Friday the 13th, a quarter past 7 in the evening. The metro is calm, people sleep, smile, in here, on the streets; and all is well.
Reforma – the main avenue in front of our apartment – is still a construction mess, as slowly the electricity cables are being moved underground.
The pavements and statues seem clean, aside from some colour-matching paint on confusingly more than just a single spot. It’s ironic how apparently semi-mismatched colours (e.g. light beige on dark beige) are found preferable to the government than totally mismatched colours (green on dark beige). Or than two numbers. After all, the message ’43’ should be pretty spread by now.
Alone stands the encampment isle, where every other day speeches are being held.
Speakers, spreading the virtues of socialism.
I wrote the previous text on the 13th of February. Fast forward to today, and they are still here. The tents, the still hanging plastic posters of each of the 43 missing students, the occasional lecture is still a common sight at our front door. The streets have not been filled with people for a while, except for the free open air concert Santana gave a few weeks ago – or rather, the government gave. Those I mention it to cynically mention the upcoming mid-term elections for congress.
That’s right, the 7th of June is a big day, and this could just be the big poster announcing that day:
But at least the leading party assures us that the elections will not be affected by the friendly match. It wouldn’t be the first time – worrisome legislation has been approved during other big events like the Olympics final between Mexico and Brasil. A lot of people are just really passionate about football and soap operas. And all is well.
At least we know that if there is going to be (more) violent protests, of which all violence seems to be staged by the Mexican government anyway, they will start in other cities. The situation is way more dire outside of Mexico City than inside – although it’s a huge country and generalizations are simply not realistic. I do feel uneasy thinking about where it could lead to and probably the most unnerving thought is that nothing will happen at all.
As predicted, people mostly protested until Christmas came along. A lot of people here say, with a wry smile, that they are convinced that that’s the time when people want to have their presents, give their kids presents, and have a peaceful time together. And all seems well.
A sense of peace and calmness, of everyday chores following up on each other defines the atmosphere. A false sense, pangs, internal alarms going off, this is not right, this is not true. Edward Snowden is breaking international news, his revelations disturbing but less covered – thank you John Oliver, spot on – but at least the US has such a coverage. Whatever is unveiled in Mexico, barely even hits the main channels here.
I’ve been away from writing for quite a bit, but I will pick it up again. Even if it’s difficult to understand, let alone put in words, what’s going on here. Definitely for foreigners, it stays difficult to get a constant stream of news with the propaganda/bullshit-filter strongly attached. Even if the feeling is unnerving, ignorance is bliss. So… all is well.