Saturday, March 2, 2013

A bunch of unrelated stuff

I bought all this stuff for 38 pesos from the produce truck this morning. For about the last month we have had amazing oranges, sweet and juicy and without seeds, I eat about 5 a day. The produce truck guys says he's been eating about 6 a day. I'm already sad to leave all this fresh fruit behind when I go home. I can't afford to eat like this at home, once my garden at home starts producing in June I can eat all the fresh vegetables that I want but no fruit, I will miss the fruit so much. 

My freshly painted house underneath the trees, the big tree in the back is my mango tree, big tree on the left above the blue house is my neighbor's avocado tree.

One of my favorite places to eat is Miguel's, a little restaurant and a small store, restaurant is only open after 6 pm and has great food. It looks a little more inviting when they are open.

I love how the ocean/beach is never same, every morning it is different, maybe that's why I never get tired of this view. I don't think living by a lake (as beautiful as it is) would not be a substitute for living by the ocean for me, a lake is stagnate and unmoving therefore always the same, a ocean, river or a creek is always fresh and new. If I ever had to find a new home it would have to have moving water. For now...I am very content here.

Another little store, although, don't let the smallness fool you, they have everything in here, but you need to know what you want, you stand at the window and place your order. It eliminates impulse buying as well...which I think is just a North American habit, the rest of the world doesn't have money for impulse buying. At Christmas time the couple that own this store give everyone of their regular customers a gift, this year it was a plastic salad bowl with a lid. I didn't get one as I am only a customer for a few months. That's old time customer service, I love it.

I have a new blossom on my banana tree, I have no idea how long it will take until there will be bananas. (but I'll find out)

BY the was 15C here this morning,(and yesterday) a wee bit chilly. When this little brick house of mine gets cooled off like that it doesn't warm up too much in the day in here.....yesterday afternoon it was warmer outside in the sun than in my house.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Must be full moon

Often when I meet other North Americans here and we discuss our different lives here I am always asked "aren't you afraid?" when they find out that I travel alone. (most North American here travel in packs)  I am also asked this when I am still in Canada, I get asked this all the time...all the time. Like a politician I always answer this with a question, "Afraid of what?". And then they are stumped, they have no idea "of what". They never thought about it before asking the question, some people are just like parrots and repeat garbage without putting any thought into what they are asking/saying. Most brutal and scary attacks here are done with some serious heavy ammunition, like Ak47s and such, do you think having a husband  at my side is going to save me? No. If some guy wants my purse he'll snatch it and run even with a man by my side, if some guy wants to rape me he's just going to shoot my husband first and then do whatever he wants with me. I believe that a husband by your side (although good to have to carry all your stuff) is for the most part a false sense of security. For the most part. It's like having a fence around your house, might keep a lazy thief away but one that is determined can always find a way over/around it.

In my 13 years visiting here I have never even been a little intimidated by anyone....until one day about a week ago.My Mexican sister had to let her bilingual waiter at the Old Bull go because she just couldn't afford to keep him on and he needed steadier work so I got promoted to waitress, I mostly wait on the English speaking customers (the few that we have) , one of my sisters sons or her daughter (even the 6 year old) takes the orders of the Spanish customers, once the order is taken I can usually deal with the rest.  One day (can't remember  what day it was) we were just finished closing the place up, the sun was just getting ready to set, my sister was in the kitchen, I was up front and from out of nowhere, seriously I have no idea where he came from, a guy was in front of me, his face was 2 inches in front of mine, I was startled, I stumbled backwards, bumping into a chair, by now he had my hand in his in a firm grip, and was talking to me, using my name. I had no place to go, I was backed up into a chair so I sat down in it trying to pull my hand away from him..slowly, not to anger him. He was drunk but mostly very stoned on something, his eyes were scary. He was telling me he was in love with me and telling me how beautiful I was and how beautiful my name is (I're all laughing now) I was still being polite at this point, and thanking him for his compliments ....can you believe that...the polite victim, hilarious. 

