SIDEBAR
»
S
I
D
E
B
A
R
«
Two concurrent thoughts for the day….
Mar 26th, 2010 by Les

#1 “I think I have a huge ass!  I think I could hide a flashlight there and it wouldn’t be found for months.  Definitely.”  Yasmeen Ghauri, Canadian Model

#2 “A bus is a vehicle that runs twice as fast when you are after it as when you are in it.”  Unknown Author

#1 – Always have a torch handy.  Okay, so my Welsh heritage is showing….perhaps better put: always have a flashlight handy.  Said flashlight would most likely not be as handy as Yasmeen Ghuari’s, but somewhere convenient.  We must have at the very least six small torches positioned throughout our house…..just not where they should be.  It’s always a good idea to have some type of illumination handy – should the lights go out – actually, not metaphorically.

We have one street light near our front gate.  Though streets are lit in our small village – they are not quite as bright as a typical big city neighborhood.  Hence, when the lights go out – they really go out and it is, as I’ve often heard said, pitch dark in our abode. David made the comment just the other day…so let me get this straight….the large flashlight is in the cupboard below my laptop, next to the refrigerator in the kitchen….usually pushed way back behind the toolbox.  The smaller flashlights, of which there are many, are located – in group – in the secretary which resides next to our front door inside of one of the countless cubbies.  No flashlight has found its way into our bedroom or, for that matter, next to our bed.

So, to carry this a step further, if someone rings our bell in the middle of the night and we do not answer it is possible they may decide no one is home and vault the fence.  Now, for conversational purposes, let’s say they are in our yard, dressed completely in black – Ninja style – and proceed to our front door.  I, as the male of the household, would at this point need to jump out of bed, high tail it through the master bedroom, master bath and careen across the rather large living space to the secretary placed auspiciously next to the front door where our many small flashlights reside.  Upon retrieving at least one flashlight – and hoping the invader has remained stationary just OUTSDIDE our front door – I would shine this 3 inch in diameter flashlight beam in his face (I know, assuming it is a “he”) and say with as much authority as one can muster with tiny flashlight in hand and wearing only knickers – stay where you are!  I would then march backward toward the kitchen keeping as much of the invaders body (which at this point would probably be his nose) in the beam of my 3 inch in diameter flashlight while I try to not only make it to the kitchen but also retrieve the very large flashlight comfortably residing …. well you know where it is.

I’ve moved the very large torch to our bed side table this morning.

#2 – Do not get behind a bus traveling through our tiny cobblestone streets if you can at all help it.  Actually, try not to park on any street the bus travels if you cannot, basically, attach your mobile unit to the curb as I’ve seen more then my share of broken rear view mirrors on numerous cars parked precariously on the streets of Ajijic.

Below is a picture of one of the local buses.  We used to say following a bus was like following a herd of turtles.  If you plan on getting anywhere by 11:00 a.m.(ha,ha) forget it.  Lets face it, buses are big…huge…take up a lot of space, command attention from other drivers and pedestrians alike and can cause major stress to those on, near, riding behind the bus as well as for the bus driver.  As Rodney Dangerfield (American Comedian) said about himself and I think something that can readily be applied to bus drivers in general….they “don’t get no respect”.  However, after seeing the bus drivers in this small village navigate these difficult streets, I have all the admiration and respect in the world for them.

As David took the picture below, the bus driver edged – very slowly – into the intersection.  He came abreast of the vehicle on the corner, reached out of his window and flipped the cars rear view mirror in so that the bus would not damage it.  I’ve never seen a bus driver in the states do that though I have seen them stick their hand out the window usually sharing the universal sign for, putting it delicately, you can pass now.

Buses run constantly here.  They can be caught on almost every corner, especially on the highway, by a simple wave of your hand.  They are economical and surprisingly clean.  If you want to travel to any of the villages’ lakeside and don’t wish to drive, they are a great option.  From what I can see, the bus drivers are great!  Viva Mexico!

Shot #1 as he begins his approach to the corner.

Shot #1 as he begins his approach to the corner.

