My “Dance Card” is Full

One of the great things about Zihuatanejo is you can be a busy as possible or not. Busy one week relax and refresh the next. The opportunities are there. This has been one of my busiest weeks.

My Sunday begins as it often does with a day at Escollera enjoying friends and the lovely infinity pool.

Monday was a lovely at home day on my balcony where I can read, watch the busy Mexican street life or enjoy the company of a couple of the roof cats who visit with me frequently.

Tuesdays are usually spent with lunching with an ebb and flow of ladies who are here full time or full season at one of our favorite beach front restaurants. For me it is frequently followed by a swim in the lovely salt water of the ocean where you float effortlessly.

Thursday was a day on the bay sailing swimming and snorkeling and enjoying Zihuatanejo’s exquisite sunset.

Snorkeling off Playa Las Gatas saw more colorful fish this day than I have ever seen before
Even a small school of dolphins joined us

And it’s only Friday, but I have plans to go dancing tonight with friends and Saturday is dinner with other friends.

And folks wonder why I am so happy here! Everyday here is an adventure where you can choose to participate or not. Go out and do or stay home, relax, curl up with a good book, walk the beach. For me it’s as close to paradise as it can be.

Signing off KO

The Simple Life is the Life for Me

An early morning walk is all about the fishermen. It is life as it has always been in costal villages around the world. I so admire these men who go out at night in little boats and fish until daylight, bring their catch on the shore to sell in the early morning hours. I never tire of seeing this.

An evening walk give me a chance to catch a basketball game in progress on probably the worlds most colorful ball court.

Invited over to Linda’s for drinks before going to dinner Coco Bahia. A lovely bayside balcony with a view to die for. Dinner was great as was the company.

Life is far more social here than at home, everything is outside, everyone is friendly and no one is in a hurry. I love every minute of this relaxed attitude. This all happens during the busy season of tourists and guests, I know it is quite different when the gringos retreat north of the boarder, and the heat and humidity ramp up. But I think I’m ready to try it.

Signing off KO

A DIFFICULT START OF THE NEW YEAR

Great view of the basketball court and El Centro

I managed to start the New Year off with a bang. Literally a bang on my head. After celebrating the impending new year too hardily I returned to my apartment even before the New Year was rung in. Two steps in the door and I tripped and was down and ricocheting off the hallway walls like a pinball, landing flat on my face. I picked myself up and crawled into bed. The next morning I could see the cut on the side of my forehead was still bleeding and probably needed stitches. So after showering I walked the few blocks to the hospital clinic to get stitched up.

Immediately they requested that I have a friend or family member come stay with me before they would treat me. This is New Years morning, it took me 3 phone calls before I could rouse anyone to come sit with me. Fortunately Cate, who is Spanish fluent, came to my rescue and spent the entire day with me in the hospital while I was getting IV antibiotics, head X-ray that had to be done in a different hospital where the Xray machine was. They were insistent that I spend the night as my blood pressure was high, Normally mine is quite low and I was sure it was high due to the stress of being in the hospital. If I stayed Cate would have had to stay with me also. That’s a lot to expect from a friend. But it’s the Mexican way. Long story short I refused to stay the night and as soon as I was back in my apartment my blood pressure went right down as I expected. Cate was an absolute angel and no way can I ever thank her enough for giving up an entire day to play nursemaid and translator for me.

Health care in Mexico is good, Doctors very competent, most have a smattering of English, but not fluent. Family/friends are expected to be there with you to monitor and help as staffing appears to be short. I’m not sure they have nurses aides. Hospital very clean

So now I have 2 black eyes, on the left eye, the white is all red. There were several stitches beside the right eyebrow. I’m a mess! So I’ve been staying at home, don’t want to scare people as I am quite unsightly. After 5 or 6 days I started venturing out as necessary wearing large dark glasses. It may take up to a month for my eye to clear up, but there is no damage to my eyesight. The stitches are out now, but I can’t swim for a couple of weeks. Everyday it gets better, but still ugly. Don’t have anyone to blame but myself. Not the best way to start the New Year but it has to be all up hill from here.

One of the cats that visit my balcony and keep me entertained

Signing off KO

Christmas Zihuatanejo 2021

Christmas in Mexico is noisy, loud, colorful, musical, festive and fun.

I went out for dinner Christmas Eve about 6:00 as the family party across the alley from me was just starting their festivities and the music was cranked up volume large. When I returned around 10pm the party was in full swing, music still going. I woke around 3am and the party was still going strong with the music blaring, at 5am when I got up the music had stopped, but they were still visiting, talking and laughing. I have to admire their stamina. I’m sure a good time was had by all. This is so typical of a Mexican fiesta, happy it doesn’t happen every night.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night. Signing off KO

I WAS ROBBED

I was robbed in broad daylight in the middle of the afternoon while walking back to my apartment in the one block alleyway that leads to my apartment building. I was not injured, threatened or scared. It just made me a bit angry. So here it the full story.

