Sam Whitehead

FREEDOM AND DANGER IN MEXICO

One of those of those nineteenth century French essayist once said It profits me but little, after all, that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquility of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life
There is a rumor that Liberty and her long time running mate, danger, are still alive and living down in Mexico. There is in Mexico; 1950s style drinking and driving, avoidance of complicated expensive federal laws when hiring workers, we ride in the back of pickup trucks and sometimes drive sin aseguro, no insurance or current tags. Policia may be following you that are paid so little they live mostly off mordida. Slick money handlers often work the Pemex pumps. One day, back in the hills, there may arrive an evil man packing a machete looking in that unsavory way at your wife and you will know for a certainty that you will die or kill. There are also in the arroyos, always, the lesser every day possible dangers of poisonous snakes and various venomous insects moving around out beyond your bedroll where the fires light ends.
There is also down here, no worry of lawsuits. There probably is every regulation you could imagine but they are mostly ignored. Children walk to school unaccompanied. They talk to strangers sometimes. Like a Mexicanneighbour of mine once said to me, Mexico es libre.
There is in Mexico the freedom of a simpler era in the north that we were foolish to let them take from us. It happened like aging .small changes year by year by those who had the plan and went to all the meetings and we arrive surprised and hemmed in as the last of the wild horses will be when the Buck fences are gone and the country is all organized, blocked at every turn by regulations and no trespassing without permission Land Conservancy signs.

 

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Published on e-Stories.org on 05/03/2012.

 

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