Sunday, November 11, 2007

Visiting Chacala versus Living in Chacala

This morning I was leaning against the patio wall, enjoying the sunlight as it moved toward me, across the ocean. And the masts of two sailboats were slowly swaying back and forth. And the lovely green color of the water looked so Caribbean.A big black crow (or whatever) was sitting on a tree branch eight feet away. He was waiting for me to go back inside, so he could fly into the patio, perch on my table and peck away at my fruit bowl. I threw a lime at him, and he squawked and made a fuss and flew away. But he'll be back.

Gracie is talking to me a lot lately. My son pointed out to me that cats only bother to talk Meow to humans. Maybe they are telepathic with each other, or mostly use body language. But we are to dense for telepathy. Hence the language of Meow. Gracie is either getting getting fat or growing little Gracie juniors in her belly.

The spay clinic in La Penita is this week, but they don't want to deal with late pregnancies. Rats. About more kittens, I mean. It was hard to find someone to take them last time. And it turns out the woman that took the first batch was an agent for laboratories that need kittens. At least that's the rumor.
I love my life here, but I don't know what it would be like to be a visitor in Chacala again. I can vaguely remember my first real visit here. There were a few gringos still here, but they all got out of town before Semana Santa started. I would get up at my nice upstairs room with patio at Aurora's, have an early breakfast of fruit, Zacaritias (sugar frosted flakes) and milk, and then go a beach walk. It's not that I like Zacaritas. But at the time that was the only cereal they sold here. And it was kind of stale. You can imagine how old that box was for the cereal to taste old.Then I would walk up the the gringo breakfast cafe and have a big fat gringo breakfast, with bacon, and fruit cup, and omelet or waffles, or both. Orange juice. Really really good. I will miss Poncie and his breakfasts lot. One of the women who worked at the cafe last year, told me the breakfast at the cafe would be Mexican now. I don't know who will be there to cook gringo breakfasts, but I hope someone is. For the sake of the tourists. It's pretty comforting to have a familiar breakfast when you are in a strange place.Anyway, I would usually go somewhere during the day on that first trip to Chacala. Take the collectivo into Las Varas, and wander around. Or, as I got more adventurous, I would bus to Compostella or Tepic to the north, and places like San Pancho and Lo de Marco to the south.

I would snack or eat a meal, and then go back to Chacala. So a quick nap, a swim, and a little supper. I brought a jar of Adam's natural peanut butter with me, because I had noticed on previous trips to Mexico that they didn't sell peanut butter here. Now they do, but mostly only the sugar kind, like Skippy. So I would buy a roll from the panaderia truck and have a little sandwich and some pineapple slices.I would talk with Poncie, the owner and cook, and Tom, a visitor, at breakfast, but most of the time I was solo during the day. Sometimes I would look for another tourist to hang around with, but the tourist season was over, and the only gringa seriously unfriendly to me.And then she left too.

So I wandered around and kept going to the same restaurant for a Coke, and sometimes a quesadilla. It was my landlady, Aurora's, families restaurant, and the waiters were always nice to me. Sometimes I would sit at my table at Chico's and read the afternoon away, and then watch the sun go down. Taking little swims whenever I got too hot. Now I usually swim every day, but sometimes I will go for days without getting down there for a swim.Chacala was quiet and kind of boring. Although the little bus trips were kind of exciting. Because I was kind of scared and nervous about getting around. I spoke about a dozen words of Spanish, and couldn't understand much of what local people said to me. But they were very helpful and kind, and I liked wandering around little towns. And Tepic has some interesting museums and other historical buildings.But that life probably wouldn't suit me now. The tourist life in a beach town. When I am a tourist I like to be in a place with lots of history, and lovely old buildings, and artists, and parks, and gardens. Mexico is just full of towns and cities to explore. It seems kind of boring to swim and lie around.

But now that I write that, I am thinking, maybe I will spend part of the day down on the beach. It's Sunday, and lots of people will be here, from other mountain towns in Mexico, and from Tepic and Compostella. I love watching the big families playing and laughing and enjoying each other on the beach and at the beach restaurants.There were about 8 gringo RV's at the beach camping area yesterday afternoon. My guess is most of them are just travelling thru. But who knows?

There's a nice couple in the camping area again this year. In a little trailer and an older pickup. He speaks Spanish and hikes around the countryside every day. And she likes to take road trips back into the mountains. So they are pretty interesting, and they know about places in this area I have never heard of.I was thinking I was going to walk toward Las Cuevas today, and look at the two construction projects up on the hillside on the south end of Chacala. But, it's Sunday, and there will be families over there enjoying the day. I love being the only person over there. Just me on my desert island beach.

I spend lot of time trying to make things, like little art projects from natural materials, and beads, and religious objects, or drawing, or painting, or writing, or reading, or gardening. or cleaning up around this place. Or, now that I have an oven, cooking!!!!My homeowner is kind of a pack-rat, and it gets pretty cluttered around here. Sometimes she comes up to clean. I provide the bags and the muscle, and she makes the decisions: keep-toss. Keep-toss. Give away. And I pay for the trash to be hauled away. Otherwise it just sits here, a stack of stuffed-full plastic bags. Deteriorating in the sun.

I like to write in the evening, after dark. Time flies, and sometimes it's very late when I realize how tired I am. But I almost always wake up just before dawn. Old habits die slowly, I guess. I walk a few miles everyday, doing errands and visiting mostly. And checking on the beach for trash, etc.

It's a nice life. I always have things in mind that I want to do. And things come up. And just cooking. laundry, cleaning, and keeping things organized and tidy takes quite a bit of time. Plus making reservation arrangements involves considerable walking around. And then there's my reading and snacking addictions to keep me occupied.And some kind of strange activities. Yesterday I finally gave up on patching a pair of shorts I bought at Target in 2000. For another trip to Mexico. They were on sale-sale-sale. From $16.99 down to $2.00. I have worn them ever since, and they finally wore out. I removed the buttons, five, and the zipper, and the sections of fabric that are still strong enough to use to patch my other shorts. I am still using the second pair I bought that day in 2000. They get a lot of wear.

I always liked Target. Sometimes I miss Target, and the public library, with books in English. And I miss some of the junky food in the U.S.. Like Wendy's Spicy Chicken sandwiches and BLT Chicken Salads. They probably don't even sell those any more. I don't miss that stuff enough to actually go there, but those familiar things come to mind occasionally. But it's old my friends I miss the most.

1 comment:

Tom said...

As always Andee, enjoying the view through your looking glass.

Your life seems so uncluttered. I envy you.