He was a young athletic Mexican, wearing a black Tshirt and shorts and wearing white runners. Nothing about him said poor or needy. Was it a lark on his part, a dare or maybe he is just evil I don’t know. But he knew what he was doing. He had obviously seen me put money in the coin purse waited until I was halfway up the alley and no one behind me and close to the point he could turn off to the other alley. If he had gone straight towards my door way he would have had to pass the congregation of old men always sitting there and might have been recognized.

I had purchased this coconut hat a year ago but never wore it because it was plain and hat bands and ribbons didn’t seem appropriate. A friend recommend I see Rosealba to do the flower painting I wanted. I brought her the hat Saturday evening at her tourist stand at the far end of my alley and she had it ready for me Sunday late afternoon. Just in time for me to wear it to a dinner party I had been invited to. After paying her I had trouble stuffing the bills back in my coin purse that is my Mexican wallet, the zipper was uncooperative and took me longer than usual. I’m sure now I was being watched at that point. I turned and headed back up my alley to get ready for the party, I still had the coin purse in my left hand when a young athletic man ran up from behind me, with both his hands swiped the coin purse from my hand and ran like hell turning behind the food court to go to Pazole alley. I yelled STOP THIEF, but their was no one close around hear.

I will always be thankful that he only tried for my coin purse, my real purse was slung over my shoulder containing phone, glasses and keys to my apartment. All of that would have been expensive and a nightmare to replace. Had he tried for that, the chances of me being knocked to the ground or injured would have been greatly increased.

Best I can figure he got between 800 and 1000 pesos, $35- $50, not much but would have kept me in fun for a day or two. The hard part is I had one credit card and two debit cards in it also. It’s not too difficult to block the cards, but my debit cards are my only way of accessing money while I am here. This happened on Sunday night and no live person available at the bank to let them know my Mexican address to send the replacement cards to. So my job today is contacting the banks and seeing how long before I can get them here. Fortunately I still had a some pesos back at my apartment, hopefully enough to last until new cards arrive. And I do have a spare credit cards if it comes to that.

This did not happen because it is Mexico, it could have happened anywhere. I am not fearful because of it, but will be more cautious down the road.

But there is always a silver lining in every mishap. I had already prepared my “take to” for the dinner party, and after blocking all cards I quickly changed clothes and made it to the party almost on time. I had a wonderful time with great friends. No sense crying over spilled milk. And I love my new painted hat. Signing off KO

Strolling around Zihuatanejo

I walk by this banana tree on my way back from the swimming pool. It never ceases to amaze me a bananas growing just off the side walk.

This odd, bumpy fruit tree is growing in a crack in the concrete between the parking lot for a furniture store and a pharmacy.

This cannon ball tree, growing along with a couple of others, is in a court yard of medical practices just a few door away from my apartment.

The flowers are quite fragrant, but the fruit while edible has an unpleasant smell and it fed to pigs and live stock.

While at the beach I noticed this odd pair just wandering around. I don’t think they are “seagoing” ducks and couldn’t help wondering if they were just on a beach vacation like so many of us

You see beautiful walk ways and bridges, this one takes you to the La Madera neighborhood.

Iron Maidens grace other walkways. No matter where you stroll there are lovely sights to be seen.

Signing off KO

JIMI MAMOU SINGER MUSICIAN SOUL MAN

Jimi has always been a bit of a Zihuatanejo legend. Starting when he and wife Judy came to Zihuatanejo at the invitation of Guitarfest and never turned back. Jimi plays, blues, soul, and rock and role from it’s heydays of the 50’s and 60’s into the 2000’s and still draws a crowd. It’s the music we grew up with and many believe, as I do, we had the best music ever.

Wednesday night a film crew was here from California to complete a documentary about the music scene in the North Beach area of San Francisco which Jimi was a big part of.

North Beach was the “happening place” with great clubs that gave many a star their start. Places like The Hungry I, and the Purple Onion, Big Al’s and of course the Condor, famous for Carol Doda who originated topless dancing. It was also the home of the Keene Art Gallery among others. An exciting vibrant place during simpler times. My sister was a chorus girl, dancing at Bimbo’s 365 club the summer of 61.

I grew up in a small town 40 Miles north of San Francisco, and even though we were under age and couldn’t get in to many of the clubs it was still a thrill on a Saturday night to roam the streets of North Beach and listen from the sidewalks and alley ways.

I imagine only a small handfull of those musicians are still around and not many would still be playing. But here in Zihuatanejo we have had the pleasure of spending our winters listening and dancing to the music of our youth, with one of the greats, Jimi Mamou.

I would be remiss not to mention that not only has Jimi blessed this community with his music but he and Judy have been a vital part of the community, one of the original and continuing sponsors of Sailfest serving on boards and committees, working in the background helping to strengthen this community for all the citizens here.

