Thursday, November 24, 2011

Beneath the surface...

One of the nicest things about Merida is that there always seems to be another surprise lurking just beneath the surface of what you see at first.  A plain facade conceals an incredible home full of columns and corridors and colors.  A well behaved group of school kids in uniform waiting in an orderly line outside of the Cathedral breaks into cheers and whistles when they see your camera.  Or a seemingly severe local lady standing on her front sidewalk at dusk in a quiet neighborhood  breaks out in a huge smile as you stumble through a "buenos noches" when you walk by.  

Today Merida surprised me again, and this time she did it in the unlikely form of a municipal trash can.

I've passed these by a dozen times and never wondered who maintains them, or (in a city with what seems like trash pickup every night) how often they are emptied.  They are surely well-used, since the parks where you find them are always full of people and generally fairly tidy.  I was taking an early morning walk through the Parque de San Juan today when I happened upon the scene below.

 As far as I'm concerned, this is Mexican ingenuity at its very best.  The solution to the problem of overflowing trash cans in city parks is elegant and is more or less an underground dumpster!  What looks like an ordinary trash can is really an opening to a giant sized reservoir for the dribs and drabs of daily life.  Who knew!?

This is one of the things that I love most about this matters big and small, there is always something unexpected just beneath the surface.


  1. Wow, I'm impressed and it's so cool that you got to witness this and share it with all of us! Now I will look for these...

  2. You're lucky that you got to see this! Thanks for the photos.

  3. I did indeed feel fortunate to be at the right place at the right time. I also got a big kick out of the highly technical implement that the fellow was using to dislodge the trash...a long forked stick!

  4. That is really cool! I had no idea and I'm happy you caught it so I could see it. It must really cut down on theft of garbage cans too :) I have visions of a drunk late at night trying to dislodge it and take it home - heh! It's brilliant.

  5. Truly amazing! Thanks for sharing these photos.

  6. That is positively brilliant! Who knew, indeed?