Tuesday, April 8, 2008

the way things work

I'm learning quite a bit about the way things work here in Mexico...

After being told for weeks that our semi-trailer truck full of show equipment could drive to the center of the city and drop everything off, we learned only two days before that it couldn’t enter the city center, so we’d need a new way to get our sound and lights to the theatre. So, on Saturday Scottie & I got up at 5:30am to join a small crew at the place where our big semi-truck was parked.
The reason: we went and cross-loaded equipment from the large semi-trailer to two small U-Haul shaped trucks. It was like playing Tetris with tech boxes, bars of lights, costume bags, and risers. So, we shifted everything around to fit in the small trucks that could drive to the theatre, and we still had to bribe the police to allow those trucks to drive in.

What I’m learning about bribing though is that it doesn’t feel corrupt here the way it sounds, it is just how things are done. Its like paying for the service… we give the police money to let our trucks in the city center, then they escort us in and provide security service during the unloading. It’s a give and take.

So by 9:30am we were back home and in bed for a few more hours, before enjoying our first of two host family days here in MXC.

In the afternoon, we went to this beautiful old monastery called Museo del Carmen, which was full of somber art, cool old furniture, and a neat orchard courtyard. The biggest draw to the monastery though is the naturally preserved bodies that were descovered in the crypt of the monastery. They are believed to be benefactors of the church that are at least 300 years old. The crazy part was these mummified bodies still had skin, fingernails, and Spanish-style clothing-- nothing special was done to preserve them... its believed to be the result of the dry, salty, atmosphere of the crypt. The coffins are glass-topped and not sealed very well, and are leaning so the people are basically standing on their heels. Each had a different expression, and they were so fascinating, creepy, and drew you in in the way that you didn't want to look, but couldn't look away either.

We also explored some local arts markets, and went out to dinner with some future sponsors of Mexican tours of UWP. Lastly, we got to lose another hour of sleep to daylight savings... Mexico did not shift theirs earlier like the United States, so Cast A got to lose two hours of sleep this spring, two weeks apart!