Everyday Life In Zihuatanejo

The weather is perfect, mid 80’s cooling down to high 70’s at night. Never a need for a sweater or any sort of wrap at night. The bar’s and restaurants are mostly outdoors, either sidewalk type, courtyard or balcony. This makes for a highly social atmosphere. We eat all our meals on our balcony and are entertained by the Mexican street life..

Big blue door

The entrance to our building is is a large blue door off the alley. It leads to the stairs to the 3 apartments. This is a secure door and locks automatically. We are on the second floor and when friends come over we stand on the back landing and throw down a set of keys for them to unlock and come up. The problem is when folks come we don’t always hear them so they stand beneath our balcony and call out to us. If the TV is on (when is it not) or if there is much street noise we still don’t hear them. To resolve this problem I picked up a bicycle bell with plans to attach it to the balcony railing and hang a rope down off the balcony. Seemed simple to me,and if I had been left to my own I would have had it up weeks ago and maybe it would have worked. But the Senor has taken over this project and now it has become a feat of engineering. Planning, thinking, needing supplies and tools. I’ll let you know if it ever gets done.

I’m still fascinated by the little things, produce delivered on baskets balanced on heads, bicycle deliveries, and fruit carts every where. Colorful artwork is popping up up all over. Zihuatanejo has a new mayor and improvements are being done all over the city. The tile covered sidewalk roofs are being repaired or replaced. New streetlights have been installed. There is one off our balcony that never worked. We were glad as we figured it would shine in the bedroom. It was replaced with an led light that just shines down on the street and side walk not in our room. Perfecto!

signing off KO

Mexico, How It makes me happy

This is me celebrating my sons birthday with a mango margarita. Too bad he wasn’t here to enjoy it with me

Let me state to begin with I’m happy just to still be on the planet earth when so many I have cared about are not.  I am so happy to be here in sunny Zihuatanejo where the aches and pains of arthritis and other old age maladies seem to disappear.  To a great extent this is a society that subscribes to the “be happy, don’t worry” train of thought.  I couldn’t agree more, by nature I am not a worrier.   Either fix it or forget it.

Erica opening her gifts

Our friend Brenda who is both our friend, local barkeep and our cleaning lady has this adorable 8 year old daughter Erica.  Erica is going to spend the school vacation with her Abuela (grandmother) so we gave her  the Christmas gifts today. How wonderful it is to see a child truly excited over the immediate gift, not just racing on to the next one. A few coloring books and some colored pencils and a carton of “hatchables” little toys that come out of eggs should help to keep her content while visiting the Abuela out in the country with no internet and minus all the modern conveniences. Her happy smiles made us happy.

We have purchased our second piece of art fom the same young up and promiing artist, here she is signing it for us. This will pretty much complete our decorating.  Signing off KO

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It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

The festival of Guadalupe kicks off the Christmas season in Zihuatanejo although decorations were already beginning to pop up here and there.  But prior to that is the flower market along with the pinata stalls, a sight not to be missed.IMG_1023

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At night the Zocolo, Zihuatanejo’s main plaza, is all lite up as are several of the pedestrian streets that lead to it.  Looking especially festive this year.

Tonight as I write this the large restaurant is hosting a large party,  It has the look of an office party. The music started about 7 and will go to only midnight tonight. I’m sure the salsa music can be heard for a 3 block radious. They have killed 3 large pinatas, played something similar to musical chairs and are having a wonderful time the front door is 30 feet wide, but we can’t see in much as it is a very large establishment. The Senor has long gone to bed with earplugs and as long as the windows and doors are shut it’s not noisy inside, me I’m on the balcony trying hard not to get up and to quote my old friend Sly “dance to the music”! 

Signing off KO

Festival of Guadalupe, Unique to Mexico

IMG_0975For several days now we have seen or heard several of the “Guadalupanas” as they proceed thru town on the way to their church singing and carrying a shrine to the Virgin Mary preceded by the firing of guns or fire works to ward off ay evil spirits.  Tonight it was the community of Calle Nicholas Bravo’s day to participate.  We live on Calle (Street) Nichoas Bravo so all this began right on our block and then proceed the 3-4 blocks to the church where a bazaar was being held.  It sure beats the Friday night fish frys my Dad took me to.

The shrine is an easy 4-5 ft in height covered in live flowers and then adorned with IMG_0978lights.  I watched as lights were attached and finishing touches of flowers added. Our landlords brother was one of the four men that carried the shrine along the route. He found me in the crowd and brought me over to get a good photo another gentleman offered to take a picture with me in it. The landlords brother offered me a candle to march with them.  I declined as I wasn’t quite sure how acceptable it was for such a newcomer and I also wanted to get all the pictures I could. Time came for the processional to start, they marched singing their praises, holding lit candles following behind the shrine as fire works preceded the processional. Very moving experience.  Next year I will march with them. Mexico at it’s loudest and most colorful  Signing off KO

Muy occcupado

It’s been a while since I’ve written.  We have been busy and then for the second year in a row here I have been struck with something that makes me sleepy.  Over the last two weeks I have had each week a day where I have slept around the clock. Normally I’m alight sleeper 5-6 hours a night at best, then on day I wake up sleepy and just want to go back to bed and sleep/  So I do. But fortunately that has only occupied a couple of days.

