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Body by Nautilus/Brain by Mattel
September 19th, 2010 by Les

“The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong, is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair.”  Douglas Adams

“I suppose you should listen to your heart and not the voices in your head.”  Marge Simpson – TV cartoon character.

I have a mind like a steel trap.  Stuff gets in there and WHAM it never gets back out again! (Bill Austinism).  I am going to attempt to tell you a story about our neighbor, Roberto, who is building a new home…for lack of a better description…behind our home.  Lots in the towns, villages and cities in Mexico, those I’ve seen anyway, are not laid out in the same somewhat anal order as they seem to be in the states.  I would venture a guess supported by absolutely no research, information what-so-ever or fact, they might be something like the settlers faced when traveling to the left side of the US.  Squatter’s rights were observed and land delineation was accomplished by whoever happened to be the strongest and could hang onto their land the longest.

Consequently, here in Ajijic, the streets travel much like a “mouse in a maze” by virtue of the fact most of the streets; unless they are heading toward Lake Chapala, have what could be considered a pattern.  They wander around, traveling hither and yon (very much like David and I) ultimately getting a person where they want to go or at the very least affording them an adventure of sorts.

Directions are another absolutely fascinating conversation if one were involved in either trying to assist someone else in finding their home.  Or, trying to get to that very someone else’s, previously mentioned, home.  (The aforementioned sentences made sense to me when I first wrote them.  Consequently, I decided to leave them in to totally confuse the reader…you!)

I have not figured out the numbering system here if, in fact, there is one.  Most of the time directions seem to be given in such a way if a business were to, lets say, go out of business people would be unable to direct others to their home.  For instance, we live down the block from the big burrito stand.  However, if you are coming during the day, the stand is closed, as it is an evening establishment.  During daylight hours you should look for the abarrotes that is open from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and then again from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. though other then the sign on the door (which you only see when it is down – the door, that is – and therefore closed) you would not know it was an abarrotes.  If you get as far as the picture of Jesus and the small altar at the end of our block, this is supposing you are coming from the plaza, you’ve gone too far.  Now, if you are coming from the other direction (Jocotepec) you must look for the guy selling barbequed chicken, although he only sells it on weekends or holidays.  Bottom line, carry a cell phone and learn how to use it.  That’s a whole other story!  Call the person whose home you are trying to reach and they can go out, stand in the middle of the street, jump up and down, wave their arms and not only catch your attention, serve as entertainment for the entire neighborhood.  Don’t laugh.  I’ve done it.

Lots run willy-nilly in all directions.  As usual I’ve lost tract of where I was going with this – I think it’s called the piñata experience.  You see, the human mind is kind of like a piñata.  When it breaks open there are a lot of surprises inside.   Once you have a piñata perspective, you see that losing your mind can be a fabulous peak, dare I say it, the ultimate in mind-blowing experiences.  Again, I digress…

Oh, I remember Roberto and his new home.  David and I have been watching the progression of this new home for months now as we can see it each time we go up and down our stairs to our studio and mirador.  The home is being built by hand…and I do mean by hand.  No machinery of any kind has been pulled into this lot.  Man power is everything here.  Literally… “man power”.  Men cleared the yard – no easy task as it looked like a dumping ground for all things no one knew what to do with. Once cleared they began to lay bricks and cement, after manually digging holes to shore up the pillars they built with flat brick to hold up the entrance, a small guest house, etc.  I know nothing about what goes into building a home in the states, however I do know there seems to be a lot more machinery involved.

Which brings me to the jest of this blog, I love terra firma.  As long as my feet are planted firmly on the ground I’m pretty much stable – at least physically.  I, for instance don’t like carnival rides that go up, like ferries wheels or roller coasters.  Carnival rides that go in circles but hug the ground are fine with me.  I’m used to running in circles.

David and I had just gotten back from a trip to various markets in the village and he was heading up to the studio.  Let me back track a bit, there is a huge, and I mean gargantuan tree in the middle of Roberto’s lot.  An avacado tree that has to have been here when the Aztecs were present.  Sadly, unless he wanted to build the house around it (something they actually looked at) it would have to come down.  David first saw the guy on the ground with the ropes tied to the tree which, of course, being David and being as logical as he is, led his eyes to scan the tree way, way, way above his head for whomever might be in it.  He was, at this point on the top step of our UPSTAIRS studio and mirador.  There in the middle of this humongous tree was a man with a machete.  David hollered “Buenos Dias” and the man responded with “Como esta usted?” (how are you).  “Muy bien” (fine) responded David.  He in turn asked the guy in this humongous tree how he was “como esta usted?”.  To which the guy responded “Es un poco peligroso aqui arriba”.  Translated means, it’s a little dangerous up here.  Obviously, a man with a great sense of humor, quick wit and someone who has mastered the art of under statement.  He was chopping down this tree with, folks, a machete!!  I kid you not.  Not only did he have a great sense of humor (which I really love) he had his feet planted on a tree limb way above terra firma. The guy below was shaking the tree with the ropes he had attached to said tree and this guy was hacking away at limbs the size of normal merely big trees, with airborne avocados flying everywhere!  Amazing!

There is a Chinese saying that goes: “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.”  My suggestion…don’t let go now or you will become squash(ed)!!  Viva Mexico!

We'll start with the machete.  A simple tool used for most everything here in Mexico.

We'll start with the machete. A simple tool used for most everything here in Mexico.

The flying avacados.  Needless to say, however I'm going to say it anyway...we tried not to get hit by these flying fruit.

The flying avacados. Needless to say, however I'm going to say it anyway...we tried not to get beaned by above flying fruit.

First glance at our daring tree removal expert.

First glance at our daring tree removal expert.

Take a look at the mountains in the background.

Take a look at the mountains in the background.

Another view of our fearless, wize and humorous tree removal expert.

Another view of our fearless, wize and humorous tree removal offcianado.

David's version of finding Elmo!

David's version of finding Elmo!

Nearing completion.  Sad to see though they assure me there was no other way.

Nearing completion. Sad to see though they assure me there was no other way.

The sun sets on yet another adventure here in Ajijic Jalisco Mexico

The sun sets on yet another adventure here in Ajijic Jalisco Mexico

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


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