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Peculiar
Jun 18th, 2010 by Les

“Of course life is bizarre, the more bizarre it gets, the more interesting it is.  The only way to approach it is to make your self some popcorn and enjoy the show.”

Oscar Wilde said: “I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word I am saying.”

What a relief to know there are others who think themselves clever (whether they are or not) out there!  At least now when I sense what I may be experiencing seems a bit bizarre – even by Mexican standards – there are others who, in fact, won’t understand a word I am saying because of its inherent bizarreness.  It is that inability to understand what I am saying that allows me to continue to see the bizarre and humorous in my daily life here in this tiny village of Ajijic, Mexico.

We have now hit the rainy season.  If I had thought it was a lush environment before, I’d have to re-think those thoughts.  You can almost see the plants growing right before your eyes.  I had to move the bird’s cat food onto the porch so it wouldn’t get wet, inflate like one of those inflatable bras for sale at the Wednesday market, and float off somewhere.

This has absolutely nothing to do with today’s post.  Just a rambling dissertation of thoughts leading up to the new photos David has added to our online store.  Pop some corn, grab a brew and enjoy.

  Arnold Schwarzenegger, Current Governor of California and Actor is credited with saying: “I love Thanksgiving turkey….its the only time in Los Angeles you see natural breasts.”The thing is you won’t find poultry or meats in most abarrotes (they have great looking breasts at the local Wal-Mart), however you will find just about everything else.  The corner grocery store in Mexico is called an abarrotes and there is one, not necessarily on every corner but surely on every block.  At first they seem somewhat dark and foreboding, until you have ventured in.  What they lack in up-scale marketing they have in pleasant, smiling personnel and interesting items for sale.  Viva Mexico.
   
  Jean Houston, Author of New Age Books,  said: “Our sense are indeed our doors and windows on this world.  In a very real sense the key to the unlocking of meaning and the wellspring of creativity.”Doors are fascinating.  Mexico is not to be outdone in their unusual, creative, unique and fascinating doors.  In the realm of “doors” our Mexican friends do not shrink from the expression of their individuality.  The houses may have similar colors and the roads may be made of cobblestones but the doors….the doors are distinctive unto the owners.  It is a lush land, tropical in nature however the things that stop us in our tracks are not always the vegetation but surely would be the creativity of many of the doors we are fortunate enough to view in the cities, towns and villages we have visited.
   
Clyde Barrow is credited with saying: “This here’s Miss Bonnie Parker.  I’m Clyde Barrow.  We rob banks.”And now we know the rest of the story.  We were in Chapala on beautiful Lake Chapala looking for the electric company (a whole other story) when much to our surprise we stumbled upon Bonnie and Clyde’s hideaway.  Not expecting it, made it all the more fun.  Did they actually make it down to Mexico?  Could it, in fact, be a hideaway of sorts?  What must the Lake Chapala region looked at during their time on this earth.  The sign, more then the edifice conjured up thoughts and led to humorous conversation, speculation and fun for an entire afternoon.
   
  While the upper regional domes are immensely expansive throughout Mexico this dome is made alluring by an extremely low décolleté.  Set on a slanting roof top and colorfully painted to match the entire home, its tiny windows and bird-like perch catch one’s eye.  The diminutive nature of the dome makes it all the more charming and fascinating as well.  A touch of glamour in a small, historic Mexican village.
   
  “Blue flowers, red thorns!  Blue flowers, red thorns! Blue flowers, red thorns!  Oh, this would be so much easier if I wasn’t color-blind!”  Donkey in the Shrek movie.This is a blue door.  One can only guess how much of life in the small Mexican village has passed by this door.  One can only imagine the lives that were lived behind its strong structure.  Look upon it and you see age.  Look upon it and you see wood that has seen many days.  Look upon it and you see hope as the person or persons behind the door made the choice to paint it this beautiful blue and that choice has given wings to thought and delight to our visual senses.  Viva Mexico!
   