We had a great day out at Ixtapa Island, our friend Juan has a beach side palapa restaurant where Tina greeted us like it was yesterday that we were there. We swam, ate drank, feed the small deer (venado) by hand and of course the rabbits, one took such a liking to me he camped out under by beach chair. It worried me they called the deer venado, that is the spanish word for venison not deer, but then I learned they were all named and felt better

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The Senor getting a massage at Ixtapa Island

Another lovely day was a ladies day at Escollera, one of our favorite spots as they have an infinity pool to swim in with a gorgeous view of the bay and Zihuatanejo high up on the hill. There is a number of single women who live here year round and a larger number who live here seasonally. They have given up the frozen north were their whole social life would consist of the TV and occasional lunch dates with friends to join an active vibrant group of women who love life and want to experience everything.  These are the smart ladies who have chosen not to wallow in sorrow over widowhood or suffer from a divorce but get out and

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Escollera older picture but shows the view best

enjoy life to it’s fullest.  It’s not just singles, several  are married , this smart, funny, vibrant group of women just want to get the most out of retired life.  I very much admire them very much and am thankful to be a part of them.

I’ve enrolled in a twice a week spanish class, the class is good, my progress is slow as I don’t study enough, but still I am learning.  There are some sounds that I simply can’t wrap my tongue round.  It is all conducted in Spanish, next  Tuesday we are meeting at a restaurant for breakfast.

We’ve adopted a laundry routine of having them do the sheets and towels and anything we don’t worry about being ruined and I do one load in the washer and bring it home to hang on hangers on our back porch clothesline.  Works quite well laundry costs about $150 pesos a week just under $7.50

We find we are quite entertained by simple things, the Senor commented look at this big dump truck coming up the street, it takes up the whole street. and with that the truck IMG_0929stopped almost in front of our balcony,  And with only one forward pull to the left proceeded to get that hulking truck angled perfectly to back down our alley all that with cars parked on both sides of the street.  The top of the truck was just inches under the corner of our balcony and slipped down the alley with just inches on each side. We were amazed and impressed.  I have son and a grandson who drive trucks and I know they get into tight spaces, I wonder if they ever are this tight.  Signing off KO

A Little Bit of This and a Little Bit of That

And in no special order! My friend Faye and I were walking back from the pool when we saw a man picking some seed pods from a bush in a vacant lot.Fay thought that it might IMG_0826be tamarindo and asked the man if it was. ( Her spanish is considerable better than mine) He brought us the seed pods, stripped one of them down to show the seed and offered us one after eating one himself to show they were edible all the while explaining to us in rapid fire spanish what they were. So we tried it, tasted about like any seed.  We have no idea what he said, but I’m calling it my first real “mexican

 

street  food” experience.

One of the things I love about Mexico is how helpfull and gracious the Mexican people are.  As I was walking to my first Spanish class last week I noticed ths old tree was tied up so cars could pass under it and in noticing how it was tied up I noticed the pretty little flowers that were starting to bloom.

The lady came out from the hose to tell me the name of the flower ( and probably the whole history of the tree) she pointed to her elbow and said cudo then said what sounded like fraley so I guess its name is cudofraley.

I frequently am pulling a small rolling cart behind me on my trips to the market or the laundry and if I encounter a curb that is high there is always someone who thinks I need help and will lift the cart up for me.  Truth is my cart is one of those “up carts” and I can haul it up any flight of stairs but I graciously accept the help as it was offered in kindness.  On a crowded bus, some one will get up and offer me a seat.  I’ve decided being old in Mexico is almost as good as being young and pretty.

On my last trip to the pool I noticed in the median of the main drag the edges of the raised planting area has been painted black and then a design painted on it

.  It was only partly complete which leaves me to wonder if this is a civic improvement job or a night-time tagger,  Either way I don’t care I just think it is pretty and hope they finish what has been started.

I read on the local on-line message board that the selling of fireworks is now illegal.  Yet I’ve seen two or three of these booths set up very publically, and in very close proximity IMG_0838to other vendors and no one seems to care.  But it’s nice they post the signs not to smoke.

We visited the Kyoto Circle today to pick out our poinsettia, 2 large size for the casa and 2 large size for out balcony and a lovely green frondy type plant all for about $23.

IMG_0829This is Erica, she is 8 and the daughter of the young woman who cleans our apartment and is a friend.  We have been happy to do our little part in helping with her education.  Signing off KO

What a Day!!!

Today was my first day in my new Spanish class.Previously I’ve taken Spanish classes at OC and can do restaurant menus, read signs, ask very basic questions and keep from getting us lost.  But that is about it.  When I went to sign up, Diego, the very handsome young man who runs the school gave me some sentences to put into Spanish verbally and decide I what level I was at,  Obviously very basic and I was assigned the teacher Diliann.  My friend Faye and I are starting this project together, but she will advance quicker than I as she has a much larger vocabulary.  We thought we would be in the class room practicing by asking each other questions, but no we were taken out in the public inflicting our attempt at spanish on unsuspecting locals. Following our teachers demonstration, each of us had to stop someone along the way and ask for the directions to the market.  With out fail everyone we spoke with stopped and cheerfully gave us directions. The mexican people are very open and generous  even with their time. Once  at the market we were then to ask what this and that were using the proper form of this and that.  Picked up some new vocabulary and gained the tiniest bit of confidence in talking in spanish to locals.

Our afternoon plans were to go to the beach,.

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Catalina and the Senor

We are on our 3rd week and have been so busy shopping and getting organized we needed to take some fun time.  Our beach of preference is Las Gattas which we get to by water taxi crossing to the other side of Zihuatanejo Bay.  Our favorite waiter Jose spotted us coming and waved us in 1/2 way down the beach.  It was an overcast day so moving an umbrella around to shade us wasn’t important today, but he is always attentive to our needs, shares his knowledge with us and has become a good friend.

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Soon Juanita joined us selling her unique jewelry and telling us of how her baby boy Oskar is now almost two.  I have been buying her jewelry for 16 years. Then Jorge, our favorite silver salesman, comes by and we make a IMG_0833couple of purchases. I love going to the beach where the stores come to you while you sip a margarita with your toes in the sand.  I don’t think life can get much better. Signing off KO