Tuesday, December 06, 2005

View from the south end of Chacala Playa

Sometimes I am just amazed by what other people think. Then, sometimes, I remember that I have misunderstood almost everything in my life at one time or another, so who am I to judge.

However, this one thing sort of floored me. Twice this week people staying at the local retreat center, doing a Zen retreat (apparently a silent retreat, more or less) have been amazed to hear that there are very affordable places to rent in Chacala by the day, week, month, and year. And that where they are staying is NOT the only option. The retreat center is definitely the most expensive option for a room and bath, but not the ONLY option.

Last year a woman who has been coming to annual retreats for nine years didn’t believe there were places to rent here. I asked her where she thought the US/Canadian-looking people were staying and said she didn’t think there were any tourists like that in Chacala.

Of course, I know I don’t understand about 90% of what is going on around me here. This morning as I walked from my camp to the north end of town, and I had four different conversations with people where I still am not sure if we were talking about the same thing.

The vegetable truck guy arrived here at about 6:30am. He called me by name, which kind of surprised me, although I have been buying from him for a long time. Then, when I reached for some grapes he pointed out some newer ones, saying “major”, better. First time for that. Then he and Esperanza, my new landlady, started making jokes about money, which I didn’t get at all.

The water truck man came up a few minutes later. He launched into a long explanation of (I think) why he didn’t leave me any change the last time he dropped the water bottle off. I am guessing that’s what he was saying because he didn’t want any money this time.

I can understand some people’s Spanish really easily, and with some people I don’t have a clue. Kids are the best. They just go slower and slower until I get it. The kids are very helpful little Spanish teachers. Very patient with me and, I think, kind of amazed I am so ignorant (about Spanish).

This afternoon, when I got back from “work”, Carlos was waiting for me so he could draw with my pens. Then within about 10 minutes there were six little kids around the table drawing away. They were here for about an hour. They have come every day so far.

I really like it, but I like my privacy to, so I am trying to structure the drawing thing to one session each afternoon, beginning whenever. I am assuming the thrill will wear off soon and the paper will run out and that will be that.

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