As I am now a full time resident it was time to look for a doctor and establish a relationship. I selected Dr Salgado because of positive statements from folks who’s option I value and hoped I would agree with them. One of my priorities was my doctor would need to be fluent in English. When it comes to medicine and medical decisions there can be no room for language misinterpretation.
My appointment was made for a physical and a review of medication for Tuesday. Here in Mexico Dr offices are not necessarily grouped in large medical buildings but may be an apartment in an apartment building and are quite basic. Over my years in Mexico I have been to 3 or 4 different doctors offices and have been impressed with how very basic they are. No fancy art work on the walls, furniture so basic you think it may have been donated by the Salvation Army. Yet modern equipment. No frills. I like this, feels like it keeps the costs down. My doctors office is nice. but not fancy. He was through, even measured my bmi, did an in-office EKG and told me my results and gave me a copy my results for my records. I like that.
The next day I was scheduled for lab work. I arrived at 8, a half hour after they opened thinking no one would be there so early. Wrong! The office was crowded to standing room only and only the most basic of basic chairs for furniture. No one spoke English and I cannot yet converse that well in Spanish, so google translate had to help out. They were efficient and traffic moved quickly. I had a chest X-ray and the young tech showed me my X-ray and said it was bueno. Back in the US I would never see the X-ray itself and week or so later after the radiologist examined it I would get a message that would say it was ok or to return to my doctor. After my blood draw they told me I could return after 3:30 and all my results would be ready for me to pick up. And it is up to me to get them to my doctors office which I did as I had an appointment to wear an EKG halter for a couple of days for a more extensive EKG.
Dentist offices are very much the same, very basic office but equipment and procedures are just like north of the border. Dermatologist use lenses on their I phone that projects what they see on to a screen so you can see what they see. Pharmacies don’t require a prescription for anything short of narcotics. And the cost of medicines is considerably less. I have 2 very expensive medicines I take that are half the price here. All things considered health wise, I am very comfortable with my decision to reside here. Signing off KO
The big news is I now have my temporary residency card and it is good for 4 years when I can change it over to permanent. I was very nervous about obtaining it as I am a little shy on the monthly income part. But all went well thanks to my good friend Tonio who helped with translation and just plain understanding the procedure. I have bought and sold property with far less paper work and signatures. It’s about a 2 hour procedure including fingerprinting, eye printing and photographing. But no formal application. My name address phone number and e mail were all just written down on a piece of scratch paper. So now that I am “almost Mexican” I will sign up for Spanish classes and change over to a Mexican phone number.
My friend Cheryl has been taking guitar lessons while she is here and her class had it’s recital last week. They learned such great songs as Proud Mary and Mustang Sally and we all got to sing along. It was a fun evening at the Restaurant Adalinda.
My little garden is growing nicely, but I may have killed one of my poinsettias with kindness. It appears I have over watered it and it is very unhappy and shedding all it’s leaves, the second one is in better shape and probably will survive. My tomato starts are doing great, looking forward to fresh tomatoes.
I’m usually willing to try most food. Which may sound odd since I do not eat meat or chicken. Dishes that have them I can usually pick around the chunks of meat or poultry and enjoy the rest. I’m pretty much a “fishaterian, (my word.) So one would assume I would enjoy oysters as they pick them fresh here in the bay. I have stayed away from them here as I come from an area of great oyster beds and I do love them. But have been carefully taught you only pick and eat them during months that have an r in them as those months the water is colder. So when some of us were at a restaurant that always has a large pile of oysters still in the shell and someone shucking them we decided to give it a go. They were OK, but for fresh raw oysters to be at their best they need to be ice cold and a smaller size. But what the heck it’s Mexico and they can do it there way. But I wouldn’t do it again.
Went to lunch with friends at El Manglar a week ago Sunday. The word Manglar means swamp which is part of the charm of this lovely restaurant that is located on La Ropa beach with a stream running beside complete with crocodrillo’s and trees full of Iguanas. It also has a lovely breeze that funnels through the restaurant making it a great place on hot days and very good food.
Dinners on the beach, fund raiser for the food bank, and pool parties have filled up the rest of the weeks entertainment.
