As most of my readers know, on the 4th of September, I flew to Mexico City where I had two book launches. The first took place in Aguascalientes (one million inhabitants) which is a biggish city by European standards. However, as far as Mexicans are concerned, it is not really that big!
Yet, the people of this city are far from having small hearts. They welcomed my family and me with open arms and after the preliminaries of the launch were over, a number of us burst into the singing of boleros, which are originally Cuban songs, but are also very popular in Mexico. Such spontaneity can only happen in this country I realised.
The surprises did not end there. Two days later we were invited to a wedding where we witnessed how our Mexican friends enjoy themselves. Inhibition did not form a part of their world, as bride and groom danced alone ceaselessly for almost three quarters of an hour before the remaining guests left their places at the make shift tables and twirled and spun until the band decided to call it a day, or rather a night!
Pomp and protocol were absent, but generosity was abundant.
Three days later we were in Mexico City where I gave a radio interview on Radio Educación. As a result of this interview, and through Facebook, which I am just becoming familiar with, I had the joy of meeting up with two long lost friends, Eduardo and Ciria. Spontaneity was the name of the game and they did not hesitate to get together there and then, despite the size of Mexico City and all the inconveniences to be found in a place of over twenty million people. A separation of twenty-one years meant nothing to us!
This wonderful encounter was soon followed by my second book launch in Mexico. In this case I was honoured to be introduced by David Costello, Deputy Head of Mission of the Irish Embassy. Among the attendees were writers, teachers, sociologists and even a builder, all drawn to the presentation of The Verb To Be of Football, due to the unique focus it has on English language learning. The launch did not close without an attendee requesting me to sing. Once again, this petition reflected the Mexican love for music, song, culture and spontaneity.
On Tuesday 19th September, as my husband and I were going in La Zona Rosa, México City, we experienced another type of encounter with the Mexican people when the earth shook and buildings trembled and collapsed. It was this experience which showed me once again the true spontaneity of my eternal Mexican friends as each and every one of them set out to help the less fortunate, forgetting their own predicament.
A lesson to be learned that cannot be taught in any book.
My love and best wishes to the whole of Mexico.