Tuesday, December 19, 2006

mexico, youth, youngness

Oceania metro station Mexico CityI remember confusing someone not so long ago by saying that "Mexico is a very young country." I had to clarify this by saying that, in fact, Mexico is a very old country but with a terrific number of very young people.

It is very possible to ride these trains, as I have been doing lately, and find oneself, in one's late 30s, quite the senior among a swarm of 20, 25 and 30 year old people all hustling to get to some jobs or some schools and the minority of people over 50 are quick to claim the seats. Such is the etiquette of Mexico City's metro system.

I don't mind standing a bit. But it is tough getting an answer from 20-somethings to my questions "How is it to be in a such a huge majority? Such a big part in a megalopolis that dwarves so many of the cities of the world?"

I may as well be asking "what does your face look like?" for I talk to plenty of people in their twenties and they seem as often as not oblivious to their position. Or maybe it is that their position in such a huge majority does not confer in them any radical impulse to dominate or lord their numbers over their city the way one might expect if the kids over-ran the high school. It isn't timidness and it isn't a lack of awareness.

I find an astonishing unwillingness to "grab the tiger by the tail" as Porfiro Diaz would have had it, that seems born as much from respect for neighbors in that terrific European sense, as it is from any lack of initiative or reluctance to act. Mexico is very much aware of its place in the world and of its future. Thank god with so many, are so many good.

Oceania metro station Mexico City

1 comment:

  1. Hey - this is showing up under the photo in Mozilla:

    id="Blogger_photo_id_5010366277091723826=" border="0"/>