Tuesday, February 28, 2006

A Day in the Life of Mateo

My friend, whos adopted name is now apparently 'mateo', is having a hoot down in mexico. Since my life is far less exciting these days, with his permission, I'm posting a recent email he sent me. this one is titled: Prepare yourself for verbal diarrhea!

Life continues in the land of the sun. At the moment I have a bit of a cold, I think I got a chill last night because it was suddenly cold and I had the fan right on me all night. Its wierd to have a cold in a super hot climate. However its very mild and the old digestive system is running like a champ.

Not much new to report. Today was an excellent day, I got up at around 9 and went over to my friend Jerry's house around the corner to see if he could help me fix my moto, which hasn't been running since I got here. Instead he had to install a window at another friends house, an odd job he was doing, so we went over there instead. There we bumped into my friend Alexis who had dropped by to pick up some tiles for his house that Tony had bought for him, so I offered to help load them into my truck and carry them up to his house. Then Tony shows up and we hang out a bit and talk about his indian neem tree in the back yard and he shows me a plot of land next to his with a great view of the beach for 8000 dollars. We discuss possibilities. I read the introduction to "Rebel Sell" which I find very interesting, the premise is that the dominant counter-culture paradigm today is the "Matrix" like concept that we are all being manipulated by "the establishment", and the accepted leftie way to fight it is, like Nemo in the Matrix film, to refuse to accept the established world as is and pursue personal pleasure, since the ultimate act of rebellion in a media orchestrated world is to identify and pursue goals that you yourself want rather than the goals society sells you, (the book suggests that this paradigm is flawed and efforts to subvert the establishment simple serve to strengthen it) I borrow the book, we go visit Alexis's observatory he is building out of cob with a homemade thatched rotating doom roof for the telescope, we take some grass cuttings to plant at Jerry's house, there is a nice variety of grass Alexis is growing that is very strong and requires little water, then I drop back by Jerrys house, he invites me in for some leftover minestrone (Jerry is an italian who is opening a restaurant here in 4 months), I have a chance to flirt a bit with Ciara the sexy italian who is camping on Jerry's land, we eat the minestrone, a little bread, buon apetito, saver the local plant life, have some coffee, plan to go camping in the desert with the witch doctors over Semana Santa which is Easter, plan also to go to the big waterfall by Huatulco to go swimming next week, I ask Jerry for the email of a mexican friend who went back to DF, he looks for a while in a big pile of little scraps of paper and finds lots of things he forgot about but not my friends number, I remember I was supposed to help Coenraad and James build a cob pizza oven down in Arroyo 3 for the community center but am glad I forgot becuase the work site is in full sun and its nicer to just sit at jerrys house, outside under the shade roof he built, and look at the beach stretching down below only 200 meters away. So much here is homemade, if you want something like furniture you make it yourself or you get a friend to make you something. It occurs to me that during the whole day I never had the slightest idea where I would be or what I would be doing 30 minutes ahead, and that this might just be the best definition of freedom that I could come up with. Then I went back to my house for a liittle nap, afterwards I talk to the mexicans staying in the room next door, they tell me they come from a town in the mountains where mineral water comes out of the tap. I tell them they should post a big Welcome to -- sign outside their village announcing that the place is so great they even shit in mineral water, they think that is so funny they about fall out of their chairs laughing. My spanish is really coming along, you can measure it in terms of comic timing. Then Christopher and I go play soccer with the local team, 5 on 5, lots of fun, after sunset I come home shower and get sucked into a stream of consciousness email that is interruped by Karrie and James who stop by before walking down the beach to try Guille's fruiti di mare pasta at the last palapa hut on the beach. I read out the first half of my email and Karrie gives me her email address and asks me to send it to her as well. We agree to meet at the local watering hole in an hour for a drink. That's convenient because Luigi is bound to be there after his two day trip to the mountains for a little fresh air, and we have to talk about the company we have decided to start together. Mexican law requires that a company have at least 2 founders. He wants to build small scall water collection and maintenance systems here to sell to locals to improve local water usage and quality, which fits in well with my ideas. However Coenraad has suggested an idea I might have to coopt, which is to open a cafe that rents guitars to travellers on an hourly, daily, or weekly basis, and provides 15 minute starter lessons for anyone who wants to learn a few chords while they are hanging out on the beach, and in the afternoons you host a bob marley jam session for anyone who wants to play extremely simple songs and feel like a rock star. I think its a pretty good idea.

Thats pretty much what my days are like around here, when I'm not building cob or looking for land. I thought I found something pretty good but my latest feeling is that I could probably hold off and wait for a really good deal and keep my money for future projects... There are lots of deals to be had and I am reallly not in a hurry...

Hope you are well! By the way, I met a really great artist here who runs a restaurant, quite gourmet, probably the best restaurant in town, from Mexico City DF, you'd like his place. Ameen, your pictures look great on my wall by the way.

Ciao! Hope you are riding some snow once in a while for me. I'm currently listening to Sowehto's Where its At by Charlie Hunter, you know the song? Its so good, my latest favorite, not counting Come up to my Room by Princess Superstar which my dad would dismiss as "lower chakra stuff". You should play it at work once in a while. By the way I'm being turned on to lots of good music here. When I come back for a visit I'll have another hard disk full of stuff I think.

Matt (currently Mateo)

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