(continued from part 8/02/05 Mexican Motorcycle Diary pt.7)
A little later, and just a few short kilometers down the road I followed Irma and her friends to the next playita where there was a single sea turtle laying her eggs. The group crowded around the tortuga as she struggled in the late afternoon sun to dig her way out and back into the sea. One of Irma's friends, a pretty young Mexican woman named Barbara seemed a bit put off from the spectacle and she worried that we were all scaring the poor thing. I snapped a few photos until little Elizabeth came running up to me and deposited a single turtle egg into my palm. I asked, "Uh.. aren't you supposed to leave the eggs be? I mean, aren't they protected here?" Irma said no, and that many of the eggs get scooped up by the locals to sell or to eat. I learned they also sell scrambled sea turtle eggs back at the palapa, but I couldn't bring myself to try them. I took a couple snaps of the egg then deposited it back into the pit the mother had worked so hard to dig and then covered it back up with sand. I entertained the thought that just maybe this little guy would make it and end up as someone's desayuno before he even had a chance. I know that at Maruata the turtles and their eggs are guarded by armed Mexican military, but evidently that level of protection is few and far between. After another vacationing Mexican family came screaming onto the beach with cameras in hand and posed for a few snaps before the ol' bird managed to drag herself back into the surf.. we were all on our way again. We visited a second beach called La Ticqua (I think), and I left the girls there while I took Ruby for a drink in the next town. That beach was also nice with bigger surf, but far too many gringos with surf boards and emply liter beer bottles strewn about for my taste.
That evening Irma informed me that the young Mexican woman, Barbara, was a skilled masseur and that she'd massage me for a bit over an hour for just 100 pesos. Perfect! Laying in the sand, lulled by the late evening breeze, and getting massaged by a hot Latina as the sun set? I can't think of anything better. :-) About that time I was again laying in my hammock when one of the other Mexican visitors came over and gave me a plate of ceviche with tostadas as a gift. I happily accepted the massage date, but after Barbara had finished most of those waiting for massages, it'd had already crept past midnight and I figured she'd be too tired so I allowed myself to slowly sway off into a midnight slumber.
For some reason, I felt I needed to keep moving on. So, after Ruby was all packed up and wiped nice a clean for the road I bid my new friends adios. Barbara said,
"Yes, I must continue on."
"But, I thought you wanted a massage?"
"I did, but it was so late last night I thought you might be too tired."
"You should have said something, I thought we were disturbing you with our talking so I just went to sleep. You can't leave now. Join me for breakfast."
"Ok, but I really need to be getting on the road if I'm to make Puerto Vallarta before dark."
"I have a massage after I finish breakfast, but you must allow me to give you a massage before you leave."
"Fair enough. I'll wait for a massage and then leave."
Barbara told me she was going to Oaxaca in few days and I asked her if she liked mushrooms. She said she wanted to try them sometime, but felt her head should be right before and not troubled.
"You're troubled? Why?"
"Now I'm not troubled because I'm here on this beautiful beach, but I was before."
"Well, what is your trouble?"
"Come, join me for breakfast!"
"I will if you'll tell me what's troubling you.
"Ok, I'll tell you over breakfast but I must hurry because that man is waiting for his massage."
We chatted for nearly an hour over breakfast and discussed our lives, travel, religion, love lives, etc. She told me she almost married an Israeli man named Jose, and had decided she could settle down and have children with this man. She figured that maybe she'd got too possessive of him and scared him off. This is when she broke down and started to cry.
"I'm sorry, I'm feeling very vulnerable this morning for some reason. Please excuse me."
"That's Ok. How long has it been since you were with Jose?"
"Only 2 months ago, why?"
About that time Irma came running over to let us know another sea turtle had found its way onto the beach. A large excited crowd had gathered around her and I expected the worst. Surprisingly, one of the boys saw the ancient tortuga's plight and lifted her out of the pit after she'd deposited her eggs. She frantically tried to scoop sand into her pit to cover them and to my amazement all of the Mexicans joined in to help her. All the children and adults scooped mounds of sand into the pit to help cover the precious eggs and then helped her along the softer part of the beach until she could get better traction. We all watched the waves carry her off into the sea and all went back to whatever we'd been doing before.
