Saturday, July 28, 2007

Water in The House, in Chacala

When I first came to Chacala, I thought it was odd that people did all their cooking, clothes washing, and most of their bathing outside. There were outdoor toilets (and still are) at a number of houses.

I lived with outhouses for about 25 years of my adult life. I like going outside for toileting. I liked watching the sun come up, and observing the stars and the moon while I took care of business . We had a nice little porch-style building, with a roof. It was small and light enough to move around when the hole underneath filled up.At fiirst came to Chacala, I didn’t see the advantage of doing all the other water-based activities outside. I have definitely appreciated the nice tiled bathrooms everywhere I have stayed in Chacala. Tres Hermanos restaurant annex.
But I do see the advantages now. For one thing, cockroaches and some other insects, including mosquitoes, tend to be attracted to damp, wet areas. So it helps to have a dry house, with no kitchen inside.Dengue Fever, which endemic in the P.V. area, is carried by “house” mosquitoes, who are active, and biting, during the day. So the less attractive your house is to flying creatures, the better. One of the massage space at Majahua
Plus, cooking outside is much nicer. There’s usually a breeze, and people walking by and visiting, and it’s shady and nice. And the cooking odors, like oil and spices and fish and meat and garlic and onions, don’t smell up the house. And ants aren’t in the house looking for a handout. Shared guest patio/kitchen at Elezar's rental
And doing the dishes is nicer outside. Birds are singing, the sun is shining, the shade is cool and breezy, and friend might come by and visit with you.And doing the laundry outside makes more sense, especially when you are doing things by hand. But by machine too. It’s quieter, and the water drains away into the dirt, reducing water flowing in the septic tank. And you hang to clothes up next to where you wash them. Very handy.This is the guest patio at La Sirena rental
So it’s kind of sad for me to see local people moving their kitchens inside. “Modernizing”. And isolating too. Eating outside tends to turn into a social gathering, which can be a mixed blessing I suppose.
I wish that some gringos who build here would take the time to understand the climate here before they build. To understand the need for outdoor living spaces. And cooking spaces. It’s cooler, it reduces the insect and spider problems, and it’s just plain nicer. The the need to keep the sun and rain out of the house, and to keep the breezes coming thru, day and night. Luis and Suleima's Fruit Stand on the beach
I think it’s hard to understand how different the life styles are in tropical climates, where it·s warm all the time. Unless you have actually spend a full year here. Many people spend most of their time outside. Inside is mainly for sleeping. And storing things. And, unfortunately, watching T.V.Isreal and Chata are rebuilding their palapa overlooking the ocean
Almost everything I do in Chacala is outside. My main internet connection is outside. The restaurants are outside. School events are outside. Visiting is outside. I cook, wash clothes and dishes outside. I read outside. Hammocks were invented in the Garden of Eden. I read that in the Bible. I like this life. The air is clean and fresh, and the sun is shining. What more could I want?

Well, lots of things, actually. But anyway…..


Paul said...

Just want you to know that I read several Mexico blogs regularly, and your is one of my favorites. The way you use pictures and the simple narrative style are perfect for a blog. Thanks for posting so often.

Anonymous said...

Yes indeed, outside is underappreciated by first-worlders. Cooking and cleaning outside sound wonderful. Here in Boston, we only get about 2 1/2 months where outside is even tolerable without a sweater. So we're stuck inside.

But even in January, I barbecue, outside in the snow. Because you can't get that kind of flavor from a stove.


Kim G
Boston, MA