Sunday, November 18, 2012
I have arrived
I was told there would be a tall man with a big smile and a red hat waiting for me at the airport and there was. Upon exiting the plane I felt first the humidity, then the heat and then I smelt it...Mexico, you smell like home, familiar and welcoming.
We wobbled along the dirt and rocky road discussing what was new on the Island and what wasn't, we decide to enter the Island via the beach, we have 4 wheel drive. We cruise down the beach with the windows down, the salt air licking my face, the surf is singing to me, I say out loud "this is why I work so hard all summer, this makes it all worthwhile". I am overwhelmed with gratitude. We come up the beach and we see some friends and my Mexican cousin*, we stop for refreshments, we tell stories, and laugh at things that outsiders wouldn't "get". It starts getting dusk, I need to get home to at least unpack sheets and towels.
My backyard is amazing, my garden has flourished, I am so thrilled. Inside...not so thrilling, a thick layer of dust on everything, mouse poop in my closet, but only in my closet, I can deal with this. I have hot and cold water and electricity.....I've come a long way. I can't find the light bulbs, my cousin runs to the store to get some, I get the bed ready and wash the floors. I go next door to see my Tio & Tia, they are surprised, they were expecting me on Wednesday, no idea why. We chat as best we can with my broken espanol, I do understand there will be tamales tomorrow, life is good.
I head to the store for some essentials like toilet paper, coffee and cream, I meet people along the way, they were all expecting me on Wednesday, it takes me an hour to get to the store. Lady at the store asked how I got here 2 days ahead of schedule...no idea how I did that. It was difficult to decide what to order for supper as I am severely lacking vitamin T, tacos, tostadas, tortas, tamales, tostilocos, taquitos, etc.....I go for tostadas and they did not disappoint, soon I have quac and salsa running off my elbows. I admire my garden and new fences as I eat on my back steps. I boil some water for the morning coffee and continue washing down the house. I find it's too hot, did I mention it is hot hot hot. I am in the shower when I miss the dessert truck, oh well. I toss and turn all night, is it the dogs barking, is it the heat, is it the gecko clicking or is it the excitement of finally being here? Or is it because I can't wait for my morning walk on the beach at sunrise?
My morning starts at 5:30am, in the dark I have my first coffee as I sit on my back step waiting for the sunrise, once again gratitude flows. I wait until my second cup of coffee before heading off to the ocean, I wish I had a to-go cup to take my coffee with me. The tide is high making it harder to walk, the water is warm warm, I want to jump in but I don't. I marvel at how the ocean is never the same, it's new every day. Except for a lone pelican the beach is all mine. I find a big log to use as a yoga bench and do some stretches, surely my muscles will release soon. Back home I continue cleaning until lunch. I have lunch at a beach restraunt, I try to use their Wfi but it is not working. I have eggs rancheros and a cold coco and watch someone's ship come in. I don't accomplish much for the rest of the afternoon. I purchase my first papaya since last April from the veggi/fruit guy, he said he asked his father if he had seen me yet yesterday (his father lives across the street from me) We chat a while, he swears there is nothing new on the Island, I don't believe him. I run into the dessert truck guy on my way home, he tells me all about his adorable baby that is walking now and has very curly hair, I think he said they changed his name to Angel.
At 5 pm I head over to the church for a Luctuoso**, there are 37 people crammed into the little wee church, more than I have ever seen, at the altar call 15 people come forward, that's almost 50%. We all gather outside under the palapa for food, tamales and totopolos, more vitamin T, I am amazed at how hot it still is....that's new too, was not this hot last year. I stop and chat with people all the way home.
I sleep a little better this time, but am up well before the sun but yet it beats me to the beach again, again I wish for a to go cup for my coffee, must find me one. I meander around my hood all morning chatting with neighbours and puttered around the yard, I draw a plan on the ground with a stick for a patio and BBQ, I change the plan 3 times before lunch. Today a friend came in from Mazatlan for a visit, I sit on the beach while she swims, Mazatlan doesn't have a beach this perfect for swimming, I can't believe I live here. After she heads home I go see my Mexican cousins wife (does that make her my cousin?) who had a baby 15 days ago, a tiny tiny baby, 2. some kilos. Have never held such a tiny baby....adorable. I go home and wash all my dishes with bleach so that I can stop eating out and start cooking, My cousin comes by to see my plans for my BBQ and patio, we change my plans 3 times during one conversation. I wonder if I should get tiles put on my living room floor first or built patio first, I am leaning towards the patio. I have 2 tamales that my Tia gave me this morning (no cooking again) and head to the tienda for some gift wrapping for my baby gift, I hang out there for 2 hours sitting on plastic chair in front of the tienda chatting and getting caught up.....mostly on who has all had babies, nothing may be new but babies keep coming. I go home and boil a pot of water for coffee in the morning, tomorrow I head in to the mainland for some errands, top of the list is internet and phone, I have this fantasy that it will be a one stop one visit event. Also I hope to pick up my dust buster to clean up the mouse poop in my closet....still living out of my suitcase, I also need granola and a water jug ( so I can use my pot for cooking). The evening is quiet and hot, but the crickets are loud.
* You will recall Mr Cardenas asking me to call him my Mexican Tio (uncle) instead of Senor last year, if he is my uncle then that makes his son my cousin, his daughter however prefers to call me sister, twin sister actually, we have the same name, we are the same age and today we discovered we have the same feet...yes our feet match. They are my Mexican family.
** A luctuoso is a memorial service that is held at the 1st anniversary of a death. There is sometimes a memorial at the 1 month anniversary also.