Barbara and I sat down again with both our spirits lifted by the kindness everyone showed, and then the conversation shifted to world affairs and how she couldn't understand how this man she loved with all her soul could have killed so many Palestinians while serving in the Israeli army. "Such a beautiful man to have such a horrible past.. but, I accepted all of it." I explained to her that militaries are very good at convincing soldiers that killing people is a good idea. I mean really! Would any reasonable person, when told they should go over that hill and kill all of those people they've never met, risk getting killed themselves, and all for something as abstract as "a country"... do you really think any reasonable human being would comply with such a request? I think not, but I was in the military and I know how good they are at distorting the average person's mind set. They must make you believe that you are killing and possibly dying for a much bigger "cause", and that because you are "serving" a far superior cause than the other guy, they must be killed for the greater good. Oftentimes they don't even say in so many words that the enemy is inferior and deserves to die, but they communicate this insidiously by pumping up THEIR cause and superiority to such a level that anyone else MUST be "inferior" and not worthy by default. They also through in a little religion for good measure so that the soldier believes he is not only killing for a greater good and superior cause, but for ol' Jehovah, or Allah as well! How else could any reasonable person live with the fact they'd killed so many who'd previously never hurt anyone?
"So, you see.. I'm sure your Jose is a reasonable enough chap whose mind has been temporarily distorted by the military."
"You think so? How then has the U.S. made so many people appear agree with all of this killing in Iraq?"
I told her that personally, I believe these same techniques that have been historically used to sculpt the minds of young men to make more efficient killing machines has also been used on the American public at large. They are so kept sheltered from anyone else's cultural history from their earliest years in school. They are told they live in the greatest country the human race has ever known. Are instructed to pledge allegiance to their country in the name of God, and how so many have died to protect their freedom. It is drilled into their collective heads for so long how superior they are, that when a very few of them manages to visit another country they tend to just walk all over the locals and profess how inferior this or that country is and how they can't wait to get back to the good ol' U.S.A. Eventually they come to believe through carefully controlled media messaging that they are the true heirs of God's grace and that everyone else is essentially insignificant. So, you see... the same sort of mind sculpting that militaries have effectively used for over a thousand years to build better soldiers has now been used on the public as well. It's not that the people are bad, it's just that their minds have been twisted by an evil and greed lusty agenda.
I believe you can take the same culture, lift it up and retrofit it onto any other group of reasonable folks and you'll get a similar effect. And, it's not the first time either. How do you suppose the Third Reich was able to convince an entire country of otherwise reasonable folks that it was a good idea to exterminate millions of Jews? First cease control of all the newpapers and media outlets and begin a campaign about how superior the German was, and how inferior others were... and that for the good of the superior race and country, many would have to be done away with. Same thing. At least, that's what I think.. but don't listen to me. What the hell do I know? I'm just a dopey guy on a motorcycle who's brains have been likely scrambled by one too many drug experiments, whose screws have likely vibrated loose, and has had a melt-down from the extreme helmet heat. ;-)
During an absolutely magical massage, I thought about Barbara's lost love and asked,
"Do you have Jose's email address?"
"Yes, of course. Why?"
"Do you ever send him a note or give him a call?"
"No, never. I swore I'd never speak to him again."
"I can't tell you how I know this, but I think you should send him an email the first chance you get. But, not as a girlfriend.. just as a friend. And, no matter what don't rush back to wherever he is. Wait. Send another friendly message to let him know you're OK and what you're up to and leave it at that."
"How do you know this?!"
"Like I said, I don't have a clue why I told you that. But in the past I've been correct about such things."
She began to cry tears of joy and thanked me. Said she was going to do it. I told her not to thank me. It wasn't "me" who told her that. I was just passing on information. I tried to pay her for the massage, but she wouldn't take it. I insisted and said $10 for an hour massage on the beach by a beautiful senorita was money well spent! She asked if I wouldn't just spend one more night talking with her, but I noticed a large extended Mexican family with a dozen screaming and laughing ninos had arrived armed with what looked like enough provisions of beer and diapers to last a week. I said, "No, I think I'll move on.. something tells me our peaceful little beach is going to be a little more noisy tonight." She looked around and grimaced. "Yes, I see what you mean. I think I might try to move on South before it gets too late myself." I bid her fond adios, mounted Ruby and took off into the soft sand before Ruby began to get too jealous. ;-)
(to be continued in part 8/02/05 Mexican Motorcycle Diary pt.9)