Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The World Is Flat

Well, at least southwest Texas is flat. Flying into El Paso from Dallas is exactly like the movie Babel where the Mexican nanny gets kicked out of her crazy nephew's car at the border with her two little anglo charges and she stumbles around in complete, utter isolation for endless hours, trying to find civilization. You look out the airplane window and there is nothing but flat desert dotted with green scrub as far as the eye can see. It looks like a foreign country. It looks like a wasteland.

(A digression: Is it just me, or is that movie seriously annoying? I mean, it was well made and well acted and all {and it's always fun watching Brad Pitt being intense and a little scruffed up}, but good lord above. All the poor people had tragic endings and all the rich people were on the road to better lives when the movie ended, which, huh? Sure, Cate Blanchett nearly died, but they finally got her to a hospital and not only was her life saved, her marriage (to Brad freakin' Pitt!) was saved as well. And I totally expected the rich Japanese girl to do a naked swan dive off the penthouse balcony, but after spending the whole movie trying to destroy herself with drugs, booze, and inappropriate sexual behavior with darkly intense men, she ends up having a healing emotional catharsis in the loving embrace of her father. In contrast, the illegal Mexican nanny gets ripped from the only life she's known for the past kagillion years, including the kids she's been raising single-handedly, and the impoverished Afghani peasant boys end up dead and/or in jail. Annoying.)

So here I am in El Paso and my body clock is all confused by the 2-hour time difference, which I know is ridiculous even as I type it. Seriously, it's only two hours, but I wasn't able to sleep beyond 5am local time (and believe me when I tell you, I am perfectly capable of sleeping past 7am at home). My colleague and I touched down yesterday in the middle of a ferocious wind storm that kicked sand into our lipgloss and hair every time we stepped outside. We're told that means it's going to rain, which is the one weather contingency I didn't pack for.

El Paso is a border town and they look at the world a little... differently, here. The local newspaper's website has 5 subcategories under the "news" tab: Nation/World, Politics, Video, Photo Galleries, and Public Corruption. Hey, at least they're reporting it.......

I'm here for work through Friday morning, then fly back to Dallas where Michael and I will link up on a flight to Puerto Vallarta. My goals for the week are simple: get enough sleep that I can enjoy P.V. without falling into an exhaustion coma, and lose the 10 pounds I haven't lost since the holidays. I should be able to accomplish at least one of those goals, don't you think?

Update: Actually, there are mountains here. We just couldn't see them the first day due to all the sand in the air from the wind storm. The sky was brown, people. I'm told that the mountains I can see from my hotel window are the end of the Rocky Mountain range, and that across the border, the Sierra Madre range starts. El Paso was so named as it marks the passage between the two mountain ranges.


BOSSY said...

Relaxation and dieting don't go together. Scrap the diet. Have fun!

O said...

Haven't been to El Paso but sounds like cousin of my trip to Laredo where we were (I swear to you) herding cockroaches out of the ballroom 20 minutes before our crowd was supposed to arrive.
Have a ball in both places!
And good luck with the time change. As I get older I find jet travel more disorienting than I did even a decade ago. But I'm sure if it ended somewhere like Puerto Vallarta, I wouldn't care....

Susan said...

sounds like El Paso hasn't changed much in the years since I was there.

Glad you got some sleep and were able to enjoy PV!!

and - you don't need to lose 10 pounds. :-)