Of All the Gin Joints
March 25th, 2011 by Les

“Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.”  Casablanca – Movie

“When we go to Morocco, I think we should have completely different names and be completely different people.”  Almost Famous – Movie

Warren G. Harding was heard to exclaim: “I have no trouble with my enemies. I can take care of my enemies alright.  But my damn friends – their the ones that keep me walking the floors at night!” 

Ajijic is a small town.  It swells to twice its size during “snow bird” season.  However, no matter what season it may be there are always things to do here.  And, because Ajijic is relatively small, if there is anything to do most of us hear about it.

The eclectic groups of expats that fill the village and surrounding towns and villages on Lake Chapala are networked without the help of the Internet.  This is, for the most part, a good thing.  Although frequently one is reminded of the experiment usually introduced in the 4th or 5th grade in school where the teacher whispers something to the child sitting in the first seat in the class room. The teacher then instructs that child to whisper it to the next child and so on, and so on until it hits the child seated in the furthest seat.  Once it has reached that very last child and he or she stands up to repeat it…well it really doesn’t sound much like what was whispered in the first place.  Somehow you still get the message.

It is not that anyone is attempting to be even somewhat disingenuous; things simply change as each person hears the news.  Without sounding, hopefully, like a shameless sycophant most information shared within the Chapala community is pretty on target.  Obviously I have nothing to gain by saying that I simply think human nature is to try to get the story straight before sharing it with others.  Then there’s the blond factor…but we won’t get into that at this moment.

Let me assure you, however, if there is going to be a party…anywhere….the time, place, directions and any other pertinent information is right on target.  Most invitations rendered are laced with comments like bring friends; everyone is welcome, the more the merrier and so on.

Whether it’s a movie night with Jujubes and Milk Duds (doesn’t everyone eat them at the movies?!) or a full fledged pot luck, a snack and drinks get-together or a meal of epic proportions – everything is welcome.  Before the sun rises over the yardarm people have gathered ready to enjoy the time spent with old and new friends alike.

It is impossible to live here without making new friends.  Its not there is a scimitar hanging over your head swinging lower by the tiniest of increments forcing you to make new friends…it simply happens all of the time.  Whether you are at a get-together, out to breakfast, lunch or dinner, walking the dog or walking yourself people meet and greet.

Perhaps it is the Margaretville atmosphere here.  Warm sunshine – most every day has gentle breezes off the lake beckoning all to sit, relax, visit and enjoy life.

When a party happens, as it has been doing continuously probably forever, people have fun.  Dozens of people spontaneously combust each year.  It’s just not widely reported.  And, in Ajijic, dozen of people spontaneously get together sharing food, music, merriment, laughter and – well – life.  That doesn’t make the news either.

No one ends up with the fuzzy end of the lollipop and, I think, it would be impossible for someone to walk away from this charming village, snuggling close to Lake Chapala, without saying I made a new friend today.

There is a comment in the Wizard of Oz that goes…”hearts will never be practical until they can be made unbreakable.”  To that I say, if you are looking for a place that is welcoming, with weather that is unquestionably (in my mind) the best the world has to offer and friendships that will last the test of time then maybe, just maybe the Lake Chapala area is for you.  I can’t guarantee your heart won’t be broken.  I can honestly say your heart will be open to new experiences, happenings and activities that blend the beauty of Mexico with a melting pot of cultures from every corner of the world.

Enjoy it as you are.  Perhaps open your heart to be come who you’d like to be remembering we who are here would love have each and every one of you walk into our gin joint, in our town! Viva Mexico!

Are you ready to party?!

A neighbor with his "smile" on.

Did someone say parade?!

And the merriment begins...

Could we be more ready?

Mardi Gras - flouring - synonymous.

Won't miss a minute.

And, of course, there are pretty girls!


I end with the lovely art shot taken in Chapala on the malecon. Enjoy!

If you’ve enjoyed David’s wonderful photography, please visit the BoomerstoMexico Photo Store at , to see more of the beauty of Ajijic Mexico in David’s photos

2 Responses  
  • MAry Ann Borman writes:
    March 27th, 20116:56 pmat

    Again great photos. Sorry I missed the show at the store, wound up at the Clinic that day.

  • Laurel writes:
    March 25th, 20118:05 pmat

    AHHHH ,what a party town, and Mardi gras to boot, It’s still my first choice for retirement or at least a vacation.

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