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 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
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.
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
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.
I’ve spent the last 5 or 6 Thanksgivings here in Zihuatanejo and almost everyone has been different. I have done the local restaurants version of American Thanksgiving, not to be confused with the Canadians October 12th Thanksgiving. Since I am not a fan of turkey, potatoes and gravy it is pretty much a waste of money for me to eat out as that is what you get. I love the cranberry, the stuffing and the home made pumpkin pies and all the side dishes that you do not get in the restaurant meals.
I have cooked the turkey dinner for friends, I have gone to Playa Las Gatas for fish dinner just by myself. This year I was invited to join some other ladies for Thanksgiving dinner in one of their homes.
My contribution was a “snack box” of olives, nuts, cheese and salami’s and a bottle of wine. Thanksgiving dinners are notoriously late for many reasons due to turkey defrosting times , ovens temperature, potatoes taking much longer than expected and Aunt somebody being late arriving. This I knew would stave off hunger pangs.
Well none of the above happened except the one guest was almost late as her flight had just arrived as we gathered. Our host Jane, had everything so under control that we had just enough time to acquaint ourselves with one another and dinner was on the table.
We had a lovely traditional dinner complete with desert and then “LET THE GAMES BEGIN”. Jane’s goal was that we would have enough good spirited fun that our noise would be complained by her Mexican neighbors. Well I don’t think we quite succeeded in that but we did have a raucous good time. Good food and drink, great friendships, and fun in beautiful home with fantastic views of the city. Thank you so much for a memorable Thanksgiving 2021.
I attended a lovely birthday celebration at Puerto Paraiso on Playa Larga for Elizabeth Ashe ( in red). What a fun place, beautiful grounds, great pool, great food and of course fabulous company. I highly recommend spending an afternoon here.
On Monday my longtime friend Faye suggested we go to Espuma for breakfast. I’ve been hearing wonderful things about the breakfasts there. Espuma overlooks Zihuatanejo from the hill above La Ropa. The view is to die for and the food quite excellent.
Zihuatanejo is a paradise for those of us who have come to know and love her, but as in all places nothing is perfection and I had this come to me loud and noisy in the alley beside my apartment last night. I was reading late at night and I heard loud noise in the alleyway. Every night the folks whose homes are on this alleyway sack up their garbage and pile it neatly at the entrance to the alley for the garbage truck to pick up. My landlord is fastidious amount making sure it is stacked neatly, cardboard broken down every night. Just before midnight I heard a ruckus of crashing bottles and cans and a couple of loud voices. Looking out from my window there was a man and a young girl ripping open the bags and throwing the contents around. In a short amount of time they had ripped open every bag and strewn the contents all over the alley, took what they wanted and left. I stifled the urge to yell at them to go away, wondered why no neighbor came out to protest, even the neighborhood dog barked but didn’t show his face until it had quieted down. But this isn’t my country or culture so I remain an observer. I am aware there are people who live and raise and educate families at the dump living off discards, but there is far more dignity in that than what I witnessed last night. It looked like a pack of raccoons had had a picnic in the alley.
I was curious to see what the reaction of the nightly garbage collectors would be when they saw the mess as they were due momentarily. As they pulled up I heard one exclaim something alike “awww”, but quickly they came with rakes and boxes and had the mess loaded and gone with in 5 minutes. Quite impressive! So is Mexico! Signing off KO
Spent a lovely afternoon at Escondite Resort and Beach Club on Playa Blanca for lunch and a dip in the pool at the suggestion of my friend Faye, who is alway up for something or someplace new and interesting. A beautiful location, a lovely pool, although a bit awkward to get in and out for those of us who are no longer graceful and prefer something to hold on to until safely ensconced in the water. Had a nice lunch, relaxing and watching the waves roll in.
Walking the beach at La Ropa I enjoyed watching the “sand architects” and following a baby turtles trek in the sand towards the towards the sea. I was happy to see the turtle rescue efforts on La Ropa. I can’t help but think with so many people wanting to help the turtles their numbers will increase.
When I arrived from a very raining northwest in October I happily hung my sunshine flag off my balcony to celebrate the change in weather but now it is getting on to Thanksgiving Time so again the flag is changed. Signing off KO (tip: tap the small pictures to enlarge)