ADRIENNE'S HIV BLOG – Hivine's Weblog

HIVINE is written by HIV positive women but still with a sense of humour

Heidi Hi – Mexican Diary

Stomach playing up today from minging meat downed at ultimate hora at cantina last night, mixed with usual nightcap of salty margaritas. Missed bus to global village and arrived late to find market stall transformed into mini china town, with dangling dragons and tasselled trinkets by Carlitos and his lovely girlfriend who had flown in from Beijing as delegate representing China’s positive women.

On my appearance, the two lovebirds immediately flew the nest, leaving poor ‘no Peggys Mitchell’ to man stall alone, as others had gone to lecture featuring Bill (Cling on)Clinton. Neatness and order of stall threw one into total confusion and to be truthful, was slightly peeved at lovebirds for flitting nest as forced to miss women’s workshop wanted to attend, and instead, had to alternative between routing around in huge black suitcases to find right tee-shirt sizes and occasionally having to abandon stall in hurry to rush to portaloo.

In quieter moments, although few and far between has to be said, managed to read daily newsletter and various articles picked up day before. Lots of stuff about women, which gladdens heart and makes activist rise up in me – must be careful however, don’t want anything else to rise up, like minging meat for example.

Big article on women’s rights and HIV in daily newsletter – Mujeres Adelante – prounced moo hairies, or backwards, hairy moos – wonder if that’s where Alf Garnett coined the phrase?

Hilda Esquivel National Representative of ICW Mexico wrote – “Every day the HIV and AIDS epidemic takes on more of a woman’s face. It is calculated that in Mexico there are about 42 thousand women with HIV – mothers, professional’s, widows, mothers of positive children, wives, peasants, women deprived of their freedom etc. Historically, women have been discriminated against, marginalised and assaulted, and in the case of those living with HIV, this makes it more difficult to attend the problems they face. Fortunately HIV positive women have started to organise themselves with the aim of improving their life expectancy; improving the quality of prevention and care; improving their quality of life; as well as being present in decision-making arenas that affect their lives.
Invisibility, silence and indifference will end when the brave, convinced and strong women with HIV and those who recognize their vulnerability to it, have their views heard!”

Well said and very true. 42 thousand positive women in Mexico – so many.

When Phil Mitchell i.e. Rob and Pat Butcher, who does not take kindly to her market stall holder title and to be fair does not wear huge earrings, (but is very tall and can be quite imposing at times in line with her position of CE) finally came back, suitably incensed after Bill Cling on Clinton’s lecture, was able to escape and wander around Global Village. When guilt finally forced reluctant return, got chatting to beautiful Mexican girl on next stall from region can’t spell but pronounced whackhacka; admired glittering flowered Frieda Kahlo styled headdress and ended up buying it to wear on wagon at forthcoming Manchester PRIDE celebration. Gleefully pinned it on self, but beautiful Mexican girl, now bereft of headdress, not happy about haphazard style of wearing it, neither girl’s bossy whackhacka mother, so two of them, plus old whackhacka granny, who had been hiding behind rows of ponchos, crowded into what was already cramped booth, where was ordered to put head between legs, whilst three of them attacked thinning hair and plaited it into Mexican version of corn rows, all time, whackhacka granny shouting directions from side of toothless mouth.

Twas very complicated business, such a hairstyle needs many family members to partake in creation of – so hairstyle no good if come from dysfunctional nuclear family. Definitely no good for me, as son won’t even hold hairdryer to help me dry hair – say’s its gay. Mexican daughter proud owner of very fat healthy looking plaits, but mine pathetic, more like old ladies plaits, very thin, like proverbial piglet tails, or those worn by balding Hell’s Angels. Very thin pathetic plaits, once tightly woven, pinned uncomfortably round head in circular fashion with steely hair grips. Mirror held up and was admired by one and all, but strange reflection was not me – have never had tidy hairstyle in entire life. Was not comfortable with new look, but American with big camera asked to take photo of me at smoking point – very Frieda Kahlo with fag in hand, but unlike Frieda, eyebrows do not join in middle, neither do have moustache, at least black one, thanks to Jolen cream bleach.

Worried about old lady plaits though, as recently have started to carry handbag over arm like Les Dawson and developed unsettling tendency to hitch up bosoms.

Walked all way to main conference building to PLWHIV lounge, in other words, only positive people allowed to enter, where can enjoy free food and twenty minute comfort massage, or lie down on white leather sofa bed for half an hour. Lay tentatively down on low, white bed to rest weary legs, but due to sheer amount of knackered positive people, had to share bed and was forced to lie top to toe with Naomi Cambell look alike, so couldn’t truly relax in case she suddenly woke up and attacked me – also headdress definitely not accommodating for sleep, not to mention fact Naomi was snoring.

On way back noticed booth with ‘Hairdressers Working for AIDS’, where stylists were offering free cuts and blow dries. Would love to have got locks done for nothing by top Mexican stylist, but wouldn’t dare risk wrath of whackhacka granny and family by unplaitting plaits. Instead, passed by action mural painting of Australian woman painter from Bali, who have befriended in hope of invitation to magical island. Did twirl to demonstrate new hairstyle, but new friend decidely not impressed. “Think I know you well enough by now,” said with broad Australian accent, “To say that it’s a bit Heidi.”

Back at stall, very loud Mexican music issuing from next door. Headressless daughter immediately plowed through ponchos to rearrange hairstyle, force more grips in, so plaitts wouldn’t come out in night (worse luck). Started to dance around a bit to music, so asked her to show me some steps. Mother and sister emerged from swaying ponchos to join in, then father and uncle materialised to show off knee bends, Russian style, which for me, rotting hips, not to mention knee joints, wouldn’t permit. Ended up with all stall holders from aisle joining in the fun, including our very own Carlitos, who gave good impression of wild dishevelled Morris dancer, waving his shorts at lovely Chinese girlfriend in bizarre mating ritual fashion.

Met very nice woman from other Body Positive, but nothing to do with us, in New Zealand, who has recently been featured in a very brave campaign to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS along with three other positive female colleagues, by speaking out and advertising their campaign by having faces on backs of buses. Although admire them greatly, would be wary of doing similar thing back home in Blackburn for fear of having comparison made to having face like back of bus.

Talking of buses, must get some sleep, old ladies plaits permitting, in order to catch bus back to global village at crack of dawn. Maybe could just undo a few clips?


  Julie wrote @

Great photo Heidi

  Willo wrote @

Lovely photo!

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