Tuesday, August 7, 2012

In Mexico Sitting and Relaxing is Legal

Plaza in Tlaquepaque
I came back to news of San Francisco's enforcement of the new sit/lie ordinance that makes hanging out on public sidewalks against the law. Not only is this not the case in Mexico, sitting and relaxing are actually encouraged in public spaces such as the beautiful old colonial-style plazas that grace almost every city and town.

There are benches everywhere, much like the ones that were removed from Civic Center Plaza in the mid-nineties when I worked at the nearby Public Library. Yes, in sleazier towns there are occasional scruffy guys or borrachos (drunks) but the night markets don't sell alcohol and the problem is nearly non-existent compared to this country.

Public spaces are for the people and they come alive at night with stands selling tacos, pozole, tamales, homemade potato chips, even hamburgers. The people are so friendly it made me a bit embarrassed for our country of rush and bother. I am trying to be more Mexican now in my new retired state. To me that means more conscious of others and more aware of myself as a member of a community that transcends ethnicity, race and gender identity.