Posts Tagged ‘c’est des choses qui arrivent’

I am writing this from a train from Exeter to London. When we left for a short holiday in the countryside, there was three of us. And no need for a train.
We had been waiting for the summer all summer. Last Sunday, as the weather forecast predicted yet another dreadful rainy windy week, we decided it was high time to leave London for the greener pastures of the southwest.

We dithered and wobbled. The lord was not entirely convinced he wanted to visit the patental home unless there was guaranteed sunshine. There wasn’t , but as the start of the academic year looms in the horizon, we seized the day and packed our bags. An hour later we were on the road. Wanting to make the most of this “green and pleasent land” we meandered through smaller roads, visiting Eton and Windsor and finally Winchester. It was all fine. I even found the last house where Jane Austen lived.

We were happy. Me, the lord and the car, la machina, were ambling along nicely, learning the history of Harold, the last anglo-saxon king and William the Conqueror, all courtesy of wikipedia and the iPhone.
Then, it all changed. La machina started to make a terrible noise and could hardly climb the hills.
We made it to Exeter. Only just, it appears. The next morning we called the mechanic to take a look at the engine. It was pronounced near defunct! This morning, the lord took la machina to the scrap yard. He got £70 in exchange.
All that remains of that once powerful little master of the Italian motorways, is memories.
I console myself thinking that it will become a compact square of metal, which in turn will re-in-CAR-nate in another car!


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One of the questions they always ask me in forms (for job applications, for gym memberships, for all sorts of things) is my ethnicity.

Everytime, while in the UK, I’ve been confronted with lots of tiny boxes.

Everytime is the same feeling. I don’t know, I’ve never been asked this before (well, not in my defining years, when one creates and identity for oneself).

Am I white? At least I was before I visited Brasil for the first time…since then I have never (thankfully) gone back to my palish yellowy shade of white.

It is clear, I am not whiter than white. But they never give me the option “mestizo” or anything like that.

For a typical Mexican like myself, no one knows what percentage corresponds to white European and what to American indigenous people.

So, every time, I put “White, other”, followed by a handwritten “Latino/hispanic”.

I don’t like those labels. I quite dislike in fact all the connotations that the Hispanic adjective evokes, at least, in American English.

But it is the closest to what I feel I am.

One thing is certain: I am not British.

On Sunday, London did break the Guiness record for the largest Sevillanas dance. We all danced for at least 5 min continuously (the music went on for 9min). It was fun. We were 456 dancers in the end.

After the record was set, the organisers moved the music away from the main road (it wasn’t very popular with Londoners the idea of closing Regent street all Sunday). We settled in a side road, called Heddon street.

Rather nice little square, with plenty of bars and restaurants. There was a stage, and some artists that they had brought directly from Andalusia for the occasion.

People danced. People sang. People drank.

The majority of the people there were from Spain, or at least Latinos (white, other).

After a couple of hours of music, one enormous security guard pushed his way to the main stage, followed by a very old, quite frail-looking woman. She also look very angry.

She got up on stage, and interrupted the dancing act.She then proceeded to explain that unless people “spread out” more around the square, rather than congregating in front of the stage, they’d have to stop the show.

What? She didn’t even said who she was…

Anyway, they were anxious about the quantity of alcohol consumed by so many people and the amount of glasses floating about.

What they forgot to ask us this time was our ethnicity. Surely, had they realised that most people where civilized Mediterraneans and they would have let us continue the party.

In the event, the authorities used so much to the hooliganism and the riotous behaviour of the English, whenever there is lots of people and alcohol, decided to stop the event. Yes, mid-performace, almost.

The artists left, in their vans…The people remained.

And we sang, and we danced. We didn’t need an official stage nor a professional singer.

The party continued for about an extra hour, there on the square, until a police van arrived and the policemen asked us, politely but firmly to “disperse”.

I didn’t fancy so much paying a visit to the police station, so I took my bus home.

