|Before the Stomach Bug|
My husband and I went to Mexico for our honeymoon. It was great, at first. Then Dave came down with a stomach bug which made him feverish, nauseated, and weak. I stayed with him all day until he finally fell into a peaceful sleep at about 10:15pm, and then went to the restaurant in the hotel. It was closed. I hadn't eaten all day because Dave was sick, and I was starved! A helpful desk clerk mentioned that the bar/cafe across the square was open.
The square was quiet. Two men shared a park bench with a radio. I walked over to the cafe, went in, and ordered in broken Spanish. Before my food came, a very drunk Mexican man tried to buy me a beer. I couldn't understand his words, but I got the gist from his hand gestures. He was well dressed, and a happy drunk, but I found it unsettling. Maybe I'd take that food to go. His friend came over and apologized in English, and also offered to buy me a drink. Where was my food?! 15 minutes passed.
The noise level in the cafe grew. It had floor-to-ceiling windows that opened on to the street. I looked out on to the square to see it had suddenly filled with young men waving flags and shouting. Then men in the restaurant also started shouting. I realized I was the only woman in the place. I was very uncomfortable, and seriously considering leaving without my food, but I was no more excited about crossing the square alone.
The gentleman who had spoken in English to me earlier came over again. "Miss, you are afraid, no? Be calm. Our favorite soccer team has won the championship just now. We are celebrating! Have a beer!"
I laughed at myself. I looked out at the square, and now saw a community celebrating a soccer win. Young men hoisted flags high and circled the square on motorbikes, girlfriends clinging to them in the rear seat. The young men were all wearing some version of the soccer uniform. The men in the cafe were toasting, dancing, and buying one another drinks. And my waiter was celebrating with them. It was wonderful! I'm delighted to have seen it.
Drunk, yelling Mexican men are great. I had a blast watching the celebration. I was sorry Dave missed it. I also realized how silly it was of me to assume I was in danger.Watching them dance and drink, wave flags and ride motorbikes, I realized how important it is to understand what is being communicated to you. I vowed to become a better listener and communicator. And I think of that night when I'm working. Things are not always as they seem, and they are often much, much better! I need to ask the right questions, and listen carefully to the answers. There could be something to celebrate!
|The Square In The Daytime|