Thursday, August 11, 2011

Defensive Walking

We all know we have to be defensive while driving a car. Here in México even more so, because traffic laws, stop signs (big as houses on some corners), roundabouts, stoplights, etc, are just 'suggestions' in the eyes of the local driver.  Also there are a lot of Chilangos in town (people who live in Mexico City where driving is the craziest I have ever experienced, including Bali - no rules at all - and driving in Australia with the steering wheel on the other side of the car, and driving on the other side of the road). They drive what to us appear to be narco cars ($$$$$$Mexico City$$$$$), although I am not accusing anyone of being a narco....ok, let's say they all look like CSI's in their Hummers and Giant Towncars.  Lastly, I don't think they give driving lessons to anyone in Mexico. If they can read the book (which is in pictures for those who are analphabetic), they get a license.  Scary.

But enough of white knuckle driving ranting, let's talk about walking. Last week I had to go to centro for some errands.  I didn't drive, it's 12 blocks. It would take me longer to get through traffic and find a parking lot than it takes to walk it.  Plus I like to work up a good sweat. Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun, guess I am a mad dog.  The streets are loaded with pedestrians, with sidewalk sellers leaving very little sidewalk to walk on, bus stops with people lined up down the block.  People strolling along slowly, people hustling to get somewhere, people blocking the narrow sidewalks chatting, and buses jumping curbs trying to make tight turns. I walk very defensively, watching the pace of those in front of me, keeping an eye out for errant buses, and the tricky part is you also have to look down a lot to avoid potholes in the sidewalks.

I am going to make an embarrassing confession here.  I like to watch Top Model. Here we get America's, Brazil's, and Mexico's.  I have no idea why....other than when I was Jean Benet Ramsey's age my goal was to be Miss America (talk about misguided goals).  Thing is, I learn a lot from that show.  I could give a shit about the fashion industry.  But I love photography, and what they do is so creative.  Anyhow, that's not important. What I have  learned from those shows and taken to the streets is creative walking.  I am a fast walker. I have a hard time slowing down. My goal is to get from Point A to Point B, period. Not a window shopper.  I have used many methods I learned about walking a runway and having to share the runway with another 'model'.  I am able to get by the folks lingering and walking waaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy too slow for me.  In fact, I almost feel like it is an exercise in courteous runway walking to walk in centro.  The only thing I use the shop windows for is to check my posture. It hurts my back to see people slump. 

One last thing. When I first started visiting Mexico in the 70s, I was bothered by the vendors hassling me to buy stuff.  Now I realize that they are hawking because it is their job. I have found that a simple smile and no gracias will get them off your back, not offend them, and not work up my ire.

Perhaps you read ire in my blog today.  It's stress. Nothing new.  Have a good day.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Day At The Beach

Algas invaden playa en China

Or a day at the golf course?  I copied this photo from Yahoo News the other day.  From previous photos I've seen, it looks like the algae kept a lot of people away from the beach this year.  This photo was taken in China.  Kind of freaky, wouldn't you say? 

Luckily a day at the beach for us looks like this. Much more appetizing!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Just An Update

A week or so ago, I started to write about the HEAT DOME that covered a good portion of the US.  I had great NOAA NWS tips on how to deal with the heat. I feel it's worth publishing them here now and again to remind people to drink enough liquids and how to act in this extreme heat. However, the heat dome passed, that's old news, and I never finished the story.
I have a job, besides the housemother job; it's an online job.  I cannot tell you much about it or - you know, I'll have to, you know, kill you. Let's just say that it is a good job for a grammar freak and a writer. Once again, I'm not the black sheep in my family for a while because I am gainfully employed.  It offers me the opportunity to work as much as I can handle, and right now I can handle a lot.

Things at the house are quiet, this week. July was rather crazy. My first visitor was my friend Coco Harris, and she deserves an entire blog devoted just to her.  I'll get to it this week, but let it suffice to say for the moment that she is one of the most beautiful people you'll ever meet.  She is a patent attorney, a scholar, an author, an editor, and a journal master.  I'll give her the respect she is due with photos and background.  You should know about her, even if you aren't lucky enough to meet her on one of her Yucatecan escapes or at a writers' conference somewhere.   Coco is publishing one of my stories in her forthcoming book, SURVIVE.  What's more she chose my Celestún painting to be the cover.  It looks like my 15 minutes of fame are just around the corner.

July came in softly and went out roaring.  The guy from Guadalajara who spent several months here this year trying to introduce new brands of cigarettes into the market here came back in July to take his toys and go home (product).  Seems Yucatecans don't like new things, especially when the things are not substantially cheaper than the products already on the market. If they want a cheap shitty cigarette they'll buy the pirated ones.

And we had one other visitor, a friend of my front room renter. She came to celebrate her birthday and you could say she added a very festive atmosphere to the house.  All's well that ends well, I guess.

Meanwhile, during the onslaught of unusual activity for this house, I was learning the new job. I'm computer literate but not a computer genius. Some of the work I have to do boggles my mind. Not the job itself as much as the number of screens and tabs and items to keep organized. Since I came in to help, I'm learning a new function every other day. It had me a little confused- no, who am I trying to kid, it had me overwhelmed but I'm settling into it nicely.

Meanwhile, what good is an update without photos, I say!  We had three blooming periods of pitaya this year. The last bloom was the biggest.  Photo attached, taken at night during the bloom.  Also must show a pic of my helpers, they stick with me all the while I am working.  I'll try to get back here to write more often, there are new and interesting things going on.  There are always new and interesting things going on here, it's part of the natural beauty of Mexico.

 A petunia in the plumeria tree.

Little Weasel enjoying the cool evening poolside.

My two helpers, Moka and Sak Boox. Sometimes Lorenza takes Sak's place, but they never leave me alone while I am working on the computer.

A few pitaya flower shots as they grew. I took these over a span of days.

And of course they are out of order. Have a good day all!