Signing off KO

FUN BUSY WEEK

I wrote this segment of my blog yesterday, had it all perfect. I was really pleased with it. Pictures were all in the right place except the very last one which I wanted to change out. Usually it says “remove picture”, but discard came up and logic said yes, I want to discard the picture. But it discarded the entire page not to be found again. I don’t enjoy rewriting what I have already written, I never think it is as good as the original. But my goal has been to try to publish at least once a week so here it is.

I prepared this BLT dip to take to my friend Suzanne’s get-together earlier this week with grand intentions of taking dozens of pictures. But I got busy visiting and getting reacquainted with folks. Many who missed last winter because of Covid, so lots to catch up to do with old friends that I never even took out my phone to take any pictures.

Expo Vino Zihua 2021 was held at the Mercadito Zanka this year, commonly called the food court. I think the venue worked great, it was spacious enough that you never felt crowded, set up well so there were never lines to wait in. Food was available from the Mercadito’s vendors, fans were placed all around the area, but it was still very warm as the event started at 4PM. I would have thought 7PM a better starting time as it begins to cool down then. But then I realized in future years I would simply wait until 7 to arrive as did many folks on this night.

The Wine Festival’s music was wonderful, this flute was my favorite, but he also sings and plays guitar. Later he was accompanied by a young lady. The main band didn’t start until 9 PM.

There appears to be a never ending supply of wines to taste and from all over the globe. California, South Africa, Australia, Argentina, Mexico, red wines, white wines sparkling wines which you tasted from the wine glass that you received upon entry. I was disappointed that the wine glass was plain without a logo as souvenir I mention to friends that I was sitting with that I would like to have one of the T-shirts’ the staff was wearing as they were a striking white on black shirt and would make an excellent souvenir. Shortly there after this kind, charming gentleman came back with one of the shirts for me. I was ecstatic!

Loosely translated it says “age is only important if you are a cheese or a wine“. I just love it and believe it.

Lunches with friends, beach days, eating and swimming at Escollera’s, life in Mexico is vibrant, busy and filled with friends. I’m so happy to be here.

Signing off KO

THE POINSETTIA MART

This is a beautiful time of year in Zihuatanejo. We all look forward to this fantastic display of poinsettias in all sizes and colors. The red will always be my favorite.

I took the 1/2 mile or so walk along the paved bicycle path with my cart to get to Kyoto Circle to select my poinsettias. That way I don’t have to carry them home. This little cart doubles as a laundry cart, a shopping cart and has even helped people move from one apartment to another. It’s the 3 wheeled type that makes climbing stairs easier.

The poinsettia vendors are enjoying what I call a “pallet park” with swings, tables and chairs all made from pallets located beside where they have set up

My balcony is now decorated for Christmas. I may add a string of lights across the front. The old ones I had wouldn’t light up this year. Tomorrow I will have to purchase new. I tried to bring some solar fairy lights from home for my large fern type plant at the end of the balcony, but with the street light at the opposite end of the balcony they won’t come on. It just won’t get dark enough. Surprisingly I haven’t seen any solar Christmas lights here at all.

Just a reminder to tap the small pictures to see them full size. Signing off KO

SOME OF THE MANY PLEASURES OF “LIVING THE GOOD LIFE” IN MEXICO

One of my many pleasures I enjoy in Zihuatanejo, Mexico is the freedom to read. With so little responsibilities here I have no problem waking up in the morning rolling over and grabbing my book and laying there reading for a couple of hours before I get up. But then I am prone to waking up around 5 AM. At home I can’t do that, I have to get up as soon as I wake up. It seems like there is always something to do, places I must go, work to be done, schedules to be kept. At home in Washington I feel like I’m lazy if I just sit around reading. Like wise with the TV. It can’t be turned it on until the evening. Here I no longer feel compelled to be “doing something”. Here the living is easy!

Eating out and socializing friends has become one of my greatest pleasures. There are so many interesting people here from all walks of life and from all over the world who have done so many interesting things and traveled to interesting places. I’m finding I can do more of this since I now check out my books from my home library to down load to my kindle. I to purchase them of from Amazon. Sorry Amazon, but this has saved me a bundle as I read 5 or 6 books a month. And I love the dictionary feature that the kindle offers. I miss that when I do read a “book book”.

Swimming is one of my pleasures. I lap swim at the community pool where there is rarely more that a couple of other swimmers. It’s an Olympic size pool and because it is covered, it is cold in the morning at 9ish when I like to swim. I’m only doing about 10 laps which is about a third of what I used to swim and the pool is laned crosswise. Covid stopped me from being able to swim on a regular basis and now that I’m not training for anything I just swim for the pleasure of it. I also swim in the bay where the water is warm and salty. You just float like a cork.

Signing off KO