Toluca Gringa

8,700 feet does more than simply turn you into a cheap date

Saturday, June 02, 2007

In addition to giant hogs, I've found myself fascinated by pollution these days. And things that I find on the ground. I keep crossing paths with plastic spoons and unforntunate-looking babydolls. No, I'm not drunk. A local journalist told me that the Lerma river near Toluca is officially the most polluted river in the world. I'd smelled it before, every time I pass to go to Mexico City. It's especially foul at night, when the factories dump their deshechos into the water without blinking an eye. Thanks, Nestle. Powdered chocolate is criminal enough. Now this? I went there in the light of day recently. Within 10 minutes I felt a curious burning in the back of my throat. No joke. My eyes stung for a couple hours after I left. There's nothing in the water. Nothing alive, at least, with the exception of some mutant strain of something that can manage to survive the puss-bubble water whose surface reminded me of the last time I had a 3rd degree burn on my skin. When I got home, I looked on the internet and discovered that the Rio Lerma isn't THE most polluted river in the world. Most of those are in China, depending on whose list you believe. Still, the locals want to believe that their river is the worst. I guess would give them comfort to know that it's not just a hideous body of water, but it's THE most hideous body of water on the planet. Everyone wants to be number one.
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