Posted by: oviazcan Anécdota 0 comments

The Monster of Loch Ness and the case of the lost “chinito”*

We were already late, and the bus was about to depart. We had been trying to find Nessy (the local term for the Monster of Loch Ness) all day long, but as anyone else would expect, we weren’t any better than the thousands of experts that have tried in the past. We were already on the NE5I BUS (a nice little bus purposely built for tourist’s monster quests), which had windows that allowed for a wonderful view to the wide extension of the lake, but we weren’t able to leave the place as there was one person missing:… well, I don’t know his name, but he was certainly a chinito*.
George was the driver’s name, and although he was rather harsh in his manners, he was able to insert a joke or two into the tour’s speech. “Well, I can’t wait any longer”- he said. -“It’s so bad as it is clear that he can’t speak English very well.”
He started the bus, and as he was turning to reach the highway I was thinking to myself: “How great would it be, if in the very last minute I could spot the chinito in the horizon and tell the driver to stop. That way I would be something similar to a hero (at least to the chinito)”
I don’t think I had finished redacting that statement in my mind, when I saw someone at the distance, running fast towards us, and then stopping, helpless and regarding his goal already impossible to accomplish by then.
I remember opening my mouth to tell the driver, but no sound came out of it. I’m not sure why, it just didn’t happen. I hesitated when the person I saw stopped running. I couldn’t really tell if it was the actual chinito we were looking for, or just a product of my imagination. The fact is that I stayed quiet. As the words of George started to fade in the interior of my mind, my mind never stopped to remind me that I could have saved the chinito from staying alone in the lake, unable to communicate, hungry and maybe freezing to death! (ok, ok, too much drama! I know, sorry, it just flows natural! ;-)). Why did I hesitate?…

Two hours before…

“Today you must be Naturalist and Detective, Judge and Jury”. This was the welcoming moto at the Loch Ness Exhibition Centre. I was shocked! I was expecting a museum full with stories and legends of sightings and mistery, confusing enough as to let the visitors leave the place wondering and hoping maybe “Nessy” actually existed. Instead, I find this museum full of actual facts and explorations with such an overwhelming consistency, that after the tour, you feel like your parents just told you that Santa doesn’t exist. I know, this is childish. If I was going to bet my money before going in there, I would had bet for Nessys unexistance. However, I can’t deny that there is something inside of me that wants to believe in the unbelievable. Our minds are wired in such a way that if you want to believe in Nessy, shadows, spots, uneven movements, other animals, floating branches or pretty much anything can be pictured as a proof that the monster is real. This is why I hesitated when I though I saw the chinito. Maybe my mind was just so tricked by my desire of being a “hero”, that I was going to stop a bus just to find out that the chinito was happily buying stuff at the Nessy Shop or in the toilets with a bad diarrhea. Or… maybe my mind was so tricked by all the “Naturalist and Jury” thing that I did see the chinito for real, but was afraid of being wrong and make a fool of myself in front of the rest of the tourists…

I don’t think the chinito froze to death or anything. The bus was going to go back a couple of hours later, anyway. But on my way back to the hostel I couldn’t stop thinking about this. Why is it that our minds play so many tricks on us? Why are they “naturally” drawn to believe in the unbelievable? Our parents, our society and our lives have to teach us that there is not such a thing as a “supernatural” realm, but why is it that evolution never took that tendency from us in the first place? Besides, believing in “unreal” things is supposed to be a disadvantage against believing only in the real things.

Maybe, I dare to state, our minds have been wired this way since the begining because there are some realities out there that we cannot understand yet, and therefore seem “supernatural” to us even when they aren’t. And it would just be such a shame if by playing to be “naturalists and juries” all the time we would miss the experience of getting to know them…

What do you think?

* In Mexico, we call any asian we see a “chinito”, which stands for “little chinese man”. We call that way anyone with asian physical characteristics, even if they are not actually from China. (This is not a good practice, of course, and Chinese people must not feel so good about it, but it’s just the way it is in my culture). I use the term for dramatical purposes only.

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