Friday, December 01, 2006

Satisfying Morning in Chacala

My landlady and her husband walked up the hill from the restaurant to our shared house earlyish this morning. Maybe 9am or so. I was painting the one wall of the teraza white, using the leftover paint from painting inside. Luckily it was interior-exterior paint.

When I was actually painting, I thought it wasn’t covering very well, but it looks good now. The teraza has a high roof, and one high wall, where the roof attaches to the building, and then three waist-high walls on the other three sides. They are a kind of faded lilac, and the floor is a worn-out light sienna.

My landlord offered to help paint, but luckily I was such finishing when he offered. I have seen the results of his artistic efforts, and mine are slightly better. Well, a lot better. The standard in Chacala seems to be to let paint spatter everywhere, including the floor, when you are painting, and then someone else scrapes it away when it dries. Similar to finishing the interior walls, and then chipping away, by hand, all the channels for the plumbing and electrical lines. And then replastering again to fill in the spaces. Or mixing cement on the floor, inside the house, by hand, and then leaving the mess there for someone else to clean up.

People have told me they do this to provide work for unskilled workers, but it looks like sloppy laziness to me. Whatever.
Julie and her little sister Mariana are always around downtown because their mom has a dogstand, and restaurant, and massage business and is always working downtown
Anyway, my two landpersons (?) and I spent about an hour cleaning around the shady side of the house. It’s a great spot, where there are a couple of little saplings for a hammock. And a nice shady breezy place to sit around and visit in during the afternoon. I am thinking about making a little place to barbeque meat once in awhile. We collected all the trash into a big heavy duty plastic bag, and took it down to the road. I think the trash guy comes tomorrow, first thing. I am worried about the dogs and tejones getting into it, but it’s mostly trash, not food.
Then the water came on and I watered down the floor of my teraza and the stairs. The stairs always seem to be covered with debris, no matter how many times a day I sweep. And we filled the water containers in front of the house and then watered everything. And put all the hyacinth places around the new patio around. It looks great. At least compared to before.
My landpeople, the house owners, are going to try to rent their sleeping room for the winter season, while they live in the restaurant. The restaurant has a little sleeping space in the back, and a little garden, and bath area. It’s actually going to be a great deal for somebody who doesn’t have much money ($150 a month, maybe less for long-term) for very basic room with a shared bath. The bath is shared with the owner’s son, who isn’t here much, and usually sleeps elsewhere. Windows with glass but no screens. Very plain with light, bright green walls, painted last year. No kitchen. Two beds with bedding. I would bring my own if it was me.

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