“A fool’s brain digests philosophy into folly, science into superstition, and art into pedantry. Hence University education.” George Bernard Shaw
“You have to dominate the swordfish, only then can you sauté it.” Cleon Slamming Salmon in The Slamming Salmon
In the 1950’s a film called Two Men and A Wardrobe made it to some of the theaters in the US. It was a silent film produced by Roman Polanski. The film features two men, played by Jakub Goldberg and Henryk Kluba, who emerge from the sea carrying a large wardrobe, which they proceed to carry into a town. Carrying the wardrobe, the two encounter a series of hostile events, including being attacked by a group of youths (one of whom is played by Polanski himself). Finally, they arrive back at a beach and then disappear in the sea.
My father, a Welshman, used to preface many things that he often marveled at by beginning a sentence with…there most be folly afoot. Which instantly prepared our family for whatever might come next, quite often it was something he heard that confused him by the use of something other than the King’s English. He and my mom had gone to see Two Men and A Wardrobe and found it extremely perplexing but, oddly enjoyable.
That, my dear friends, is what it is like for ex-pats living inMexico. Quite frankly, not for all of them, more honestly for me in particular as I find myself grinning from ear-to-ear – I’m sure anyone watching would be thinking what’s wrong with her – when certain happenings…well happen.
Have you ever tried to think like a shower? Let’s face it; you can’t control the timing of when a canoe might come into your life any more than you can control, oh let’s say, when the electric might go out in our littlevillageofAjijic….forget the canoe or, for that matter, attempting to saute the swordfish!
I’m almost certain there is instant folly afoot when I decide to have one of my rare dinner parties. The word sneaks out and some how the gods of electric power decide to take a breather.
The other day we had invited two of our friends over for a light dinner and to view the passion procession of Christ on the donkey on Palm Sunday. We had to orchestrate the whole evening around the fact thatHidalgo, the street on which we live, is spread with alfalfa before the procession begins.Hidalgobeing the place where most processions begin. Anyone joining us for dinner and parking behind our gate needed to arrive pre-alfalfa.
Add to the mix this particular day was the first day of Daylight Savings Time inMexicoand clocks sprang ahead. Well most clocks sprang ahead. Some clocks sprang ahead two weeks prior when the US clocks sprang ahead lending confusion to the whole idea and conversations that went something like…okay it’s 8:00 a.m. here…which means it is 9:00 a.m. central time and 10:00 a.m. eastern time and 7:00 a.m. mountain time and 6:00 a.m. Pacific time…I think. Consequently we are having an early dinner at our house at 5:00 p.m. Mexican time which is now 5:00 p.m. central time if you’ve moved your clocks ahead at midnight last night.
(Writer’s note….David often likes to quote Woody Allen when I go off on one of my mind bending tangents by saying ours is a match made in heaven…by a retarded angel!)
Any who, once we established the dinner would be early we also established our guests would probably have to get here even before that time as we were uncertain what time they began to lay the alfalfa on the streets. We all agreed, 4:30 p.m. would probably work as we’d all given up on what time the procession started not knowing, for the heck of us, what time sunset started. I’m not going to say anymore about this (no luck on the rest of the post) as even my mind is spinning.
So here we are as the time draws near…the table is set, the food is ready, the wine has been chilled and, of course, the lights go out…all the electricity goes out. Sort of a brown-out in the states something like, if you’ve ever been to Wisconsin during Summerfest (a wonderful musical festival on the shores of Lake Michigan) and they first turn all the electricity on to the festival grounds…the lights dim in most of the high rise office buildings in the area. The funny thing about this is…they don’t have a lot of lights going on in unison down in the plaza…as it isn’t dark yet. Folly afoot, I say!!
Okay, not to worry dinner is ready, we have a gas stove and we don’t need light as it isn’t dark out. That is when the phone calls began….I can’t get out of my gate…it is electric…to get there pre-alfalfa I’d have to either bust through the gate or walk. It’s all up hill from here. Don’t think that will happen. Our other guest called…my landline is down but my cell seems to be working and my gate won’t open. Well they haven’t closed our road off yet….another phone call, the lights are on but dim (welcome to my world!) however the gate still won’t open…it’s looking promising…wait the lights are brighter but they are now flashing I’m going to make a break for it!!
They did actually arrive in time not only to have a light dinner, conversation a glass of much needed wine and travel down to our gate which is, I might add, easily opened as I am the automatic….so to speak…gate opener prior to the alfalfa. We had a lovely evening and viewed a wonderful procession of villagers following Jesus on the donkey to the plaza.
One of the things I’ve had to learn while living in our little village is patience. While there may not be “folly afoot” there is often something going on unexpected by me…maybe no one else…an impromptu parade…a donkey that simply decides to take a rest in the middle of the street…a delivery truck that holds us hostage whilst delivering whatever to where ever and the list goes on. My heart rate has slowed, my humor has taken on fresh roots and my joy of the moment has succumbed to the less than hectic pace set by our friendly Mexican neighbors…except while driving that is….but that is a whole other story!!
Below are photographs of the streets of Hidalgo on Palm Sunday April 2012. Also, below, you will see photographs of David and fellow artist Gwynne Lott – a phenomenal artist painting in acrylics bursting with color. Her large florals – botanicals – are in private collections throughout the US and Mexico. David and Gwynne showed together at Lolita’s Inn, Gallery and Healing Arts Center in Ajijic in late March. http://www.gwynnelott.com/#!about
If you are planning on visiting Ajijic, please be sure to consider Lolita’s Inn as Steve and Lana Coffman have captured the beauty of the area in the quiet and lovely charm of their Inn. They are naturally welcoming and will make your visit an absolute dream. Email LanaCoffman@yahoo.com
And, of course, what would our blog be like if I didn’t include a photograph of David with his Ajijic Society of the Arts prize winning photograph.
Alfalfa Ready for Spreading on the Cobblestones
The Streets are Covered with Alfalfa
The Entire Community Gets Involved
The Donkey Awaits
The Donkey is Made Ready
The Procession Assembles
Alfalfa As Far As The Eye Can See
The Procession Begins
The Faithful Follow
Everyone Helps Clean Up
David and Gwynne Lott at Lolita's Gallery
A Great Picture of David in Lolita's Gallery
David and the Winning Photograph