Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Hugs in Chacala

One aspect of my life here in Chacala that is really different from my previous life in gringolandia (the US of A), is that I get lots of hugs here in Chacala. From kids and grown-ups, men and women, from people I am close to, and new friends. And sometimes strangers.
Sometimes with kids the hug is somewhat manipulative. Because some kids know I will probably give them some small change for the paint booth on the beach road. Or the stupid video games (10 cents) at Sarai’s little store. Or whatever. Or because their Mom’s encourage them to be especially nice to gringo’s, because they are the source of scholarships, etc.

One of the very competent and hard-working young women in Chacala has a two year boy who always calls out “Anee” when he sees me. I think it’s mostly because his little cousins are always running up to me. And I think his Mom probably encourages it.Last night she and I were both at Tres Mars. I was eating and hanging out with some tourists, and she was waiting for take-out order. She asked me to come up and take photos of her two new rental units, across from the school. And then she told me how her little boy calls out “Anee” to any gringa-looking woman he sees on the street.I think either we all look the same to him, or he thinks any gringa is the source of goodies. Or something. Who knows. Besides, I love the kids calling out to me, and knowing my name, and running up to give me a hug.

And my very favorite form of friendly physical contact is holding babies and toddlers. And there are lots of them around here. Everyway. Beautiful little babies. I am so lucky.
P.S. And I get doggie hugs too: Chocomille and Bamboo and Jose Carmelo and Chocomille
s mommy and the doggie at Tres Mars all come running up for a pet whenever they seem me. I love it.

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