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This is my bedside tableTwo days ago, I accompanied Lord O to get his (semi-annual) haircut. I had stubled across this men’s barbers sometime ago, and it seemed to just fit the bill. So after a few months of putting off the moment of truth (finding a decent hairdresser in London and paying for it!) had come and it was to my suprise quite easy to convince him to go there.

The salon was quite posh, and they offered us coffee while we awaited for the hairdresser. A flamboyant girl entered the scene with bright orange hair and cowboy boots.

She started chattering away, the way hairdressers do. Within minutes she had learnt that we work together, have married last year and have been together for nearly ten years now.

She turn round to me and said:

-You must have been 10 years old then!

I am glad that my daily (and nightly) cream routine is paying dividens.










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Esta es la historia de un objeto volador identificado..No era un saucer (el plato que va debajo de la taza del cafe) mas bien era una  ollita y estaba linda.

Cuando deje mi Mexico para irme a hacer la maestria y el doctorado a Paris, pues yo me sali muy senorita…no sabia cocinar ni tender la cama!

El caso es que cuando mi mama me visito despues de tan solo unos meses de estacia, llego cargada con los utensilios que mi joven persona considero en esos entonces indispensables: un sartensito especial para un huevo, una ollita mini (como para hervir la leche) y un tortillero (si sinor!).

Hay venia la pobre madre abnegada, cargando esos a cuestas, entre peticiones de salsas de chile y moles…y alguno que otro libro que olvide en casa…

El caso es que esa ollita era muy util y bien apreciada por mi…(el tortillero lo he usado tres veces en los ultimos 8 anios! Mama, disculpe usted las molestias que el cargar tal artefacto le ocasiono, pero no sabia yo que era tan engorroso estar preparando la masa para las tortillas, ni sabia que facil era acostumbrarse a no comerlas…y mas ahora que en teoria ya encontre donde venden tortillas de maiz autenticamente mexicanas, pero hechas por aqui!).

Cuando despues de un anio y medio de felicidad y sufrimientos en Paris, me decidi a cambiarme a Londres, me lleve casi todos mis triques, ollita incluida.

Una manana de invierno, como muchas otras, me desperte cuando aun estaba oscuro, tendria clase en la Universidad  (o daria ayudantia, no me acuerdo)…Decidi hacerme el desayuno, una avena con ciruela pasas…Mientras estaba listo,  me puse a alistarme. Siendo (aspirante a ) matematica , no me lleva mucho tiempo  en arreglarme  (cero maquillaje, casi cero esfuerzo en el peinado, etc)…Pero mi misma naturaleza de cientifico loco hizo que me olvidara por completo que habia dejado mi ollita en el fuego…

Despues de varios minutos (muchos, no se cuantos)…empece a ver humo saliendo de la cocina: -El desayuno, pense, y fui corriendo a la cocina a quitar la ollita del fuego…

El micro departamento en el que vivo tiene su alarma anti-incendios…y es medio histerica y se alarma por todo, asi que rapidamente cerre la puerta para evitar que “sintiera” el humo, y abri la ventana…todo al mismo tiempo! Resultado: la ollita que estaba en mi mano, humeante y no muy contenta de tener sus adentros todos chamuscados salio volando por la ventana (Moraleja: No intente abrir la ventana con una olla caliente en la mano!).

Splash! Clonck! Prang!

Mi ollita cayo y rodo por los suelos del patio de la vecina de abajo!

Oh la humillacion! El temor! (Cabe aclarar que ya habia tenido yo mis desencuentros con la pobre mujer de abajo, he resultado un poco desconsiderada como vecina…y lo peor, sin darme cuenta!).

La ollita se veia abollada, y su contenido estaba todo regado por el patio (bueno, aquel que no se quedo pegado al fondo)…

Baje rapidamente a ver a la vecina, a ofrecer disculpas y a limpiar…No estaba! Tuve que dejar una nota apologising…Cuando volvi de la Facultad, mi ollita estaba esperandome afuera de mi casa.

Nunca mas se hablo del asunto.

La ollita nunca se recupero de su fatal accidente.

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