I leave my house late… (It’s my N’s bday, what do you expect?) and hop into a cab. I’m late for class and I don’t think an absence will be good for my final evaluation.
As soon as I get into the cab the cabbie asks me in English “where are you from” in a heavy Mexican accent. I look at him and reply in Spanish that I am from here… I am not blonde enough to pass for a “gringo” or “americano”. He smiles and says he’s practicing his English for the Forum that will take place shortly.
I comment on how interesting it will be to see the Americans during our REAL national celebration (Sept 15-16, not may 5th, dork).
He asks me if I know what happened May 5th. I smile and say “the Battle of Puebla”. He then asks me who directed the Mexican army that day. I reply
“Ignacio Zaragoza, the letter he sent to annouce Mexican victory said ‘The National Arms have been covered in glory.'”
and the taxi driver smiles back.
He starts to tell me how general Zaragoza studied in a French military academy, and how the president took pride for his general’s victory. He elaborated on war context and some of the consequences. All that in the 5 minutes it takes to get from my apartment to the uni.
I pay the 10 pesos the ride costs and wish him a good day, and leave the cab. After wondering about the brief history lesson in a taxi cab, I walk to class.