky. I will thus become a jet setter and will demand more respect and awe from my family and friends.
Tomorrow I send off my third truck load of pottery. I'm becoming a professional exporter business man now. Actually, I'm pretty far from it. Mostly I don't feel like I know what the hell I'm doing - particularly with typing invoices and balancing the books. I actually have an accountant ($50 a month) who handles all the numbers for the local version of the IRS, but I've got to keep receipts and records of everything to show the store that I'm not spending all their money on booze and women. Sorting and shuffling all these papers is rather a nightmare to my right-brained self. It is the ogre of this job - and it certainly is teaching me a lot - each load I figure something else out to make the paperwork less hellish - basically it is a matter of organization.
Tomorrow I'm off on a buying trip to Chiapas (last state before Guatemala). I'm excited because I haven't been there for two years and it's my favorite region of Mexico (of those regions I know). I will let the momentum of the trip swing me right into Guatemala and probably won't get out for a few days. It's alright with my boss ('cause I'm him). Also, I have to renew my six-month visa which will expire in August, to do that I have to leave the country. Generally I don't take trips like this as part of my work - most places I buy pottery from are within six hours of Oaxaca City so it's usually a two or at most three day excursion. In most of these places (actually in all) the people look at me as though I were a Martian - which in a sense I am. They also become extremely friendly once the ice is broken. And there are times when all I want is to be able to disappear into the crowd, stop being a martian, and just walk around unnoticed - and you know what - it never happens! I am always two feet taller and two shades lighter than everyone.
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