Monday, October 08, 2007

Testosterone + Tequila = Trouble

There was trouble in the hood this weekend. When we came home from dinner we knew that there were a lot of young people on the street. Since the houses are small, very small, the street is where the young people usually gather to talk and flirt and even drink. Can't afford the bars like Mama Mia. But we didn't think much about it because it was the weekend.

We went to bed and just as we were settling into a good slumber......we were awakened with shouting and the sounds of things hitting in the streets. We got up and went across the patio, first to the studio to peek out and then on up to the terrace to take it all in.

On the roof next door, where the oldest son has recently returned from the "other side" of the Rio Grande, there were five or six young men swaggering with the courage of tequila and they were shouting and throwing rocks both up the street and down the street. On the other side of our house was the police, motorcycle police, mounted police, and several police cars and pickup trucks. Not only were the young men throwing rocks but the police were returning their fire with rocks. We couldn't see what was up the street on the other side but there were rocks coming from that direction too. A few of the rocks even hit in our patio. When we got up on the terrace we saw that we were not the only neighbors observing this spectacle from a terrace.

During a lull in the rock throwing, the mothers and girlfriends of the boys on the roof top came out in the street shouting at them to stop and calm down but the young men were feeling bullet proof so they continued to yell obscenities in both directions. When we looked over the terrace toward the police they had disappeared but then we heard them from the other end of the street where they were out of rock throwing range.

A light rain started falling and after a while it seemed to cool off the tequila rage and all was quiet again. The rest of the night was quiet and peaceful.

We went back to bed trying to figure out what had happened to start it all. Had the police tried to arrest some of the boys for being drunk on the street? Was it a gang war? Had someone from out of the neighborhood driven by and said something insulting about one of the girlfriends? The next morning Ned talked with some of the neighbors and apparently it started as a fight. Someone called the police and then the young men decided to fight the police.

What would have happened in the USA? The swat team, helicopters, young men taken off to jail and in a worse case scenario one of them even shot. Here the police can not enter a house to arrest someone, there are no search warrants, no probably cause. So why not recognize that the boys are drunk, stay around until the tequila rage wears off and it is time to pass out. The next day everyone gets up and goes about their business.

Hey, this is a different culture and this is they way they deal with it. But what do you tell your house guests who haven't spent time in Mexico? Will they want to leave on the next plane? Do you offer to put them up in a hotel away from this "lively" Mexican neighborhood? Well when you have house guests like Frank and Ellen, you just tell them that the revolution isn't quite over and we all get a good laugh about what happened. Frank just wishes he had come up on the terrace to see it too.


Anonymous said...

Senora Bille (or is it Mama Mia?):

Such is life in the hood as you suggest. Here the Police rapidly out number the youths.

Wouldn't like rocks on my terrace but out to the left of our driveway is a Capilla - there is a little more respect around the little religious spot - but then we have lovers hanging out up there - I guess - what - asking God to give them permission to... ;-)

You gotta love Mexico!

Juan Calypso

Babs said...

Well I knew SOMETHING must be going on! I haven't seen or heard from you via blog in a almost a week! Now I KNOW, it's battles and company.........

Paul said...

Interesting way of handling it. I like it. We could use a little bit more patience instead of so much aggression. I'd like to see it myself and take it all in. I wouldn't be on the first flight out unless bullets started flying through the walls! I can survive a rock! :-)