On my way to the hotel from the airport the cab (which I picked up 20 steps down on the main road instead of in front of the airport because it costs half as much) was playing an electronic ballad station. One "romantic" song droned repeatedly
"Cuando tenemos sexo, sexo, sexo..."
...and I wondered, what happened to nuance? I mean, even totally un-nuanced nuance. La bolita que me sube y me baja? Palo palo palito? La bomba? Gasolina? How on earth could anyone find a song that goes "ohh, when we have sex, sex, sex" romantic or sexy? The song ended, and an advertisement blared in the typical Honduran male ad voice (think a local Mattress Warehouse or Personal Injury Lawyer or Monster Truck Rally ad in the U.S.), instructing parents to hurry and sign their kids up for Christian school.
I was reminded of that today when I turned on the radio and heard a song that went, in translation, "Sex makes your bad mood go away, princess, let's have sex."
Yesterday I went to El Patio and ordered way too much meat. It was even gaudier that I remembered from the last time I went, but the meat was good. On the way back I picked up some toothpaste in a farmacia de torno, which had a doctor on site.
A billboard down the road pictured a scene somewhat close to what I imagine hell to be, should there exist such a place: endless cramped and ugly cubicles. "The pleasure of doing business" it announced.
It was a longish walk back to the hotel, and as usual, I forgot how terrified I was supposed to be. As a result, my friend walking with me became increasingly nervous, which I misrecognized as simply a bad mood, and not terror of the Honduran night. He yelled at me when I stopped to take my second photo outside, "can't you take your pictures during the day?"
I finally realized what was going on, and apologized. Of course, I said, saddened by the ubiquitousness of fear. I can take pictures during the day. I had already snapped this at that point:
Inhumane government, killer of potheads, it says. I took it because it was a different sort of theme than I'd seen before, a graffiti critique of the drug war as experienced locally. It reminded me of the saddest picture ever, which I saw yesterday morning in Friday's El Heraldo (page 83). A 73-year old campesino, going to jail because the National Police, so many of whom traffic in drugs that are actually dangerous, raided his property and found a few pot plants.
On the cover of the same newspaper was a story about some Colombian sisters from Medellín who'd been busted trying to leave the country with US$102,000 in cash ("from our family business selling gold," their father claimed--white gold, no doubt). And the cover story, the result of the meeting between Arturo Corrales and officials at the State Department, the labeling of the Bajo Aguán region as a "Special Zone." Once again using the argument that campesinos are armed and dangerous to place the region under a "state of siege" and carry out a general disarmament targeting them. When the vast majority of the arms are held by the police, private security guards, and military, who carry out the vast majority of the killings.