Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Spending the Day in Chacala

Well, the Christmas break for Mexican tourists seems to be over. School starts up again today all over Mexico. The streets of Chacala are very quiet this morning, and everyone is heading up to the Chacala schools (Kinder, Primaria, and Secundaria/junior high) or on the collectivo to the schools in Las Varas and La Penita. Wearing their uniforms and carrying backpacks.

Most of the tourist-orientated souvenir store were closed this morning, including the internet/game cuesto down the beach road.

There are some interesting gringo tourists around town. Today I was visiting with Aurora, next door. I met one of her new guests. He’s a chiropractor from Alaska who is helping at the Clinica in Las Varas .

And last night I sat with some other guests of Aurora’s at Las Brisas, a beach restaurant in Chacala. I ate popcorn I got microwaved at Koko-bongos and a refresco/pop from Las Brisas. With permission from Ramon, at Las Brisas, I ate my popcorn and visited with Marjorie, who is recording a segment for CBC radio on the Techos de Mexico program, and the two friends of hers who are staying at Aurora’s.Some Huitchol artwork, available here in Chacala
I am spending the morning at home tidying up, gardening, washing clothes, and dishes, and starting to cook some food ahead. Boiled eggs, and some chicken breasts. And some cut-up fruit. I have had company off and on all morning. Nice company on a sunny morning.

I have been getting some invitations from visiting gringos for rides to Las Varas, La Penita, and Puerto Vallarta. Some people have either driven down or have rented cars. I avoid riding in vehicles with gringo drivers because I have been in too many near-miss accidents riding with non-local drivers.Trini and Cunda have a new sign in front on their house,
advertising their services.
A nicer one is on order, and on the way.
Most men seem to think they know how to drive in Mexico, and most don’t. On the toll roads they probably do fine. But the traffic patterns for turns and signaling and lights are really different here. And people tend to believe that they can just drive like they do in the U.S.-Canada. But it doesn’t really work. And often they don’t realize that if it weren’t for alert local drivers they would probably be involved in a string of fender-benders and worse.

So I try to stick to riding in big vehicles like buses and collectivos. Or with good local drivers. Or the collectivos. I need to go to the ATM today, and I want some more peanuts in the shell and maybe some buckets. I am trying to save up some pesos for a bus trip during Easter week, Semana Santa, but so far I am no doing to well on my saving plan.This tower is the local gated community's gift to Chacala. Actually it's a tower for the use of the residents of the development. Not for Chacala people. It's carefully located so the people in the development can't see it, but it looms over Chacala. Very ugly.
I can’t remember if I wrote that I painted the inside, waist-high walls of my teraza the other day. I don’t like the pastel green color very much. The color-choice was a compromise with Dona Lupe, who didn’t want any strong colors. It looks nice and fresh, and I am happy with it. And with my whole living arrangement. I have had warm, not hot, shower water for a week now. I have only the pilot lit under the hot water tank, so it’s not really hot. But the warm water feels great, and the big blue tank with probably last for about 4 or 5 months. With an luck.

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