I have long contended that living among Latinos is like living in Alice’s Wonderland, that place where logic exists in short supply. And it’s not just Mexico.
Back in 1976, my last wife and I were in a rental car in downtown Barcelona. It was dusk, that time between daylight and utter darkness, and it was quite dim. I turned on the headlights as any sensible person would do.
At the next stoplight, a cop walked up to me and told me to turn the headlights off. I did, but I never understood why, except that I was visiting another odd neighborhood of Alice’s Wonderland, that world where Latinos live.
And more than four decades later …
This evening we drove about a mile — in about the same sort of dusk as that evening in Barcelona — to a car repair shop down the highway to pick up the Nissan March that we’d left there earlier in the day for routine maintenance.
It was raining, and it was almost completely dark as we headed back in two cars toward the Hacienda. Most cars coming toward me had their full headlights on, but some just turned on the parking lights, and I saw two barrel by with no lights at all.
Not rare at that hour.
I have a theory that drivers here think that if they can see where they are going, it’s not time to flick on the lights. That others cannot see them is another matter that never occurs to them. The less the lights are turned on, the longer they last, which will cost less over time.
I imagine that’s the thinking even if they’re not consciously aware of it. Does the Cheshire Cat know we see little more than his grin and his eyes?
But we both made it home intact, which is the important thing, ¿no?
It should not be raining in December. It’s unnatural.