Sunday, January 13, 2008
T-Shirts and Mayan Ruins
High Priest's Grave
Seven is everywhere in the ruins at Chichen Itza, our Mayan tour guide Santos Yah tells us. Now toward the end of our tour, we stand in front of the High Priest's Grave. Santos counts the step-pyramid temple's stone walls, "One, two, three, four, five…seven walls. When it was explored, 1993, 1997, that's how we know, it's a tomb. In the tomb was found skeletons. Do you have an idea how many skeletons?"
People murmur. An American man's confident voice raises above others: "Seven thousand!"
"Seven," says Santos.
A Mexican T-Shirt
Bob went running early in the morning outside of our Cancun hotel, as he did daily at home. A Mexican man in his thirties ran ahead of Bob. The man wore a T-shirt with text around an airplane, like this:
Bob, who learned enough Spanish in his youth when he bicycled through Latin America jungles, described the T-shirt to me afterward and said the text translated as "Authorized Terrorist." Then he commented, "People apparently are more relaxed about these things in Mexico."