LAUNDRY AND A NIGHT ON THE TOWN

The  Senor decided we (he) needed some V8 juice and we were out of eggs. There is only one store in Zihuatanejo that carries V8, The Bodega.  It’s about a 1/2 half mile from the pool where I swim. Since it was Saturday and I don’t swim on weekends I thought I would just walk up there as it was still early morning.    It was a pleasant walk and like all shopping trips you go for one thing and come back with 4 bags full. So of course on the return trip I took a cab.

We have a leisurely breakfast on the balcony  and I decide to do our laundry in house instead of the Senor taking it to the laundry as we have always done previouly.But last year there were some issues. I said I would do the laundry which is normally the Senor’s area of expertise. The roof top washer fills at a drip drip rate so to help it along I filled big buckets of water to add to the machine and it started to wash.  Of course the rinse cycle is again at drip drip rate, but I went and took a nap and when I work up the clothes were washed and I hung them to dry, starting the second load the same way. Fixed and ate lunch and the first load was dry and ready to hang the second load.  Watched some TV and went and retrived the second load from the line all except our big towels they needed another half hour. I find if you hang things nice and tight on the line they look as good as if freshly pressed. The laundromat folds and packages your clothes so everything ends up with fold marks.

We have been taking it quite slow for the most part but we decide to go out for dinner at Daniels. The Senor never seems to learn that he will always be disapointed by his steak. Beef here in Mexico just isn’t what we are used to.  On the other hand you can’t go wrong with fish, it is what they do here.

20141231_173641From there we strolled, watch a sand artist at work, found a nice street dog to give meat scraps to and at a small kids arcade a birthday party was in full swing, litterly. The pinata was about to be hung,  hit with sticks,

broken and candy and small trinkets scrambled for among the shrikes as a half dozen young boys.

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Jimi with a friend joining in

A couple of drinks at Zorro’s and on to the Barracruda to catch the great Jimi Mamou and renew old friendships. Agreat night on the town, Zihua style.  Signing off  KO

STREET DOGS, ROOF CATS, AND OTHER CURIOSITIES

Hard working lady cleaning the La Madera path and beach
Hard working lady cleaning the La Madera path and beach

 

Zihuatanejo is much quieter now that the Mexican tourists have returned  to their homes. The morning path to La Madera is no longer crowded with the health seeking runners, soon to be replaced by different tourists as more and more American and Canadian visitors arrive fleeing from the cold climes.  I often have the feeling that here in Zihuatanejo if you are willing to work, there is work to be found.  I marvel at how hard the lady who cleans the path to La Madera works, it’s not a glamour job, but it’s honest work and one whose labors we reap the benefits of.  I’m amazed at the piles of  sand she sweeps off the path, and the wheel barrows of litter she removes each day. Same with the daily street sweepers who appear early each morning and clean up the careless, thoughtlessness of others. Definitely unsung heroes!

My gentle little street dog was not at the bridge to meet me this morning, I don’t think I’ll tell her that I gave her breakfast to a friendly street cat. Actually “Luna” is not a true street dog as she does have an owner and a home, but I doubt she is being fed a High protein

Street cat enjoying the Senors left-over chicken
Street cat enjoying the Senors left-over chicken

Science diet formulated for lactating mothers.  She belong to the coco man who owns the chickens I feed.  There are many street dogs here vying for scraps from the garbage sacks or the kindness of strangers. There are  many of the yellow “anywhere” dogs of which Luna is one.  There are many of very questionable parentage that have produced some very odd-looking dogs.  The one common trait they all seem to share is a gentle nature.

2015-01-06 15.13.20Cats tend to be roof cats, traveling blocks without touching ground. But also found  along the fisherman’s walk, and the occasional shop cat.  We have planters anchoring each end of our balcony which tends to attract the roof cat population cats for their nature calls. We know as we see kitty tracks across the balcony,  and occasionally , in the wee hours of the morning we have even heard their loud discussions. Just before day light last week I heard a cat on the tile overhang just below us, my flashlight has a laser light on it and I couldn’t resist a game of laser tag . But the laser scared the hell out of this cat. She ran as I chased her with the light.  She didn’t understand what a fun game it can be.

