Mexican Grace is a new regular feature column inspired by the September 15th 2019 Open Circle. El Ojo is looking for anecdotes that relate the many encounters, whether initiated by expats or locals, that exemplify the special manifestations of mutual giving and receiving that define the Mexican Grace that brought us to this unique paradise and that keep us here.
Always a Helping Hand When You Need It Most
By Bob Branson
First Story: I had gone to the tianguis to buy food. With a plastic bag full of goodies in each hand I started back to the car but tripped on the curb and fell, breaking ribs and badly bruising my knee. Two people helped me to my feet and I struggled back to the car to go home. I found that I could barely walk and my ribs pained me unmercifully.
My wife was in the US visiting grandchildren at the time, so I was totally alone. I was in so much pain, I knew I couldn’t manage on my own. I called Carlos Soto, my favorite taxi driver, to help me do errands and when he saw my condition, he took over. He brought me a plastic chair for my shower, shopped for food, and determined that I could only receive adequate care from a nursing home. He took me to one and demanded that I be given good treatment. Over the next three days he took me on errands and even arranged for my hairdresser to come and wash my grungy hair.
He continued to serve me for the remainder of the week until I could go home and get by on my own. He would only accept money for the taxi rides and nothing else, all the while showing genuine compassion and a cheerful disposition.
Second Story: I was in Guadalajara trying to cross Avenida Moctezuma to get to a restaurant. I walk slowly and the traffic was fairly heavy. Before I started across the street a man got out of his parked car, directed traffic to stop for me, and walked me safely to the other side.
A week later, I was trying to cross the same street, which is divided by a grassy median strip, when a Mexican woman firmly took hold of my arm. When we came to the second half of the street, which always has more traffic, she waved at a man in a pickup truck who promptly blocked the intersection with his truck. She then walked me across the street and wished me a happy day.