One reviewer - Doug Anderson - has already partially caught what this travel book is all about. It is about Lawrence seeking to uncover the life (& how it's lived) of another culture. What is important to the Mexican (according to Lawrence) is not time, schedules, order, but timelessness, being connected, mystery, interchange. This is captured in the "Market Day" chapter. People go to the market not to exchange money; this is just the means of bringing them together. They go for human contact, to hear an unusual voice, to be among other people: they are occasionally, "jammed between the soft bodies of strange men come from afar and have the sound of strange voices in their ears". There is a slow flow, an ease, a stillness, a searching quality about these people 'Westerners' can almost never understand, caught up in the frantic world of keeping to time they live in. Lawrence likens the people to a single star in the sky. It's like the star you sometimes see on a Christmas card. It's not day time. It's not night time. But that time between each or when day merges into night. That star shining at such a time is a mysterious moment. The Mexican lives in such a world. They are in touch with the ebb and flow of life. They hear the sound of insects. Distant blue mountains conceal unfathomable mysteries. There is depth in everything. And life should be lived unhurriedly. Only then do we catch life. But we don't want to catch it. We want to be part of the flow, be at one with it and merge with the pulses of life.
Excellent book. Spent many a happy few minutes or more dipping into this whilst sitting on my balcony sipping wine and enjoying the beautiful scenery and weather on my recent trip to Mexico. For me Lawrence captures the essence of the country and its people.