Sunday, January 31, 2010

El Rey Mayan Ruins, Cancun

Tea Party

A trip to Mexico should leave one better informed about, yes, Mexico. Indubitably. Expand one's opinions and insights? Affirmative. But leave me better informed about the United States? Curious. First Geography. To see it from 35,000 feet is always a treat. Barges on the Mississippi, the north south snow line as far south as the Louisiana Arkansas state line (near where the shuttle disintegrated a week later) are both good memories of previous flights. This time it was to see that 90% of the flightpath indicated America was under heavy cloud, but Canada sunny both coming and going. So much for the Great White North. It was good too to confirm that Lake Erie is shallower then Lake Ontario which explains why it is frozen but L. Ontario not yet. And to pick out a small town and river (respectively Jamestown N.Y. and The Allegheny, Penn) not knowing the identity of either until reference to a map when home. Fun. As for politics, at the resort it was enlightening to watch American TV stations. I don't at home. Fox News is right wing and highly biased. Vitriol is a word which comes to mind. Whatever happened to journalistic objectivity? Then to read in the English language paper about the emergence of the Tea Party. Nationalistic, lashing out, circling the wagons, trying to recruit Sarah Palin as leader of the pack. A new third way in the US of A whether or not Ross Perrot or Ralph Nader (surely not him) would approve. Then in the Mexican press to read more about the mayhem on the US border. 20 murders a day there, mostly drug cartel intimidation. Many pueblos now ghost towns in Chihuahua because of the never ending violence. Cancun Airport is controlled by the cartel Beltran Levya but now a target of a revenge attack because of hits the smugglers have taken from US and Mexican authorities. US tourists are the largest contingent using the airport. Would not an attack on them be akin to biting the hand that feeds you?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Thick as a Brick

It felt good to be in the morning sun waiting for the freight train to clear the level crossing. I was off to Mexico on holiday but two engines in the middle did not augur well for a short wait. As it turned out Jethro Tull was playing on the radio. Thick as a Brick and the train could have taken longer if it saw the need. I warmed up in the Toronto hotel pool for a swimming exploit I knew was coming. Sore the next day though. Holidays are meant to extend you and so it is proving. How much of interest in the first few days? Not really my style of resort but it is Mexico´s premier destination and third in the world someone said. Should be experienced at least once. The dead trees one sees from the air as landing were a puzzle at first until one is reminded of a devastating hurricane only a few years back. Strong winds from Cold Front 26 (yes that´s how they refer to it on then weather) since arrival and the red flags are up, no one in the sea. Looking for an ATM was troublesome the first day or two and my efforts went through neighbourhoods with no dogs on the loose. Quite well off therefore. Turns out my Canadian bank has an outlet within 500m of the resort, how convenient. I gave a yellowing 1994 Le Monde newspaper to my work colleague a few weeks ago and noted an article on the assassination of Luis Donaldo Collosio which had just happened. He was PRI presidential candidate at the time, promising to end corruption in Mexico. Big story at the time. So lo and behold I come across a monument to him here with several plaques, each year the monument grows with a new commemoration by a politician wishing to be associated with him. The news of the day is that the footballer I watched and noted on tv Saturday is now in hospital, shot in the head. He looked cocky and had a stupid grin. Apparently an import from Paraguay where he helped them qualify for the World Cup. Foreign players are going to think twice about playing in this country. Off to see Mayan ruins so more from that hot spot next time up.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Tis The Season of Giving

Teams I support on both sides of the Atlantic have been in the giving mood of late, getting in the spirit of the season. Motherwell were kind enough to pony up the 1,000th goal Celtic have scored since the formation of the Scottish Premier League (soccer). In grand style within a day or two the Ottawa Senators went a magnitude higher by allowing Montreal Canadiens to notch the 20,000th goal since their professional hockey team was formed. Ottawa still won the game though so were not giving in on those two points. Team Canada only gave up six goals last night but the sixth (in overtime) gave the United States the world junior hockey title for only the second time ever. 15,000 fans in Saskatoon went home shell shocked despite a Saskatchewan native son scoring two goals in the last three minutes to force the overtime in the first place.