My host’s face suddenly changed to an expression of panic when we heard the horn. He grabbed Negra, his dog, and said “C’mon! Sismo!”. My Spanish isn’t that good yet, but I certainly understood ‘sismo’ (earthquake). He lived on the first floor so it didn’t take long to be in the street with lots of people. A few minutes later, the whole street moved like it was a boat in the ocean. Stopped. Then moved again. There was no stationary point of reference on which to focus. I was looking at a building and it moved with us. I was starting to feel seasick, on top of my stomach upset. I grabbed onto my host’s arm for balance. Luckily, after two good sways, it stopped. We went back to the house. No electricity, no phone reception, and it’s time to go to the airport for my next flight.
I had just arrived in Mexico City 16 hours earlier after almost 5 months in Hawaii. The contrast between the 2 places could not have been more stark. From a sparsely populated tropical island where nature abounds to one of the most densely populated cities in the world. In the city, I finally understood the fear many people have around the virus. I could feel the stress rising in my body and my system yearning for a tree or any hint of nature. Why did I leave Hawaii for Mexico? I was not growing and felt stagnant and bored. After pulling a pec muscle weeding in the garden, beach activities, which were keeping me sane, became painful. I decided to use this down time to learn Spanish. Mexico is open. Immersion is the best way to learn so here I am; Mexico welcomes me with open arms and an open belly: a 7.4 earthquake!
As a performer, I’m used to dramatic entrances. A 7.4 earthquake, is the most dramatic ever!
Mexico City, Tuesday June 23.
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