I am not sure if it is global warming, general climate change or just shitty weather all year long but we just phased from spring straight into winter again here in the Bay Area. It is grey and foggy, it drizzles, it is cold,dark, wet and uncomfortable.
There is only one thing I can do,other than being depressed about not having any sunlight and that is to think about the places I had lived and visited where bright sunshine and beautiful colors ruled the planet…. Ahhh – I truly miss it.
Here is an excerpt from the book’s Chapter 19 ” Tales of Mexico” when we were roaming around down south in the state of Chiapas. The visuals will help to explain what sunshine can do to the spirit although Chiapas also has a dark side… despite the accident we still had enough time to enjoy the beauty of the state and visited the Cascadas de Agua Azul and the huge waterfalls of Mis-Hol-Ha.
Chiapas is truly the heart of Mexico, with its beautiful countryside and the largest population of Mayan natives. In the late 1990s, the revolutionary “Zapatistas,” a serious political movement guided by their always masked and never recognized leader “Subcommandante Marcos,” were fighting for the attention of the government to voice the concerns of the poor and suppressed in Mexico. As admirable as the cause was, their actions were not the noblest ones. With many guerilla fighters roaming the area, it was certainly not recommended to hang out there as a foreigner, since we were the number-one target for kidnapping. The countermovement to the Zapatistas was the government military police, so the presence of uniformed people was incredibly high in this state, and the chances were above average of being pulled over for all kinds of controls.
Juan was driving along the little windy roads thru the thick brush of the Chiapas rainforest. His driving had gotten better since I had met him, but like the majority of drivers in Mexico, he had no official driver’s license and never received any formal driving lessons. Hence, he was still a madman behind the wheel. Even with my own daredevil track record, I was unnerved. He could be far too reckless in his inexperience. I regularly took naps in the car when he drove so I wouldn’t have to see what he was doing. There we were, out in the jungle roads not even fit for donkey carts, and as usual, Juan was taking the curves a tad bit too fast. In the middle of a right turn, he stopped moving the steering wheel. I yelled for him to watch out, and he shouted back, “I can’t steer and the brakes won’t work!” while, at 60 mph, we headed straight for a wall of thick bushes and trees making up the Chiapas rain forest. We both had our eyes wide open and positioned ourselves the best we could to prepare for the inevitable. With the muffled sound of impact, we ended up entangled with banana trees and other exotic fauna.
We weren’t hurt but trapped in the car by the foliage around us, that’s how oppressively thick it was out there. I couldn’t even open the door. As we struggled to get out through the driver’s side of the car and I grabbed for some shoes, I realized the engine was on fire. Not again! What was it with cars on fire in my life—was there a hidden message I wasn’t getting, so the same situation kept coming back over and over to haunt me? I had no idea about the cause of the fire, but that moment the cause didn’t concern me, getting our belongings out of the car and extinguishing the fire was a lot more important. The flames were fighting already through the cracks of the closed hood we had to open first before we even were able to squelch them with the mini fire extinguisher I had bought in calculated foresight. The car was buried and stuck headfirst in thick greenery and it was difficult to reach the front of the hood. In hindsight, maybe we also should have brought a machete to clear our way through the jungle in situations like this.Once Juan was able to reach the hood, it was already so hot that he couldn’t touch it anymore. Passersby had stopped and did their best to help to get the car cleared from the brushwood. Somehow, we all managed, the fire was out, and finally, it was over…what was left to see was my expensive car battered and in shambles.