What Lurks Around Corners…

There has been so many things I have wanted to write about the last few weeks, however my brother has been in town, and between starting ’round 2′ of Spanish lessons and sight-seeing around the city – I just couldn’t find the time.

However, something unfortunate happened to us the other day and I have been battling with the idea of whether or not I should write about it – but this is after all a blog that is meant to record my experiences of living in a new city and sometimes the bad comes with the good!

As mentioned earlier, my brother is in town and ‘C’ and I decided to take him to our favourite Mescal Bar in Roma (I promise to write more about this fantastic, and in my opinion superior cousin to the tequila in another post).  This bar is quite literally a ‘hole-in-the-wall’,  with only a couple of tables outside on the pavement, and a few more tables inside – but its biggest attraction (aside from Mescal) is its easy-going atmosphere, and the alternative crowd which it attracts.  ‘C’ and I have spent several nights here since I came to Mexico, and it has fast became my favourite spot for a chilled night out. 

We invited our good friends along (the same couple who went to Oaxaca with us) and we were having a lovely relaxed evening. We managed to get one of the tables outside and we were working our way through the Mescal menu, happily chatting amongst us and nibbling on chillied fava beans.

Halfway through the evening, a man walked out of the Mescal bar to have a cigarette and tried to imitate conversation with our group. Immediately we could see that he was high as a kite and really wasn’t making very much sense. He swayed from being very friendly to almost hostile. While he was smoking, I noticed this man staring intently at our friend “B” – and it really made me feel very uncomfortable – there was something about this man was just not right.

However, he finished his cigarette and was making his way back into the bar, all the time staring at ‘B’ – on the way past us the man muttered something  to  him, and again just stood staring at ‘B’. It was obvious that this man was completely out of it, and accused “B” of being a federal cop! Naturally we all laughed it off as some crazy drunk guy, and after a moment of continuing staring at “B” and us ignoring him, he sauntered back into the bar – and we continued our evening.

About an hour later, from out of no where this man attacks our friend from behind. He throws himself on top of ‘B’, hitting him around the head and launching him into and through the table (and ‘B’ is not  a small guy) and onto the floor – drinks, glasses, cigarettes, fava beans and chairs went flying!  At first I had no idea what was going on. My initial impression was that someone stumbled and fell on our table, yet at the same time there was just far too much force and damage for this to be an accident. The next moment this man was pelting it down the street, and my brother and “C” were chasing after him…and what surprised me, so did many of the other men who were sitting in that bar in support of us!

Everyone had seen it was an absolutely unprovoked attack – and although I was really shaken up, drenched in mescal and I think slightly in shock, I couldn’t help but notice how supportive everyone was, and how incensed they were over this attack. We obviously do not look Mexican and many of the locals kept on telling me “this is not mexico”, “this is not how mexicans behave”, “we are so sorry”. They made every effort to help us clean up, talk to us, call the police and were just very compassionate.  

Luckily none of us were hurt – not even poor ‘B’ that was thrown into to the table. More importantly however, this is an episode that brought home just how quickly your life can change from one second to the next (I do cringe at how clichéd that sounds!)! One moment we were all sitting happily together talking, and the next it was chaos. It was an event that could have gone so badly wrong and in so many ways – that man could have had a weapon on him – knife, gun, beer bottle and could have seriously damaged ‘B’ or any one of us. It was an incredibly eye-opening experience.

But though all that chaos – the Mexican spirit really shone through. It showed me just how warm-hearted, generous and kind the every-day-person is. The women who run the bar were so upset and angry and repeatedly apologised to us – but it’s not their fault! This man was an anomaly – an anomaly who had decided in his warped brain that we were a threat to him and decided to attack us. It could have happened anywhere in Mexico City, let alone in any city for that matter as you can’t control the people around you.

If anything good has come out of this whole episode, is that it really was an illustration of how quickly your life can change, and that you absolutely must appreciate what you have and when you have it, you just never know what is lurking behind that corner!

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