On being a snowbird vs a

There are several different categories of folks here in Zihuatanejo, the locals, the gringo year round residents, tourists and vacationers, and snowbirds.We used to vacation in Zihuatanejo Mexico , now we have officially become snowbirds.The the difference between snowbirding and vacationing  is a bit subtle, but mostly length of stay time and also a change in attitude.. Snowbirders embrace the Mexican culture and adapt to it with little complaint.

The main difference between a snowbird and vacationers  that vacationers work hard at being sure he is having a good time every minute of the day. Snowbirds just live here. . Vacationers are  so busy filling an agenda even if that agenda is only to lay on the beach and read every day, or fill a shopping basket with souvenirs to bring home to friends and family, or see all the cool sites and eat in all the popular restaurants. Snowbirding is way more relaxed.

You do the same things you would do  at home but with the additional  perks of the area and climate. Much of our time here is spent in the daily tasks of living, cooking,eating, cleaning, dish washing with out the luxury of but the floor still needs to swept during the week, the bed  need  to be made and the dishes washed.. We have laundry to do, we  some times take it out, but the Senor has always assumed the job of  laundess?  so he either takes and delivers it to La Laundaria, or uses the washers upstairs, hangs out things on the line às they dry in 2 hours .  All this done  during TV commercials.   Grocery shopping needs to be done as we certainly can’t  eat out ever  meal as vacationers tend to do. We do eat out more as the evenings are so wonderful they draw you right outside.

We do go to the local drinking holes  more often than at home, and listen to the many musicians  more often, and dance more often than at home, but not as often as when we were vacationers. We truly have the luxury of time and have adopted the manana attitude. My favorite phrase is “manana does not necessarily mean tomorrow,  it just means not today.”

Food is so fresh here, and I shop daily for fruits and vegies daily here ,getting just what we need for a day or two. I have my little rolling bag I  pull behind me, I have my egg man, my cheese man, 2-3 favorite veggie/fruiterias. I buy fish that had been swimming just hours before I purchased it. Here shopping is fun, at home a chore. We snowbirds walk  or take buses and only the occasional taxi. Snowbirds take pride in supporting the little mom and pop businesses.

We have our favorite kids we buy Chicklets or other trinkets from, and periodically pay then not to sell to us. We support local causes and volunteer to help as we have the luxury of time, but we stay out  of politics.

signing off KO

YESTERDAY AND TODAY

Zihuatanejo from the roof just before sunrise
Zihuatanejo from the roof just before sunrise

Yesterday the cleaning lady was due so we went out for breakfast, while I ordered breakfast, in Spanish I might add, the Senor did his task of running the laundry to the laundaria.  At home he does the laundry and has continued doing so here.  But here all he has to do is deliver it in the morning and pick it up in the evening.  Everything is simpler here.  After breakfast we decided to check out a hotel near the “hole in the wall” bus station .  Brand new hotel offering $250 (mexican pesos) a night rooms if you stayed 2 weeks or more.  This was a hell of a good deal so we decided we had best check it out. The desk clerk spoke no English, but my 2 or three words got the message across and she showed us a room. Nice room with great bath and a balcony, but small and no micro or refrigerator.  I asked her if they had any rooms with cooking and she said no.  So we thanked her, briefly considered if the lesser cost would make up for eating out every night as it did have a pool and wifi and cable.  We decided no, it just wasn’t for us, but very nice for someone who just needs a room. Then on to the archeological museum at the end of the malecon where both the history of the area is displayed but also lots of art work for sale.

A 1936 movie projector in the museum
A 1936 movie projector in the museum

We then went for a stroll on the malecon and ran into a couple I had met on the boat parade.  I introduced them to the Senor , we visited briefly as they were just finishing their lunch and we took over their table when they left. Our waiter brought out a white board sandwich board which showed the selections offered that day. Cheese quesadilla for me  and a BLT for the Senor.   He was very happy to find a real sandwich. We people watched, watched the fishermen and enjoyed a very leisurely lunch.  Soon a friend we had made through other friends stopped by and we visited with her for a while remarking we hardly go anywhere any more where we don’t run into someone we know.  A very pleasant feeling.