My sister realized what is happening and hollers at me from the kitchen to quickly come and help her, I wrestle my hand from his and tell him I have to go, I have to push him away to get past him...I did even say excuse me, he follows me and I decide I don't want him in the kitchen with us (too close of a space) He was a bit too out of it to be a physical threat, I 'm sure my sister and I could have clobbered him quite nicely with the pans if we had too,  I was just afraid of his scary eyes. I take the long way around the palapa, he's right behind me, I go up the stairs that leads to her 4 plex in the back, he doesn't follow me. Her and  I hang out there for about 5 minutes peeking to see if he is gone, we think he's gone, we can't see him. We had wanted to go for a walk on the beach at sunset so we decide to go through the neighbors property just in case he is waiting under her palapa, he meets us around the corner and is trying to grab my hand again, all the while telling me how he wants my phone number and email address and wants to be my facebook friend, (oh my gosh this freak is on facebook) by now I am pretending I don't understand him. (I can still pull this off very nicely)  There is a fisherman on the beach mending his nets and he has his family with him, wife and 4 little kids, we head towards them, also by now the neighbor boy (about 18 or so) whose property we cut through  has noticed this and my sister motions for him to intervene, we are all standing around (hoping the group of people will scare him away) trying to ignore him and trying to have a conversation with the fisherman's wife while this guy is pushing and shoving to try to grab my hand, young Juan is trying get between him and me (he was so cute) determined this guys isn't going to get a hold of me, I'm backing off and backing off, away from the group telling him to leave me alone I am not interested, Juan keeps telling him "listen to her". The cantina is right close by and Juan tells him to go have a beer (like he needs more). He finally takes off towards the cantina. We all try to figure out who he was, nobody knows him which means he is not from the Island.My sister says that if he comes around again she will sic one of her boys on him and he will never bother me again (not sure what that means) but at this point I don't care. 

We go for a short walk on the beach, by now it's dark already. When we get back we see him still in the cantina, I decide to take the long way home now....not past the cantina, I don't want him following me home. That night before I go to bed I close all the shutters in my windows, normally if it's a warm night I leave them open, but I was a little spooked. He knew my name, which is why I was so spooked....and his freaky eyes.In the morning I wake up and find that I had locked my door all right but left my key in the lock, on the outside...nice, I decide I am an idiot. This by the way is not the first time I have found my key still in the keyhole on the outside.We never did see that guy again, kept an eye out for him the next day on the beach. We laughed at how the beach was full of men all day long and the one freak that shows up is in love with me.And this is the scariest story I have about my 13 years visiting Mexico....not too bad I'd say.

A few days later a guys comes into the restaurant and asks me if I would like to go for a drive with him on the beach or go for a boat ride some day, before I can even answer my sister pips up, all loud like and gigglily like she always is "do you have a car"? he says "no" she says, "do you have a boat"? He sheepishly says "no", but of course she knew this already, she says "well then you really have nothing to offer". I howl with laughter, she just kills me sometimes. I find the Mexican people to be so abrupt and harsh sometimes, they say things that we think but don't want to say out loud. He says he'll come back at sunset with bread, she says "that's a start I guess, I'll make coffee". I howl again with laughter, "what the frick is happening here, I didn't agree to a bread and coffee date".I left just before sunset, apparently he came back at 7pm with bread, (late) I am not sure what was discussed in my absence. I'm sure she gave him the gears for being late. I've seen him around since but he hasn't approached me again. Maybe he's forming a new plan.

Never a dull moment here at the Old Bull

This is where the Pepsi and Coke guys zap their little hand held electronic thinger to bring up our order and our account, we are very high tech

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A morning walk in my hood

So I heard that my readership is looking for some pictures of my hood.  I took my camera for an early morning walk 6am. I am struggling with a bit of writers block but I think I can still muster up a photo tour. 

This is my freshly painted house hiding under this Nanchie tree, I have no idea how to spell Nanchie. Nanchies are little yellow cherry like things that are very bitter, the Mexicans pour sugar on top of them and they just love, not so much. Kids think they are the best, mostly because of the sugar I am sure. There is some talk of building a new fence in the front this summer while I am away and also talk of cutting this tree down, there is a smaller one in the left corner that I will be keeping trimmed so that it doesn't get out of hand. You cannot cut down a mature tree without a permit anymore, so that will have to happen as well, I don't know the process but I am sure I will find out. 
My home
 This home is kitty corner from me, wonderful people they are, a husband, wife and a 4 year old. Husband is away now on a tuna boat. When the tuna boats go out to sea they are can be out there for anywhere from 2-3 months without coming home, they stay out there until they hit their quota. This leaves many women behind without their husbands for months. Reminds me of the oilfield work at home, High Level used to be full of women waiting for their men to come home, I was one of them, I always say "I was a single mother long before I got divorced". With the internet now and cell phones I am sure it is a little easier now for communicating.

