Monday, April 27, 2009

What's in a name?

My new definition of irritation is being stalked relentlessly by 90 pound dog while trying to get over a nasty case of bronchitis. The hound does not understand that mummy is sicker than the proverbial dog though the loud hacking, barking noises emanating from my throat might be a clue. Nope, the hound just thinks that Saturday has rolled around again, and though a trifle confusing, is willing to put up with this new dispensation if it means his owner will throw that round yellow thing over and over and over again. When shouted at, he just looks at you with mournful brown eyes until you give in, and then you are in hell.

While this current state is vile, it still beats swine flu; though as a friend, gleefully I thought, said to me, bet you want to just spray yourself with Lysol now after all the close contact with the Mexicans last week. This, I suspect is her revenge for having to translate all the questions and comments from the onslaught of Latin American male ad nauseum since my already troubled Spanish deserted me in the midst of crisis. Apparently heavy applications of charm and otherwise cause my addled brain to further retreat into stuttering idiotdom but that's a story for another day. Preferably with heavy applications of tequila or thumbscrews, whichever is applied first.

Oops left the room for a minute to go pour some milk into my tea and returned to find the hound in front of my laptop, good thing he can't read or I'd be in trouble! But I digress.

Today I really feel for President Calderon. I "met" him last week, well if meeting him meant a couple dozen close encounters in the corridors, him smiling genially at me while saying gracias for pointing the way to somewhere and then his embassy sending a terribly lovely gift as a thank you for all my assistance which I refuse to talk about thank you very much. Of all the leaders, he, Madame Bachelet of Chile and Brazil's Lula are still my favourites, (yes I SAW LULA, was right there next to him!) They seem like nice people just from the way they treated us "help", well and the fact that they acted quite normal, not a bunch of posturing etc. What made the Calderon's very special for me was the call they received from their children on the way to the official dinner. Senora Calderon answered her phone and was speaking to her children, she passed the phone to papa. The whole entourage, security, liaisons, everybody came to a halt while Papa took the time to talk to his kids. Now that is man! They have young children, it was heartening to see that in the midst of all the pomp and circumstance Mama and Papa understood what was important, dinners come and go, childhood does not last forever. Sure it caused us some inconvenience but to a man/woman standing there, we were all happy to wait for them. It made them extremely human and we respected them for that. Phone call over, Papa said "go to bed", the President gently apologised for making us wait, took his wife's arm and went to join his colleagues. We all smiled at each other, these are the moments that make it all worthwhile.

So today, my heart is with him in Cuidad Mexico rocked by a 6.0 earthquake and ravaged by swine flu. What a name! Very Animal Farm, makes you wonder really if Mother Nature is exacting her revenge on us. That'll teach us stupid humans. The Mexican economy which was doing okay is now going to take a hit. Mexican products, tourism and people are taking a blow that is simply not fair, one hopes that they will weather this storm and come out the other side soon.

Vaya con dios mis amigos.


Gabriela said...

You told me you met "my" president too. I have never seen him, not even from far away.
And about troubled Mexico, well, it's really not fair. But your account about the Calderons phone call was heartbreaking.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Annie Paul said...

awww thanks for this behind the scenes look at the Summit...lovely portrait of the Calderons.