Shot #2 as he inches forward.

Shot #2 as he inches forward.

We didn't catch his hand coming out to move the rear view mirror.  Trust me, he did just that right after David clicked the shot.

We didn't catch his hand coming out to move the rear view mirror. Trust me, he did just that right after David clicked the shot.

I thought I'd end with David's latest poster.  I love it!!

I thought I'd end with David's latest poster. I love it!!

Que acabo de decir or what did I just say?
Mar 25th, 2010 by Les

The quantity of consonants in the English language is constant.  If omitted in one place, they turn up in another.  When a Bostonian “pahks” his “cah,” the lost r’s migrate southwest, causing a Texan to “warsh” his car and invest in “erl wells.”  ~Author Unknown

If you can speak three languages you’re trilingual.  If you can speak two languages you’re bilingual.  If you can speak only one language you’re an American.  ~Author Unknown

As many of you who read our blog know, David speaks way more Spanish then I do.  That is to say anything beyond hola would be more Spanish then I speak.

I am not forgetting the fact that a bird (okay a 3 foot parrot) taught us to say buenas tardes (good afternoon) in a rather startling fashion.  There is also the oft used gracias (thank you) because our Mexican neighbors are extremely polite.

Addressing someone as Senior Mcgay or Senora Mcgay denotes respect, sort of like years ago when children (heck, even adults) addressed anyone who was not a relative as Mr. or Mrs. until told otherwise.

Keeping in mind I have the attention span of a chicken on speed; I actually slipped my first Rosetta Stone disc into the computer and began lesson 101.  I’m doing quite well and am sticking to that very lesson for a while.  I haven’t as yet figured out how to us “un elefante” (elephant) in a sentence as we haven’t seen too many of those lumbering through our neighborhood.  I did, however, notice a small “avioneta”  (airplane) above the plaza last Sunday though I don’t think those around me were impressed when I began jumping up and down, shouting and pointing it out.  Oh, oh wait…they were probably thinking un loco chica…no need to translate that!!

Any who, David usually answers the Mexican phone when it rings and he is also the person who dials out on that phone.  I listen to him speak and am much impressed with his ability to continue an intelligent conversation with the person on the other end.  That is until recently when I mentioned to him it is my goal to be able to say “Si, Si” over and over again, like he does, with the same authority he uses.

His comment went something like – it sounds good to you because you are only hearing half of the conversation.  The other half usually goes like: Excuse me sir, did you want to order a pizza or a rubber hose?  If it’s a rubber hose, you’ve called the wrong place.  You’ve got to love their sense of humor….and David’s!!

Below are some photographs David has taken over the past weeks.  Disfrutar…Enjoy!

Flowers at the market.

Flowers at the market.

This is taken on the street outside our gate looking up toward the mountains.  That is a tree in full bloom just in front of the pine tree.

This is taken on the street outside our gate looking up toward the mountains. That is a tree in full bloom just in front of the pine tree.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is one of two churches in the plaza in Ajijic.

This is one of two churches in the plaza in Ajijic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is one of my favorite photographs.  Glassware at the market.

This is one of my favorite photographs. Glassware at the market.

More glassware at the market

More glassware at the market

To leave you with a little whimsy....isn't this great!

To leave you with a little whimsy....isn't this great!

On The Street Where We Live
Mar 22nd, 2010 by Les

“Everyone who’s ever taken a shower has an idea. It’s the person who gets out of the shower, dries off and does something about it who makes a difference.”
Nolan Bushnell
, founder of Atari

I’ve occasionally been accused of “not having both oars in the water”.  One does not need oars to shower.  For that I am grateful.  I find my mind, not taken up with practical matters, feels free to soar.  Revelations and epiphanies often come while scrubbing down.  Of course, my melodious tones are best served while feeling the warmth of massaging water fingers whilst belting out the Aria from Madame Butterfly “Un bel di verema” or my rendition of the Beatles “I Want to Hold Your Hand”, come to mind.  Apparently I’m not as wicked awesome at this as I think because David usually takes a walk while I’m showering.

