Central America | Mexico | Istmo & Gulf of Mexico | Veracruz | Xalapa – THE HONEST MECHANIC!
Now I am getting up really early. I am sitting I in my hotel room, looking out the window onto the street below and there is hardly a car out. Occasionally, one will pass, and yet, I can still hear the whistle of the traffic officer. I have the best news in the world. Alonzo, the guy that runs the hostel here in Xalapa took me to a mechanic that he knows. I guess they are related, sort of like Art and I. They put my car up on the lift and looked at it. There was a small hole in one of the power steering lines. His friend patched it. I asked him about the brakes, and he said that they would need to be changed soon. I also asked him about and air filter and an oil change because things have been very dusty and dirty here. He looked at the oil and at the air filter and said that both were fine. It was amazing to find an honest mechanic. Especially here where there have been so many people warning me about people trying to steal from me and people trying to rob me and about how even old ladies try to rip you off in some way. I just havent seen it. I guess I have been lucky. I think it has something to do with me trying to keep my nose clean, and not really having to deal with any seedy characters. If I get bad vibes from someone, I simply keep on moving. I did have something happen yesterday. I bought three magazines, and the guy only charged me for two, but then gave me the change as if I were to buy three. I didnt say anything, and maybe I should have, because it was dishonest. However, he knows that it was wrong, and I know what I did was wrong, but I guess it too late now. I will just have to watch out for that in the future. I will start asking for a receipt for everything. After Alonzo hooked me up with his mechanic, oh yeah, did I tell you what it cost? For him to check on all of those things, and fix the leak on the power steering line, cost eighty pesos, which comes out to less that eight dollars. I gave him ten and said, Muchos gracias! close to a hundred times. I was very thankful that the van is in good shape. I am going to need to get the brakes changed sometime soon, but I am going to need the brake pads sent from the United States. After getting my car looked at I went to the Museo de Anthropologia. Once again the building was one of the most incredible structures I have ever seen. The lines and the way they had it laid out was both interesting and, at least to me, aesthetically pleasing. However, as with MARCO, the building overshadowed the work, the work here was so powerful that it held its own against the building. The most amazing pieces were these five giant heads carved out of stone. The stood anywhere from five to eight feet high and were extremely impressive. It would be a shame for anyone to come to Xalapa and not have the opportunity to go here. There is something about works of such great size that automatically take precedence over anything else. I mean, there were other things in the museum that were interesting, but these heads, with these stern looks on their faces, demanded attention. The way they had them placed in the museum was also impressive. The first head that I noticed (which was actually the second head) was at the end of the opening hallway to the displays. There was one in the opening foyer of the building, but it went unnoticed until I was about to leave. Its color matched the color of the museum so well, and there was not artificial lighting on it, plus the foyer was so huge, that even a giant stone head didnt stand a chance. The whole experience made coming to Xalapa worth it. Plus I got these headphones that were in English, so I was able to get a brief history of the people and some important facts about the artifacts. I came back to the hotel and tried to manage driving through terrible traffic looking for a parking space until finally I gave up and let the valet take it. Once here, I got my clothes back from the girl who cleans my room. I think she hand washed everything. They smell better than any clothes I have ever smelled. They smell better than new clothes. They smell like they have been washed with such effort and such care. It is really hard to explain. I hung them up in the armoire and stuck my head in there. The cedar smell of the wood and the freshness of the fabric was a party for my nose. I was thinking about dogs today, and about how they sniff each other when they meet. This is not only their method of greeting, but also a way to remember each other. I had heard somewhere that the of the five senses, smell is the one we remember the longest. I dont know if that is true for me, because I dont remember anything, ever. However, I have noticed that different people have different smells. And that some of these people, with very distinct smells, I remember more than others. Im not suggesting that we start sticking our nose in each others asses when we greet someone new, but well, I dont know what I am getting at here. I guess I should leave it at the only thing I need to do is get the feather comforter back from whoever is sewing it and that will be it. All the Kings horses and all the Kings men, were able to put Humpty together again. I saw on the weather channel this morning that it is 18?C in Veracruz already, and I think I am going to head down to the beach. The sun is starting to warm the street outside my window. Xalapa was good to me. I hope to return here again someday, and I certainly will if I have any other car troubles, but for now, it is going to have to be kept as (hopefully) a fond memory. I started worry a bit today about school and about the people that finance it. I guess I am going to have to talk to them sooner or later. I will have to try and find a phone that I can call home for relatively cheap.