Books on both sides, but no access.
Books on both sides, but no access.

There is a curious library kiosk in the artist park, it looks quite similar to the one just erected on the campus of the college I attended, with the main difference being this one is locked up tight and the one at home is open for anyone to take or leave a book.  Maybe it is used by the school once the children return to school?

Today is 3 Kings Day, I’m not sure if it is a true holiday or a day of celebration, I don’t know if the children wake up to their gifts or if it happens later tonight. But I’m curious to find out. 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

M-DOCK BAND, SAILFEST AND MORE

The Senor and I went to the M-Dock concert last night at El  Pueblito restaurant.  It is a large open court yard restaurant, very beautiful. The M -Dock band I believe is out of Michigan, or one of those cold states.

M-Dock Band at El Pueblito
M-Dock Band at El Pueblito

They’ve been coming for the last 13  years to benefit Sailfest which will officially start the first week in February. While here they pick up a couple of local musicians to play with them, Steve Calvert and Allen Alto.  An when I say local, they are local not only to Zihuatanejo, but also Kitsap/No Mason counties in Washington. Also was Paco Padilla, a charming Mexican recording artist, with a great voice and beautiful guitar.

Paco Padilla
Paco Padilla

We arrived early to get good seating and frankly we got there way too early.  Our previous experience was get there early before all the good seats are spoken for.  Not so much last night.  The crowd was good, but not packed. anyway we had a fun evening dancing.  It was good to get the Senor away from his TV.

The Senor and I
The Senor and I

Anyway we bought our new Sailfest T Shirts and today I delivered a shopping bag full of colored pencils and crayons and a few odds and ends for the needy children. I guess I failed to mention that Sailfest raises funds with a week full of fun activities that replaces sub standard schools with real buildings. These are the schools of the poorest children, many of them of lesser quality than our chicken coop.  When replaced they have bathrooms with running water and concrete/brick buildings with electricity. It’s a project we choose to support.

On my morning walk to feed my chickens I also needed to find a deserving street dog for meat scraps from El Senor’s dinner.  I am noticing a preponderance of cats and not so many street dogs. I

 Street dog getting his treat

Street dog getting his treat

have heard that from time to time and as funds are available the local humane society rounds up some of the street dogs to neuter to keep the population down.  I finally found a nice fellow who checked me out first to make sure I was friend not foe and then eagerly accepted my treats. Street dogs are remarkably well behaved, they seldom bark, they don’t beg, and they don’t follow you after getting a treat, they are very gentle, but wary enough to watch out for those who will give them a swift kick.

Later in the afternoon I past a shop with 2 ladies sewing on an antique, rusty looking sewing machines making beautiful dresses. There was one I really wanted, but it was strapless.  At my age straps to cover bra straps are a necessary thing. I tried on the dress, loved it but said Yo nessicito (I need) and snapped my straps. They showed me some extra fabric and told me 10 minutos. So I waited while she put on the straps, paid my 500 pesos which converts to $37.55.  An absolute bargain and I love the dress. Pictures tomorrow.

Quest for Jimmy Dean Sausage and other shopping experiences

The Senor’s quest for sausage in patties rather than links has brought him to becoming a Sam’s club member.  This would not be my choice of a place to shop.  I love the Mercado, I like buying six or even 7 eggs or any number I want and getting them in a  plastic sack.  I like telling my cheese man I want a meter of cheese as he rolls it out. I enjoy picking up items in the little miscellaneas and conducting my transactions in Spanish. Of course we do a lot of our shopping at the Commercial, we can find every thing we need there, but I won’t get fruits or veggies there and the eggs at the Mercado are bigger and I think fresher.