So, for what it’s worth, I thought it might be a good idea, (transmitted to me while showering this very morning) to take a “walk” down our street and share with you what it looks like “On the Street Where We Live”….no pun intended as I don’t know the words to the song and, therefore, have not added it to my shower repertoire. (Pictures below.)

It is a touch decision one must make…where to live….once actually making the monumental choice to move away from family and friends to another country (another post on this to follow).

As I mentioned before, David and I like to be in the thick of things.  We are not put off by noise: gas trucks playing an oddly child-like tune while offering their wares; people hollering “aqua” hefting large barrels of water on their shoulders; cars with large “megaphones” attached to the top sharing with us events to come or their political thoughts…channeling the old time town crier, etc. We like the constant activity of living right near the center of town. 

The other day, while sweeping in front of our gate (most mornings you will find home and business owners out sweeping) several ladies who were visiting Ajijic stopped to chat.  Their first comment: “Oh, you are sweeping just like the Mexicans” made me smile.  It is one of the best ways to meet your neighbors.

I chuckle often when, at 7:30 to 8:00 a.m. in the morning I’m out sweeping and this little town is jumping.  Foot traffic going both directions, cars (maybe 3 at a time) traveling down the bumpy road, people waving and exchanging “hola” or “buenos dias” with a smile.  Certainly not the busy streets of Dallas, but busy by Ajijic standards.

Parades, block parties, people simply sitting outsides their homes at the close of the day are to be expected.  When we first moved here we wondered why there were so many marching bands traveling past our house.  (David jokingly theorized it’s because they knew he was here). We really enjoy the marching bands – not to complain.  Just wondered why.  We’ve since learned that band practice takes place at the school and, of course, part of what they need to practice is marching (I am totally down with that!!) – hence our wonderful treat of unexpected music arriving out of the blue.  I’ve actually taken to calling friends and family in the States and holding the phone out so they can hear the music and realize I’m simply not exaggerating or losing my mind – probably more often the thought crossing their respective minds.  Such fun.

Or, as the ladies who stopped to chat mentioned, it is absolutely amazing to see what is behind some of the large gates that abut the street.  As in our case, beautiful gardens, swimming pools, porches with lovely tables and chairs to sit upon and while away a sunny afternoon are the norm.

If you don’t like a lot of activity you can always find a place up the hill on the other side of the carretera (highway).  Lush, rolling hills and quieter times can be had with beautiful views of the lake, should that be your desire.

As for David and me, we like the “never a dull moment” atmosphere created by our wonderfully exuberant Mexican neighbors.

This is the start of our block looking toward the Plaza.  Hildalgo, our street, is just behind me.

This is the start of our block looking toward the Plaza. Hildalgo, our street, is just behind me.

Lovely vines hug the wall of the casa just next door to ours.

Lovely vines hug the wall of the casa just next door to ours.

Ajijic Suites - A small and charming hotel just up the block from our home.

Ajijic Suites - A small and charming hotel just up the block from our home.

Carpentry shop next to Ajijic Suites.  This man makes the most beautiful furniture.  Because the shop is so small he often works on the walk or street just in front applying stain or finishing touches.  If you take a picture of what you want made to him, he will create it in short order.

Carpentry shop next to Ajijic Suites. This man makes the most beautiful furniture. Because the shop is so small he often works on the walk or street just in front applying stain or finishing touches. If you take a picture of what you want made to him, he will create it in short order.

Two elderly gentlemen stand sentry on our street each day.  They smile and nodd at all or pass by.

Two elderly gentlemen sit sentry on our street each day. They smile and nodd at all who pass by.

Small aboretta and cake shop next to our gate.

Small aboretta and cake shop next to our gate.

Flowers hang over the wall just prior to our gate.

Flowers hang over the wall just prior to our gate.

One of our neighbors just across the street.

One of our neighbors just across the street.

A small shrine at the end of our street.

A small shrine at the end of our street.

»  Substance:WordPress   »  Style:Ahren Ahimsa
© Copyright 2009-2011 David and Les Lawrence, Ajijic, Mexico