Kitty corner across from me, wonderful neighbors, their house got painted last year and this year they got the whole inside tiled, they are collecting gravel/sand/bricks for a future project. A lot of people buy gravel/sand/bricks as they can afford too, until they have enough to build something.

Looking up my street. 
Neighbors to my right, also wonderful people, also always under construction. Husband is also on a tuna boat right now.

A few houses down
Most evenings when you drive by this house below there is a gathering of white cowboy hat wearing men sitting out here and listening to Mexican music, the old lady that lives here is in a wheel chair and she is usually out there as well. From my house I can just faintly hear the music.

If you are walking south down almost any street on this side of the island you can usually peer through somewhere and see the ocean, you can always hear it.

Monica has done laundry last night, I think this women does laundry every other day. She has 4 kids and a husband to wash for. I just discovered the other day that she knits too, which is rare here. She had knitted all her kids and herself a sweater. She says it is her stress reliever. Her husband is a fisherman as well, he fishes off a small boat right here on the island.

This is a peanut roaster, this family operates a peanut farm out in the plantation. I've watched them fill a bee train up with peanuts, and  not with a loader, about 8 guys with baskets that I sure each hold a bushel of peanuts, they line themselves up and pass the basket to the front of the line. You are probably thinking "that would take forever", almost, but the people here are not as opposed to working for "forever" for their money as we are at home. Time is something they have lots of and they don't really put too high of a peso value on their time as we  do in Canada. The  more value you put on your time the higher the price goes on the product, which is why we can buy a bag of fresh roasted peanuts for 10 peso a bag or they also sell them shelled for 10 pesos a bag...notice no price difference on the shelled ones, all day long this lady sits out here and mans her peanut booth and is shelling peanuts and does not put a value on her time.

The hot dog stand, where I usually hang out on Friday and Saturday night, it's across the street from the basketball court do there is always lots of action. This is also a little convience store and an odds and ends store. If you need a spool of thread, some shampoo, a diaper for baby (yes you can buy just  one) a hair thinger, a nail clipper, some yarn, paper, glue, crayons, and of course junk food and coke and the such. On the weekend she sells hot dogs for 13 pesos. A dog hot wrapped in bacon and topped with grilled onions, tomatoes, dry feta cheese, quac, salsa, cream, and of course catsup and mustard, for 13 pesos. The back half of this building is also her home, she lives here with her 10 year old son and now with her grown daughter and her new born baby because her husband is ....on a Tuna boat.

The basketball court/volley ball court/skateboard park/soccer field, there are times when all 4 get played here at the same time. You can even ride your bike amongst the players if you choose. The other day there was a pretty intense volleyball game going on and a young couple were sitting in the soccer goal net making one noticed.

My new paint. I am so glad this is finally done, now I can spiff it up with hanging pots and art and plants and fancy light fixtures.The paint store I was at doesn't mix paint, they have a small selection of paint chips to choose from. I didn't like the red  and the yellow they had, I bought it anyway and then I bought a liter of a brown and mixed it on with the yellow and the red  and I managed to get exactly what I wanted. I was thinking because I mixed it myself no one would ever have the same as me....wrong. Yesterday I walked past a house that I had never noticed before, it was exactly like mine, same shade red and yellow. Oh well.

I decided to accent the flaws in my concrete instead of fixing them....that's being half lazy, half cheap, and half artsy. I did however paint all 4 sides of my house, most Mexicans will only paint the sides that are visible from the street.

This wouldn't be complete without a walk on the sunrise.

It has been very windy here for almost a week now, as you can see all the ripples in the sand. The fisherman on small boats haven't gone out too far at sea for a few days.

A sea snake and a starfish and what I call a puffer fish.