Mercado shopping
Mercado shopping

We just needed a couple of items, fruit juice and a storage box to leave some items here with our landlord.  The Senor decided it would be cheaper to buy our Sam’s club membership here and more convenient as our home Sam’s Club is over 30 miles away. We wandered through the whole store, it is amazing the array of items they have there, but guess what? No sausage patties!  I told the Senor next year we will simply freeze some Jimmy Dean sausage at home and see if we make it through with it.  Worth a try and cheaper than a Sam’s Club membership! We didn’t even find the right size storage box there and the juice you had to buy 4 ,so we left empty-handed and walked over to the Commercial.

Energetic 6 yr old racing to the taxi with our cart art Commercial
Energetic 6 yr old racing to the taxi with our cart art Commercial

We found our storage box and a dozen other items we didn’t know we needed until we saw them. At home we shop in military commissaries and are used to tipping the baggers and carry out people, but it still blows my mind to have an eager 6 yr old grab your shopping cart, saying taxi,taxi and rushing out with your cart to load your groceries in the cab.We had a won a dinner at an Ixtapa restaurant and decided we would do an early movie, then dinner.  We saw the latest Bruce Willis “Die Hard”  movies which is full of impossible chase scenes and impossible situations. Caught a cab back to Zihuatanejo and stopped at the little balcony bar next to the stairway to our apartment.  Kind of a dark hole in the wall type place, with a very friendly accommodating bar tender and with a view of the Galeana side of the street.  We noticed some friends sitting on the bench below us and shortly went to join them.

Scruffy, the street dog
Scruffy, the street dog

While visiting with them my scruffy little street dog that I’ve become fond of showed up.  I told him to wait and visit with my friends while I ran upstairs and got the meat scraps I’ve been saving for him.  He dined well that night, with some chicken, ribs and steak.  We walked into Zorro’s for a night-cap and Scruffy followed, but just  to lay down and sleep off his great meal. He has developed a bit of a limp, the thought crossed my mind to take him to the vet, but I wouldn’t be around to give him antibiotics, or even know if I could find him every day so I decided to let nature take its course.  I’m sure plenty of other people have noticed this sweet funny looking dog with a very gentle, happy disposition and save their dinner scraps for him. Signing off KO

From My Balcony

It’s Sunday morning and from my balcony I can hear the singing in the church which is only a block away, come Monday morning from my same location I’ll hear the Mexican Navy doing there calisthenics from their base 2 blocks away. On any Friday or Saturday night ( and sometimes well into the morning) I can hear the music and singing from several of the bars and cantinas.

 

Early morning Zihuatanejo BAY

 

I can observe the fishing boat lights in the early morning as they come in and also the occasional cruise ship.  I can view the street life as each day begins.  I recognize the sound of the knife sharpener’s whistle, the bicycle horn toot of the ice cream vendors, the call of “coco” from the men selling coconuts and other calls as women  carrying a variety of items in baskets on their heads whined their way through the streets.

I see a variety of mexican street dogs, mostly the medium-sized, yellow tail turned up variety, that some people refer to as “everywhere dogs”. Most of the dogs are skinny, flea-bitten, scared and a bit mangy looking, but sweet-tempered.

Hummingbird at next door neighbor's feeder

I watch small herds of hummingbirds as the feed on my balcony neighbors feeder and the one hung on the balcony across the street.  I wave good morning to my neighbors on their balconies across the street and enjoy a cup of coffee with our friends and neighbors on their balcony next door. I watch pigeons feeding their family under an old air conditioner on the movie  down the street. I watch with anticipation as they change the movie markee to see if there is a new movies I want to see.

CAT ON A HOT TILE ROOF

I watch folks hanging their wash on the roof top clothes lines. I watch as a grey cat trots along the terracotta roof tiles. and if I lived here I would grow plants and garden on my balcony.

I bring my net book to the balcony and I read my kindle on my balcony.  I eat breakfast and dinner here on my balcony, but not lunch as it is too hot at that time.

From my 3rd floor perch I watch sunrises and sunsets, I start every day here and end every day here. It’s been a wonderful place to observe mexican life and learn about there culture.  I will miss this very much.

   Sunrise from my balcony

 

Signing off KO