New vendor came by the flop house, cakes by the slice
New vendor came by the flop house, cakes by the slice

We opted to go to the Flophouse for drinks, and get dinner at the restaurant next door.  Not my favorite place to eat, but we always have a good time at the  and meet friends and enjoyed, Allan on the guitar, Nelson on the sax and a couple of singers joined in. As we expected several of our friends showed up so it was a pleasant evening.

Morning has us filling out our shopping list and heading to the Commercial, we are on our downhill side of our vacation  so we are trying to buy only what we absolutely need, purchasing in small sizes. On the way we discovered a new type of Mexican Roof dog.

Different type of "roof" dog
Different type of “roof” dog

He really startled us as we walked by.  We  tried to shop carefully, but still came back with more than our rolling bag holds, but sure love that bag, it makes getting the groceries the block to our apartment from the taxi stop a breeze.

We have set our dates for next year, December 15 to March 15, we’ve never been here during the holiday season nor have we ever been away from home for Christmas.  It will be a new experience for us.  Now my job is to try to negotiate a better rate at our apartment as we are staying longer. My Spanish dictionary isn’t any help with phrases, we will see how we do.  Signing off KO

Sunday, Monday, and now it’s Tuesday, How can that be?

Steve and Brian accompanying the children from the orphans home.
Steve and Brian accompanying the children from the orphans home.

We seem to stay busy even though we have no daily agenda, and time passes so quickly. Sunday evening we went to the Zocolo which is the town square or plaza and also the basketball court. On Sunday it looks like the entire town gathers there to eat from many of the vendors carts, buy trinkets and toys for children, socialize and watch a evening performance. This Sunday the children from the orphans home presented a few songs they had learned. There had been no music program there until Brian, a gifted professional musician, who happens to be our balcony neighbor, volunteered to start one with the children. He has spent much time teaching them songs and they performed a couple of them Sunday at the Zocolo. They sang “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” in Spanish and then in English Not a one was shy and a couple were very busy stealing the show. Some people just have more heart than others and Brian is definitely one. we finished the evening with dinner on the beach with Will and Sylvia.

The Senor at the Commercial Bakery
The Senor at the Commercial Bakery

The Senor enjoys the bakery, Mexican bakeries have the most enormous selection of goodies I’ve ever seen. The senor takes a tray and tongs and walks around placing his selected items on the tray and then goes to the bakery counter and she wraps them up for him.

The senor and I went to the Mario’s Leather shop as I was looking for an attractive leather binder to hold my wedding ceremonies. Fortunately he spoke English, knew what I wanted but didn’t have anything with “rings” First try was take a 6 inch set of rings off a daytimer size binder but they were much to fat, so then he left us in his shop, while he

Mario Making my leather binder
Mario Making my leather binder

went over to the “papeleria”,(think stationary store) bought a 3 ring binder, took the rings out of it installed them in a beautiful red leather folder and now AI have exactly what I needed. I’m amazed the lengths that people here will go to serve you.

On my Monday morning walk after feeding my flock of chickens I had meat scraps for a deserving street dog. Not many dogs out and about in the morning, they are mostly night time wanderers. But I found this sad eyed dog, encouraged her to come get my treats, she was very wary and very skittish and no wonder as I’m sure she had been abused. She had a rough hemp rope around her neck and body kind of harness like. I tried to untie it but she wouldn’t let me tough her and would jump out of the way once almost getting hit by a car. Today

Street dog tied up with rope
Street dog tied up with rope

when I go out I will have scissors with me, and may be I can cut her loose.

Part Siamese kitten with a beautiful face
Part Siamese kitten with a beautiful face

While breakfasting on our balcony the Senor noticed some kittens on the overhang of the balcony below us, they were coming and going thru the drain hole on the building next door. This kitten has the sweetest face and if I didn’t have a cat at home that would object I would have climbed down there and claimed her.