  The ability to take several different designs and make one is inherently creative.  I’ve, personally, never been able to do something as inspired as the person who lives behind this door and the creative entrance to their home they have fashioned.  Naturally it would have caught my eye.  The door itself, ancient in nature, makes the mind wander.  The tiles gently placed around the upper frame add just the right amount of whimsy.  The bold design of the tiles surrounding the lower part of the door, add structure and delight to the entire picture.  The question pops out…may we come in?  Viva Mexico!
   
  Visit the BoomerstoMexico Photo Store at www.boomerstomexico.com/photographs, the store filled with our photographs of Mexico.
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

Visit the BoomerstoMexico Photo Store at http://boomerstomexico.com/mexico-photos/ , to see more of the beauty of Ajijic Mexico in photographs.

A Trip to Costco
Jun 16th, 2010 by Les

Yesterday I was at my local COSTCO buying a large bag of Purina dog chow for my loyal pet Jake, the Wonder Dog and I was in the checkout line when a woman behind me asked if I had a dog.

What did she think I had an elephant? So since I’m retired and have little to do, on impulse I told her that no, I didn’t have a dog, I was starting the Purina Diet again. I added that I probably shouldn’t, because I ended up in the hospital last time, but that I’d lost 50 pounds before I awakened in an intensive care ward with tubes coming out of most of my orifices and IVs in both arms.

I told her that it was essentially a perfect diet and that the way that it works is to load your pants pockets with Purina nuggets and simply eat one or two every time you feel hungry. The food is nutritionally complete so it works well and I was going to try it again. (I have to mention here that practically everyone in line was now enthralled with my story.) Horrified, she asked if I ended up in intensive care because the dog food poisoned me. I told her no, I stepped off a curb to sniff a poodle’s butt and a car hit me.

I thought the guy behind her was going to have a heart attack he was laughing so hard.

Costco won’t let me shop there anymore.

Better watch what you ask retired people. They have all the time in the world to think of crazy things to say.

My sister-in-law sent me the above joke and it really struck a cord. Inquiring minds want to know where we shop lake side.

As we’ve mentioned before there are many abarrotes scattered throughout neighborhoods in towns and villages throughout Mexico. Some are immaculately kept and stock just about everything you can think of in a space the size of a state side drug store…or smaller. Their hours may vary – remember this is a country that takes time off in the afternoons for siestas. As far as David and I are concerned that’s a great idea and we’ve embraced it fully. The abarrotes do not seem to be open 24 hours. At least we haven’t seen any that are. Then again we aren’t awake 24 hours to find out. They seem to be open from early morning until 2:00 p.m. ish and then open again at 4:00 p.m.ish (not all of them close for siesta) and remain open until 8:00 p.m. ish or so. The “ish” is important as once you move to Mexico you must learn to live on Mexican time which is different then American time, or Canadian time, or European time…well you get my drift…shades of we’ll be there at 11:00 a.m. return!

We both had Sam’s Club cards when we moved down here and we started going to Guadalajara once or twice a month for our mega shopping needs. Every time we drove into the city we passed the very nice looking Costco and Mega stores just prior to arriving at Sam’s and the Super Wal-Mart.

There is a small Wal-Mart – by American standards – in Ajijic, nothing like those you might find at home and we do some of our shopping there although we do try very hard to use our local grocers, street vendors and the Wednesday market for most of our fresh vegetable, fruits, meats, etc. needs.

Any who, on one trip to Guadalajara we decided to stop in at the Mega and Costco. Let’s face it the bandwidth is always greener on the other side of the firewall. Well, I have to tell you they both appeared to be better lit, cleaner and more user friendly then we’ve found either Sam’s or Super Wal-Mart to be. We bought a Costco membership ($400 pesos or approximately $30 USD) and haven’t looked back. Our mega needs are simple. After all we are only two people. How much toilet paper can we use in a month? An added plus, they make great hot dogs.

Stretching the family dollar is important here as well as in the states. Believe me when I say you can stretch the heck out of the dollar here with great results. Viva Mexico!

Here is a photograph of a very shy fruit vendor coming down our street.

Here is a photograph of a very shy fruit vendor coming down our street.

Fruits and vegetables stand at the Wednesday market.

