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  • European surrealists have long been deeply impressed and absolutely fascinated by Mexico. They claim, Mexico is the most surrealist country of all.

    My husband and I are building a small Bed and Breakfast in an old colonial house in town. The carpenters have been working on the wardrobes for the 6 rooms. A good master carpenter, very fine craftsman. Yesterday he and his assistant brought in the furniture. Instead of assembling it inside each room, they brought it all fit together and barely made it through the entrance door. Once the wardrobes stood on the patio the master carpenter discovered to his dismay that it would be impossible to get them through the doors into the rooms. He measured each door several times: Impossible!

    He scratched his head and so did his assistant and then they started carrying the first closet towards the first door of a guest - room anyways.

    My husband asked what the hell they were doing. They had measured and the wardrobe was much larger than the door!

    The carpenter answered him," Yes, I know, but I still want to try: what if they do fit?"

    He left us speechless. The men carried and pushed and pulled and, of course, the wardrobes did not make it through the doors.

    This reminded me of an incident a few years ago. We were on a boat off the coast of Cozumel in the Mexican Caribbean. My husband noticed that one of the boat´s tanks was empty. If one tank is out of gasoline the second tank is close to be empty also. We had a long way to reach the harbor. The captain had forgotten to fill the boat with enough gasoline!

    We were in trouble!

    If we did not manage to get close to the shore where a boat could bring us more gasoline, the strong currents would pull us out to the open sea towards Cuba!

    The captain sat there and while my husband gave orders to move towards the coast and called a friend to come to our rescue, the captain shook his head and stated once and again. "We will reach the harbor!"

    We barely reached the coast and our friend barely reached us with the necessary gasoline to return home. If it was for the captain I would not be writing this story, because I probably would have vanished in the Atlantic ocean that day or the next.

    This stubborn denial of reality and belief in the impossible seems to be deeply embedded in the Mexican soul. It must be more ancient than the fervent belief in the magic of the Virgin Of Guadalupe. I guess it must have its source in Precolombian cultures.

    It is a stubbornness that can drive me nuts at times. It is stronger than fear of death (as the last example shows). It gives the Mexican people tremendous strength to go through and hold up under the worst of circumstances, which they have needed and specially need now, when drug wars seem to tear us apart. On the other hand this deep belief in impossible possibilities can be a huge obstacle: people do not want to take action and change while there is still time.....

    Photography by Kiki ( In a village in Yucatan)
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