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One-eyed rabbits and Super Mario

July 7th, 2009

(I must first note for the purposes of contextual colour, that I am writing this outside a cafe in Aguascalientes, Mexico, drinking a cajeta cappuccino and smoking a cigar. Paradiso)

My latest Mexican adventure started out, as is so often the case, with a taxi ride. There are taxis you should definitely grab from the airport in Mexico City, and ones that you should instinctively ignore – aka the ones I usually end up in. The chariot of choice this time turned out to be a one-eyed VW rabbit, circa 1985, conveniently also missing the driver’s side mirror – both apparantly unnecessary options on this model. Besides, who really needs to see what’s behind them or illuminate what’s coming up anyway? Pshaw!

Anyway, the whole adrenaline-manufacturing experience started out inauspiciously with a whispered conversation between the two drivers who seemed to share this choice cab, deciding? voting? arguing? over who got to/had to drive me. Once that decision was finalized, the next whispered convo was about where in the santa maria my hotel was – a discussion you ideally want to observe ending rapidly, conclusively, and with both men smiling confidently, not shaking their heads in defeated but game despair.

Nonetheless, with a spastic jolt, we set off to my final destination (morbidity intentional)! I jump in the back, selfishly thinking that if something untoward were to happen, like us careening headfirst into another vehicle, outfitted with the same options as we sported, I would have at least a few layers of metal and other more…..uh… organic materials, to maybe shield me from the worst (look, I’m only human and my compassion only runs so deep:). But, Fransisco, in an attempt to perhaps persuade me that he really is a good guy and not at all interested in kidnapping me; and that his self-confessed somewhat dubious driving and navigational skills, were still sufficient to get us where we need to go, invited me to join him in the front – so we could talk better!!!! (Turns out, that was code for, “come up here whitey so I can better look at that half-&*^% map you printed off of Google with your hotel thumbtacked blindly somewhere in the vicinity of Mexico City’s ……..tail.” I paraphrase).

Let me remind you here, that we are, at the time of his friendly request, in a dead heat in the Super Mario Kart World that is driving in Mexico City. And Paco is as oblivious to lanes, other players, and the threat of real injury should we happen to ‘fall off Mario world’ as if this were virtual not reality. Now, I’m 6’2″, and already somewhat cramped in the back with whatever luggage didn’t fit in the copious trunk of the Rabbit. But, not wishing to offend (really, at this point I’m still worried?), I manage to climb and wedge myself – cledging is the official term I believe – over Paco, and both front seats, into what is now a front row seat to my own mortality. Somewhere in that transition, I think Fransisco and I bonded for a moment, but I’m not really willing to explore that.

I’ll spare you the rest of the details, but invite you to imagine it with me if you’re so inclined. Really – next time you watch or play Super Mario Kart – picture a one-eyed, beat-up black rabbit, with a may-as-well-be-blindfolded Paco driving, me as an even whiter-than-normal whitey alternating between scrunching into a foetal position, and thinking jumping out the window might be safer – all to the soundtrack of Tourrete’s style screaming and swearing replacing the tinny tunes of Nintendo.

Suffice it to say, that besides stopping in the middle of a traffic circle, so that Fransisco could flag down remarkably unwilling drivers at nearly midnight – IN MEXICO CITY !!! – and ask directions, it was just another taxi ride in Mexico.

Ok, I’m exhausted just reliving that. I will add more appropriate updates on some cool things happening tomorrow.

One Response to “One-eyed rabbits and Super Mario”

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