Keeping up an exhausting pace for months on end — Lesotho on the 1st of April, Swaziland on the 3rd, Mozambique on the 5th, Malawi on the 8th, Zimbabwe on the 10th, Zambia on the 12th, and on and on — they would fly in, hastily assemble their set, unpack their props and costumes, shake hands with officials, give interviews to the local press, and mount the stage for two and a half hours of ghostly haunting, brooding soliloquies, madcap humor, impulsive stabbing, feigned and real madness, graveside grappling, swordplay and the final orgy of murder. Then after a quick job of disassembling and packing, they were off to the next country. When one or two of the company became ill, as occasionally happened, the group had rapidly to reassign the roles; when almost all of them succumbed at the same moment, as befell them after an imprudent dinner in Mexico City, they had to make do with improvised narration and zanily curtailed scenes.It’s ironic that these brave troupers’ gastro-intestinal tracts survived Africa and South Asia better than Mexico, a relatively wealthy country at a high altitude (Mexico City is at 7,382 feet elevation with a superbly mild climate). But the same thing happened to me in Mexico City over 40 years ago: my father and I went out to dinner at a terrific restaurant and the food was so good I imprudently drank a glass of water.
Has Mexico not made much progress against Montezuma’s Revenge over all these decades? What exactly is the problem? Are they even trying?
The theory I got from former Mexican foreign secretary Jorge Castaneda is that Mexicans see their country’s endemic crumminess as a way to keep the gringos out.