Sunday, September 9, 2007

A fishy fish.

Before to return to El Triple, the last night in La Paz, Baja California, Mexico, was dinner in a very fancy restaurant called “Las Très Virgenes”.
It is considered the best restaurant in town and probably also the most expensive.
Located near the main square of La Paz in a refurbished older Spanish colonial style townhouse with an open courtyard and kitchen.
For the guests appreciating a good glass of wine, there is a well-stocked air-conditioned wine cellar.

One wall of this restaurant is made look like it is only half finished.
A broken window and crack in the walls, bricks and plaster falling out.
An extravaganza of the interior decorator.
Coming into a whole new perspective as the day before was an earthquake.
It looked like the restaurant had suffered serious damage and had not managed yet to have the bricklayer come by to have it fixed.

The dinner was with two friends working in the hospitality industry in Baja California.
Both highly intelligent, up to date and aware.

It is one of the ultimate pleasures in life to dine while having fascinating conversations with nice friends.

One of the topics was the question why people who practice a religion often feel they need to convince others to follow their believes.
The question why they cannot simply be happy with their religion and not be imperialistic about it.
Live and let live.

Jihadism became the subject of conversation.
Considered the sixth pillar of Islam originally understood by Muslims as a struggle to improve one’s self and society.
But over time Jihadism has become a concept that says to conquer the world and turn it into one big Islamic state whether peacefully or by force.

However, on the other end is the Christian Fundamentalism trying to impose their believes on the rest of the world as well.
They practise a similar thing like the Jihad of the Muslims and this is resulting now in major worldwide conflicts.
Politics getting mixed with religion.

The other effect is societies becoming introvert and monolithic.
The population made to believe the country is attacked and needing to be protected.
Justifying regulations in conflict with the Constitution like checking on phone calls and mail and locking up civilians without trials while torturing them for years.

Meanwhile the fish was served in the beautiful restaurant and one of the friends asked the waiter if it was fresh.
Because the day before had been the hurricane and the fishermen had been unable to go out and fish.
“Yes, it is fresh”, the waiter replied.
He was asked if the fish was of today then?
“No, it is not”.
Weird: fresh fish but not caught today and even not the day before.
Probably the waiter meant the fish was fresh from the freezer?

Living in a time where religions and political systems limit the freedom to live as one would like, the next question discussed between the friends was what to do about it?
Shut up and suffer and simply have it happen?
Or to refuse to be muzzled and in spite of possible consequences always continue to have the attitude to speak out without fear?
This is a very fundamental question and each individual has to give an answer.

One of the last guests to leave the restaurant, because the fascinating discussion had been taken a long time, the bill was asked and paid.
A hefty bill because restaurant “Las Très Virgenes” is expensive.
For the price of one meal three others can be ordered in the nearby popular restaurant “Los Fargos”.

Standing outside the restaurant to walk to the respective homes suddenly the waiter came running out of the restaurant.
“Sorry but we forgot to put this bottle of wine you had on the bill”.
An innocent bystander might have thought the customers had been trying to leave the restaurant without paying.
An extra 280 Mexican Pesos ( 18 Euros / 25 $ ) had to be paid.
The waiter got money and went into the restaurant to look for change.
This took a long time and when checked it turned out no change was available.
The waiter was asking the cook and the other people working there if they could change a 100 Pesos bill to return the customers their change.
It was a rather embarrassing situation.

Exactly like the current geopolitical state of affairs.


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