We had a wonderful stuffed avocado a that the Senor and I shared at the Monkey

Allen and Patricia wailing the blues
Allen and Patricia wailing the blues

House for lunch. 5:30 finds us on our usual bar stools at the Flophouse. We prefer sitting on the stools that

are actually on the side walk as it is cooler. Soon Will and Sylvia joined us as we enjoyed the “blues” with Alan and Patricia. Our choice of a place to eat was a mistake, our mistake. We didn’t want a big or expensive meal just something to eat, but a Sushi House just isn’t what we should have picked. Signing off KO

ORDINARY DAYS FEEL EXTRAORDINARY IN ZIHUATANEJO

Sometimes accomplishing a very ordinary task here feels like a major success.  This is partially due to language difficulties and cultural differences.  I was very successful in obtaining the right USB cord to connect our laptop TV programing to the larger flat screen TV, it  works great. Very unsuccessful  getting a new battery for my watch.  The camera store didn’t have the right one and had no suggestion where to go. Still don’t know where to go. At home Walmart changes my batteries. But then time is that important here.

Haven’t been able to buy a large bottle of tums, only small bottle or a roll. At 5 a day for calcium I’d like a decent size bottle. But while buying groceries at the Comercial an attached dress shop had a darling jumpsuit that fit me perfect. It’s that great fabric that you can just roll up to pack in a suitcase .And I wasn’t even looking for clothes. Win some loose some.

We do try to limit our shopping trips to what we can fit in our canvas rolling shopping cart. It’s a good plan on two accounts, first we aren’t wearing ourselves out lugging bags of groceries around and it gets the Senor out and about more frequently.

It never ceases to amaze me how things rotate  between the 8 apartments here.This year we have the great patio furniture on our balcony. Last year it was on our neighbors balcony.  Our clunky old tv has been replaced with a new flat screen.  I hope this is an update and no one else got stuck with the old one. We always see kitchen gadgets migrate apartment to apartment. The only thing that we bought that has remained for the past 5 years is an oil cloth table cloth, probably stays as it is rather plain.

 Allen Alto at the Flop House Bar

Allen Alto at the Flop House Bar
Sunrise from Playa Principal
Sunrise from Playa Principal

Last night we spent a pleasant evening at the Flophouse Bar, one of our favorite places to listen to music. Last night it was Allen Alto taking requests for just about everything. Great musician and also hails from our neighborhood in Wa. Then on to Chez Leo for a late dinner. Great as we have come to expect.

This morning I went out early to try to photo the sun rise with my new camera, but the results were less than spectacular.  I think you would need more clouds for a spectacular effect.  I did do pretty good with some of the statues that are scattered around town.  I love these statues, each represents a distinct are of Mexico and it appears the the artist is anonymous. El Pescadore, the fisherman, is my favorite, but very difficult to photograph.  Photos just don’t do him the justice or capture the strength that the sculptor did. The Pescadore represents this area where fishing always has been and still is the major occupation.

Signing off KO

El Pescador, the fisherman
El Pescador, the fisherman

A VERY MUSICAL EVENING

Crocodillo WestlersIMG_5129IMG_5126

Most of our days here are filled with every day happenings, a little shopping, walking around surveying the local color, going to the beach, visiting with friends, reading  watching the news, just every day stuff. The evenings are delightful, the air is warm and just beckons you outside. The shops stay open until 8ish, people begin to congregate in the bars and restaurants as they are all open air, sidewalk type establishments.  In the late afternoon I stopped in at restaurant just down the alley from Coconuts to take advantage of their advertised $25 peso mango daiquiri, that’s about 2 bucks American.  Not only was it beautiful but very tasty, thick with mangoes, sweet, but I like it sweet and one hell of a bargain. 

 

By 5PM we were at our favorite seats at the Flop House to listen to Allen Alto and soon joined by friends and a large crowd to listen to one of the best guitarist play and sing just about anything and everything. A couple of hours later when his show ended we headed down to the beach to Galeana’s for a bite to eat and to listen to Jimmi Mamou another of our favorite musicians.  While we were waiting for our friends to join us I could see some activity down the beach where the canal empties into the bay, so I sent the Senor with the camera and sure enough they had captured a “crocodillo” that had chosen to go for an evening swim in the ocean.

These are just local folks, not professional alligator wrestlers, but they seem to know what to do.  I really don’t know what they do with him after they captured him, did he become a pair of boots and a yummy dinner for his captors or was he released in a more appropriate location. 

 

Soon Jimmi’s  audience included Allen Alto, Machete Eddie where all took a turn at the mike. Just another marvelous day and night in paradise