Tuesday, January 12, 2010


When I flew over to Puerto Escondido, I noticed something strange waiting in the little airport departure lounge here. Big signs about the environment, ecology, being 'green.' Great, the government is really aware. And, sure enough, they had a very current trash container with separate bins labeled for metal cans, plastic, paper, and organic material. Travelers were being very meticulous in separating their trash and putting each category into its correct bin.

Then along came a custodial worker. She opened the lid of the trash container, and TOSSED EACH OF THE SEPARATED TYPES OF TRASH together into her one black plastic bag! Not quite the idea we had in mind. As the old Missouri saying goes: you can put lipstick on a pig, but ya' still got a pig.
One of the local propane gas companies, Gas de Oaxaca, advertises on loudspeakers as their trucks traverse the city: "Gas de Oaxaca....Kilos Exactos!!" (exact kilo weights). The first time I heard it, I thought "duh....Of course you get a kilo of gas when you pay for a kilo." Ah...but, not so. In Mexico there are some very curious notions of regulation, weights and measures.
My kingdom for a Home Depot (they exist in other parts of Mexico, but not here). I've been in three paint stores looking to buy a can of white paint to match my bathroom cabinets. "May I have a paint chip?" I ask politely. "Certainly not. We have a book right here on the counter with samples." "But how do I MATCH what's already there?" I haven't gotten a good answer on that yet. I guess producing and--worse--distributing free paint chips is considered a frivolous business expense.