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I Don’t Think so, Therefore, I’m Probably Not
October 28th, 2010 by Les

European toilet paper is made from the same material that Americans use for roofing, which explains why Europeans remain standing throughout soccer matches.”  Dave Barry, American Humorist/Writer

Taken from Mechanical Engineering Magazine: “In December of 1998, a British mathematician, Sir Roger Penrose, discovered a familiar design on the toilet paper rolls that his wife brought home from the market.  Ironically, the design was his copyrighted, five-fold, symmetrical polygon pattern.  Penrose immediately took action, and filed a lawsuit against Kimberly-Clark for breach of copyright.

Some people drink from the fountain of knowledge.  Apparently, I only gargled.  For every day and in every way I am at one point or another amazed at what life has to offer.  The facts I’ve learned through the course of my life, although interesting are oft times irrelevant here.  Embrace the Mexican culture.  Love the people.  Learn the language.  Try not to assume simply ask when befuddled. These have become my mantra replacing the little choo choo who repeated “I think I can, I think I can” which has sufficed through most of my life.

For instance, I’ve known people who hire other people to shop for them.  Some have lives too busy to squeeze in an occasional shop.  Others have neither the patience nor fortitude it often takes to go to one of those mega-stores, shelves filled to the warehouse ceilings with goods offered in quantities gargantuan in nature.

Shopping in our little village in Mexico can be an adventure of its own.  Those familiar with this blog have heard about our various shopping excursions – both good and questionable.

I find it immensely (let’s not forget I am easily entertained) amusing that I often find the obscure easy to spot, while the completely apparent could bite me in the butt with barely a tremor of recognition.

Something I haven’t mentioned and I find delightfully absurd in a village bounteous with abarrotes on every corner and, often, in mid-block is how frequently people come to our door with items for sale.  No, they are not the “Fuller Brush Man” paraphernalia.  For instance, the other day our doorbell rang, I bounded down our stairs, threw open the door and was greeted by an entire family – mom and children – selling various vegetables.  They come often and I usually buy veggies from them as, quite frankly, the veggies are to die for.  I also love to have small change for each tiny little hand as well as a sucker or other sweet to share with the ninos.

I’ve been greeted by a young woman selling two-for-one toothbrushes and people collecting for this or that charity.  A few weeks ago David and I were returning from the Wednesday market and found several people on our block selling toilet paper.  It wasn’t European toilet paper.  This stuff was packaged neatly and appeared soft yet crumbly in nature – trust me when I say both are important items.  Now I look for traveling toilet paper sales people whenever we are “tripping the cobblestones fantastic” to purchase a healthy supply.  I don’t know about you, but this is something new for me – not TP – the whole mercantile to the door thing.

The other day the doorbell rang, not stopping to think about what I was wearing – suffice it to say it was a “stay at home outfit”- I hurtled myself down the steps and threw open our door.  The person on the other side of the door jumped back with an expression something like – whatever look you were going for, you missed – gulped loudly and prepared to run.  That’s when I realized my minimal Spanish had paid off and I shouted: “lo siento, soy un idiota”.  Laughter ensued and an awkward moment was bridged.

I have a friend who likes to say: “Unexpected happenings are dancing lessons from God”.  I think she quoted this often when she was with me because, for some mystical reason the unexpected was part and parcel of our friendship.

I believe we can only understand Mexico, its people and its culture when we allow the unexpected to happen.  I leave you with a couple of quotes I received recently from some of our blog readers:

As far as being open to Mexico goes: “You can learn things in your life at any time, if you are willing to be a beginner.  If you actually learn to like being a beginner, the whole world opens up for you.”  A Barbara Sher quote received from Rebecca.

I leave you with the following quote to ponder.  It is a Johanna Gustafsson Frust quote received from Steve: “A philosopher is a person who searches in a pitch-black room for a pitch-black cat that isn’t there.  A theologian is a person who finds that cat.”

Viva Mexico!

These are random photographs David has taken during our travels both in our village and Guadalajara.  Alas, we were unable to capture a photo of our traveling TP sales people.

A bird in the backyard.

A bird in the backyard.

At rest on the grass by the pool.

At rest on the grass by the pool.

A rose in our yard.

A rose in our yard.

One of my favorites from Guadalajara.

One of my favorites from Guadalajara.

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


One Response  
  • David writes:
    October 28th, 20105:02 pmat

    Good ‘ole Roger Penrose, one of the key founders of our understanding of black holes, and a contributor to String Theory as well. They dont call him ‘Sir’ for nothing.


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