I’ve been busy at home also, I hung and hemmed new curtains for my slider. They are sunblock curtains, I don’t need them so much now, but will come winter and the sun hits my balcony right full on. I also installed a great mirror on an expanding arm in my bathroom to give a full 360 view for primping. Took advantage of Buen Fin, Mexico’s answer to Black Friday and went shopping for a new TV that is fully Bluetooth capable. Actually I had a friend who is tech knowledgeable do the shopping for me and I just showed up with the card to make the purchase. That way I know I’m getting a good TV and a good deal. It’s nice to have good friends.
Last year I fed a trio of street/roof cats. I really didn’t expect that they would still be around. But not only did they survive, did they multiplied. Two of them have half grown kittens following them around. One of them wants to be a pet, well he is still skittish and I can’t pet him yet but he likes to sit and visit with me and he is a very good listener.
I hadn’t planned on feeding them this year as I was really thinking of getting a cat of my own, a strictly indoor cat. But them I discovered how thirsty these cats and kittens were as they were dipping a paw in the dish under one of my plants and then licking the paw. So out came the pan of water and I was amazed at how long they would drink and how quick they returned for more. So at least they have a source for good, clean water. The friendly one got dinner last night. We will see how that goes, maybe I am destined to just have outdoor cats. Signing off KO
Sailfest is the annual fun, fundraising activity in Zihuatanejo that raises money for schools, school supplies, lunch programs, scholarships, etc benefitting Zihuatanejo’s poorest children.
It began this year with a walk/run that was joined in by several of Zihuatanejo’s running clubs. Next was a meet and greet on the pier with music and dancing. Other events were the sailboat races around the rock, the band M-Dock’s concert had everyone dancing on the pier again. A gala dinner was held on the pier, which has turned out to be a great location for events. The nightly music cruises were again a very popular event with many talented local and visiting musicians performing for small groups while sailing in the bay. This year the auction was limited to just the live auction and the “Chili Cook Off” was held with out the silent auction. Most events were held with only limited numbers of participants allowed at each event, held out doors and well spaced to keep in line with current “covid” protocols. And of course the concluding sail parade where all the participating cruisers take passengers for a day long sail out past Ixtapa and some on to Ixtapa Island other choose to fish or swim.
My tiny contribution to Sailfest this year was to man the t-shirt and souvenirs sales desk and to help with the walk run event. Right smack in the middle of this fun filled week I had to make a quick, 3 day trip back to Washington state to do some legal work all in preparation for my making Zihuatanejo my real home. I wish the timing had been better as Sailfest is such a fun event.
My February birthday was the original impetus for staying in Zihuatanejo longer than just the month of January. Then it was “we don’t do anything special on Christmas anymore, why not come for December too”. And pretty soon you find yourself enjoying the entire winter in lovely, warm, friendly Zihuatanejo.
This birthday started with an early morning swim with Suzanne, my always willing swim partner, and iced coffee. We moved on to lovely beach mimosas. Just before leaving to take a siesta the staff at Madera’s brought out a slice of birthday cheese cake. I wasn’t sure the day could get any better.
I had selected Agave for dinner as I hadn’t been there yet this year. And they didn’t disappoint. Good meals, good prices and service. And great friends.
We adjourned to Eloina’s where Linda presented me with my handsome date for after dinner drinks. A fun day with great friends including phone calls from most of my kids. Couldn’t ask for anything more, only many more just like this.
Zihuatanjo is such a fun,vibrant place full of fun things to do, new, interesting people to meet. I have come to love it so much that come this fall I will make it my permanent place of residence.
So I have much to do during this time period and number one is applying for my temporary residency card. Hopefully this goes smoothly, most of it must be done on line, but some will have to wait until I return to Washington to access my records
Attended the Birthday and Retirement Bash for Jimi Mamou, a Zihuatanejo legend. He is retiring after 60 years of being the music man. He is not only a musician and singer, but a true entertainer, bringing, joy, laughter and dancing feet to the folks in Zihuatanejo for the past 17 years
Can’t sit still when Jimi plays.
Pool parties and friends gathering
What is not to love about this magical place, can’t think of a single reason not to make it my home.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.