Bandido Chronicles: Two Close Calls and a Japanese Sunset
Life is full of unexpected moments. Some of them may be awesome and unforgettable, and others can be just plain weird. Here are some stories that are a bit of both.
Two Close Calls
André Breton once said that Mexico was the most surrealist country in the world, and with stories like this I kind of understand what he meant. My mom had two uncles. Let's call them Tuco and Taco. They were your regular uncles, and they did uncley things in an uncley way. I never met them, but I remember them because of these things that happened to them.
One fine day, Tuco was walking down the street. He was just minding his own business and maybe thinking about what he would have for lunch. And then a car fell on him. A few seconds later he crawled out from under the car, dusted off his clothes, and just kind of stood there awkwardly while someone called an ambulance. Makes sense? Apparently, Tuco was just walking in front of a three story parking lot, and somehow one of the parked cars just rolled forward until it fell from the building, landing on him.
Either that or the car ran out of gas
But it fell in such way that it created a perfect space for Tuco to curl up in, so all he got were some cuts and bruises, but no biggie. After the paramedics checked him to see if everything was okay, he just kept on walking, maybe not thinking about lunch this time. And what does Taco have to do with this? Well, he and Tuco were brothers...so that must mean that both of them must live through some bizarre experience. Or at least that's what happened.
This time, Taco was walking down the street. He was probably thinking about his brother's odd accident, when he felt intense heat in one side of his forehead. The pain went as soon as it came, so he dismissed it and kept on walking. The next day, he noticed a bump where he felt the pain the day before, but did nothing about. He had the bump for years, until it started causing headaches. He went to the doctor, who told Taco that a surgery was needed to remove the bump. After the operation, the doctor told him that his bump was actually a bullet buried in his forehead. A bullet. Apparently, a bullet was fired somewhere near and it ricocheted its way into his forehead. I don't know the specifics, but it only had enough force to penetrate the skin but not the skull. I don't know about you, but I would probably notice if I got shot in the forehead.
See that? That's actually a nuclear warhead
A Japanese Sunset
You may see Tijuana as a desolate, bullet ridden wasteland, but you could say it's actually a city of opportunities. My uncle Mateo (my mom's cousin) is a pretty good example of that. He moved to Tijuana, and there he founded an important research center that studied social problems such as poverty, violence, and immigration. The research center was considered a respectable institution, as it tried to solve the problems that plagued the frontier. The government even recommended Mateo as a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize. He wasn't nominated, but it's still impressive. Since he was also good with diplomatic affairs, the Japanese government appointed him as their consul in Tijuana.
Some time later, he wrote a book about the commercial relations between Mexico and Japan. The book was well received by both countries, and it received a lot of praise from the Japanese government. Because of the book and all the things he had done for Japan, Emperor Akihito decided to congratulate in him person, kind of. Mateo was to be honored by allowing him to watch the sunset with the Emperor.
Like this, but manlier
So, he flew to Tokyo and was led to the Imperial Palace. As he walked through the halls, the assistants established the rules, and told him how things would work out. Mateo entered a room with a huge window for a wall, and the Emperor was standing in the middle with his back to him. Mateo solemnly walked up to the Emperor and bowed. He wasn't allowed to speak to him, or even look at him in the eye. For the next few minutes, both men stood there and watched the sunset. When it was over, Mateo bowed and left the room. They didn't look directly at each other and words weren't spoken, but nevertheless it was an unforgettable experience. Now he can tell his grandchildren about the time he watched the sunset with Emperor Akihito of Japan.
Well folks, that was it for the family stories. I hope you enjoyed them! Up next on Bandido Chronicles:
Outlaw Biographies. We'll take a look into the lives and adventures of the most famous Mexican banditos from both sides of the border. So saddle up and get ready for to chase down some desperadoes!
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