Sunday, March 27, 2005


Somewhere out there in Mexico is a secret information network. Maybe it’s an internet site, or maybe a radio channel way off the end of the dial. It could also be a pay-per-view TV channel, or possibly even a newsletter published clandestinely in someone’s secret back room. But it’s out there somewhere, I know that, because there is vital information circulating among people that I have not been able to get my hands on in the 6 months I have been here.

For example, local bus information is obviously to be found only on the secret network. It sure is convenient when city transit authorities post bus route maps and schedules on the sides of bus shelters. It doesn’t happen in Mexico. Printed maps and schedules are also quite handy. Not in Mexico, though. Yet everybody knows exactly which bus to get on and at what hours the buses run. Everyone except me, that is, since I’m not part of the network.

You know what else is really convenient to know? The hours that local businesses are open. I’ve always been used to seeing signs posted on storefronts advertising the store hours. It’s not a common practice in Mexico, however. If you don’t want to walk all the way to your favorite internet café at an hour that you swear they’ve been open at before just to find the place closed solid, you’ve got to get on the network.

I’m wondering if membership in the secret information network comes for foreigners only after you’ve been here a while and proved your mettle. I’m hoping it comes at the one year mark because, man, I need to know some of this stuff.

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