Friday, October 14, 2011

Annus mirabilis

That's Latin for "a miraculous year", such as 1905 when Einstein published his theory of relativity. About an hour ago a San Miguel municipal official in a pickup stopped by to deliver news not as earthshaking as E=mc2, but astonishing nonetheless.

The road connecting the ranch to San Miguel, never a main thoroughfare even in the best of times, had developed crater-size potholes, some three or four meters across and 20+ centimeters deep. So in a burst of civic optimism I took pictures of one of the potholes and attached it to a letter to the mayor, asking her to have the road fixed.

I mentioned my initiative to Félix the gardener and Rocío, a woman who comes to clean our house twice a week and they both had a hearty giggle at my naivete. Either there's no money to fix the road or if there was, someone probably stole it, they agreed.

Letter and photo in hand I went to City Hall early this week and was not encouraged. The place was a cacophony of citizens petitioning city officials and other functionaries for something.

Leaving my petition felt like tossing a wine bottle in the Pacific Ocean with an SOS note inside hoping it would reach New Zealand.

That was two days ago and this morning--zowie!--a hand-delivered written response from City Hall.

Alright, alright, the road hasn't been fixed yet. If that happens 2011 may become a magnum annus mirabilis, if there is such a thing. Albert would be jealous.

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