Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Trafficking in Gold

This is about what my "nugget" looked like.

The economy must really be in the tank. I have been brought to trafficking in gold. First I must explain that I have an international mouth. Not because of languages. It is because over decades I surrendered to some rudimentary dentistry in out-of-the-way places. At some point I distinctly recall the use of a jackhammer.

The circumstances that brought me to trafficking started on a driving trip. We were in Bustamante, Coahuila, for the night of El Grito, on the eve of September 16 Independence Day celebrations. I was eating a tasty taco and bit down on a rock. It turned out to be a gold crown that I had gotten somewhere that came off. (Fortunately, this glitzy diente hid as a back molar all these years.) There was no dentist available in time or place until we traveled though the lunar landscape of the Altiplano Potosino and hit Morelia. I had a jagged stump lacerating my tongue for two days, until a sainted dentist worked me in for an appointment on the first business day after the holiday. At the end of my appointment, to my surprise, he deposited the beat-up gold crown in the palm of my hand. A nostalgic memento of some far-away place.

After arriving back in Patzcuaro, I noticed a sign that said Se compra oro near the Biblioteca. So I popped in, feeling totally ridiculous, and asked if they would buy a gold tooth. I can't believe I did this--or admit to it. The young man who attended me did not even blink. He tested my "nugget" to see if it was really gold (it was) and then he weighed it. I received 350 pesos, about $26 dollars at the current rate. Hey, I took a friend to a great lunch and have plenty left over.

Never underestimate the possibilities of commerce in Patzcuaro.


Come to Patzcuaro.

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