The Writer's Life: Film & Book Reviews, Observations, and Stories
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I ran into a Canadian from Edmonton with a broken arm who runs the local bookstore. He asked if I wanted something. I stared into the basement space with cases of used books lining the walls and decided I didn’t. His hair had once been blond, I thought, and his face ruddy but it was pale now which is unusual for Mexico. He said he had a computer working if I wanted to access the Internet. The conversation seemed absurd—maybe it was my mood or the idea of making a living by selling used book in Sayulita—so I asked if “Crash and Burn” Airlines was still running between Calgary and Edmonton. What? he asked, and then said he spent six months here and six months in Canada. Business had been off sharply since the reports of the drug killings in Mexico. Last summer he had his housekeeper stay in his flat gratis because she took care of the place. The book shop only made $200 the whole summer. Life is hard in Mexico, I decided, even for some expatriates. Like our landlord, the owner of the book shop is barely getting by.