even after this morning, the only earthquake i've ever felt was a tiny tremor in acapulco during the summer of 2004. i'd say that fact is probably one of the bigger selling points for living in the state of mexico. our house isn't build on an old, shaky lake bed. we're firmly planted on solid, foothill soil.
i admit it: part of me is disappointed to have missed the pair of morning quakes. i equate the experience with a real mexico city initiation, like no-fee apartment hunting in new york. not having been jostled around, even a little bit, leaves me feeling something like a wannabe.
the other, larger part of me, though, is simply glad we're both safe. i can live without having my house rumbled around, and the tremors seemed to have cut off my cell phone reception, so i'll consider myself effected and just call it good.
but earthquakes aren't the only source of rumblings we've had around here. the political fault lines have also been shaking things up in the city, leaving a lot more immediately-felt effects in its wake. supporters of lópez obrador and his demand that the electoral votes be recounted "vote for vote, poll for poll" have camped out along reforma avenue, closing off sections of the thoroughfare completely and setting up virtual communities with barbershops, a movie screen, makeshift restaurants and dance halls. they're called plantones, planting themselves and their city center tents at the epicenter of continuous waves of discontent.
and the mountains can't keep us from feeling the tremors even up here in the state of mexico. when driving to amealco in the morning on tuesday, a group of obrador's party, the prd, had completely taken over the inter-state's tepotzotlán tollbooth. forcing the toll workers to abandon their stalls, they lined up along the lanes with flags and banners, waving travelers through for free.
it's a historic time for the country, much more memorable than the set of a.m. earthquakes. i feel, in some ways, fortunate to be here and to see these events firsthand. but the emotional investment comes with a great deal of frustration, since i find fault with a large part of the prd's modus operandi. a disillusioned candidate who sanctions illegal appropriation of federal installations (tollbooths, for example) isn't someone who can easily win my support. nor is someone who maneuvers his party's adherents to demand something that's outside the federal legal structure. if the judicial system can't--and consequently won't--comply with a demand to recount the votes of polls that were never officially contested, that non-compliance will be used by the party as another reason for complaint. if the recount of contested polls were to show significant discrepancies, then in the interest of upholding democratic ideals, the recount of every vote seems like a decent and reasonable request. i'd be surprised, however, if obrador were to concede defeat if any recount--partial or full--confirmed calderón as the president elect.
i believe in social justice, and in political resistance when it's for the greater good. perhaps obrador knows a lot about the former and is somehow in the right with the latter. i'm skeptical. but i know we'll have wait for the shock waves to pass, as always, depending on retrospect to see where all the upheaval leads. hopefully, it will eventually leave us all standing on more solid ground.