Fruits and vegetables stand at the Wednesday market.

This is a local abarrote near our home.  I'm not including a picture of Costco as its like any other mega store.

This is a local abarrotes near our home. I'm not including a picture of Costco as its like any other mega store.

This is what the outside of a abarrotes may look like.  If you are used to grocery stores in the states, you might seem a little daunting to shop here, at first.  You get used to it.

This is what the outside of a abarrotes may look like. If you are used to grocery stores in the states, it might seem a little daunting to shop here, at first. You get used to it.

Trumpet flowers we pass on our way to the Wednesday market.  Enjoy!

Trumpet flowers we pass on our way to the Wednesday market. Enjoy!

Visit the BoomerstoMexico Photo Store at http://boomerstomexico.com/mexico-photos/ , to see more of the beauty of Ajijic Mexico in photographs.

Pyramids, You Say?!
Jun 14th, 2010 by Les

Robert Louis Stevenson wrote: “For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go.  The great affair is to move.”

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did.  So throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor.  Catch the trade wind in your sails.  Explore.  Dream.  Discover.”  Mark Twain

Throwing off the bowlines and sailing away from safe harbor we headed toward Teuchitlan last Saturday.  Never would the words of Robert Louis Stevenson make more sense then at the end of the day: “I travel not to go anywhere, but to go”.

Teuchitlan is a city that is located about 70 kilometers from Guadalajara (43.4 miles).  As far as we were concerned, after this great Mexican adventure, it could have been on the moon…however, I digress yet again.  By this time, dear reader, you must be used to it.  For our new readers, it happens often.  I write like I think – scattered.

Had we made it to Teuchitlan it would have taken approximately 1.5 to 2 hours.  We should have suspected we might run into some problems as the government web site we went to for directions did mention: “The network of roads in the main area are asphalt and those in rural areas connecting local towns and villages dirt track.  You can also travel via bus following direct and non-direct routes”.  And:  “Roads leading from Guadalajara to the Teuchitlan area are asphalt, direct and are generally in good condition, more signs might be helpful”. Translated loosely this means who knows what condition the roads will be in and good luck on your journey.

The town of Teuchitlan dates back to the Aztecs who built round pyramids in the area.

I am told, had we actually seen them, they are round and quite interesting.

We didn’t.  See them, that is.  Even doubling back didn’t help.  We completely missed them.  Hard to miss pyramids you say.  We would have said the same thing….had we not missed them.

I had intended to attach really “cool” pictures of the pyramids at Teuchitlan to this blog.  David says he is not daunted by the fact that we missed them.  He is determined to find them the next time we venture out. Either way, we will be leaving “safe harbor” on another adventure in the near future. I shall keep you posted.

I am offering up pictures of the creature that attached itself to the large screen door leading to the master bedroom a few mornings ago.  We love hearing the birds sing their exquisite rhapsodies each morning and to hear the gardener racking leaves at 6:00 a.m.….well that last part is something of a stretch but we do appreciate Senior Magay’s hard work.

At first I thought it was a bird stuck to the screen – it was so large and unmoving.  David ventured forth and took a closer look only to beckon me over with “you’ve got to see this”.  The wing span of this moth was at least 6 inches.  It was huge and, quite frankly, didn’t seem inclined to move anywhere.  Not wishing to disturb it we left it sit, checking on it occasionally during the course of the day.  It moved once to the rafters above our veranda and the next morning it was gone.

Not the pyramids, but interesting none-the-less.  I leave you with a one of my favorite T.S. Eliot quotes: “The journey not the arrival matters”. Thank goodness.  Viva Mexico!

The pyramid looks like this, we are told.

The pyramid looks like this, we are told.

A close up of the monster moth.

A close up of the monster moth.

This gives you a slightly better idea of the size of the moth

This gives you a slightly better idea of the size of the moth

Surprise!  The new David as so many people requested!

Surprise! A picture of the new David as so many people requested!

Visit the BoomerstoMexico Photo Store at http://boomerstomexico.com/mexico-photos/ , to see more of the beauty of Ajijic Mexico in photographs.

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