Mexican life

Curse of bougainvillea

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THE ABOVE SHOWS just a small portion of the fallen bougainvillea leaves I must remove on a regular basis. My patience is running short.

More than 15 years back I planted many things in our yard that I have grown mightily to regret. The nopal tree, now gone. Two pear trees, gone. Peach tree, gone. There are only two major nuisances left, the bougainvillea and a very large loquat.

Just this week, I noticed that a freaking, nasty pigeon is nesting deep in the bougainvillea, no doubt producing more of those large pests. I would remove the nest if I could see it or reach it, but the plant is so thick, that’s next to impossible.

I see her dive in there and disappear. Then there are maternal clucking sounds! If  I’m walking along our sidewalk, and she’s gliding toward the hidden nest, she abruptly detours on spotting me. She thinks I don’t know what’s going on, but I’m sharper than a pigeon.

The damnable pigeon occasionally sits and craps atop the steel superstructure where our upstairs terraza dome will be installed. (Glass is en route, by the way.) Pigeons are a relatively new element in my hardscrabble barrio. I only noticed the first one about a year ago, and now they’re making themselves at home.

If I only possessed a shotgun!

The large plaza downtown is overrun with pigeons now, and people feed them! Welcome! They roost in the attics of the old Colonial buildings surrounding the plaza, making a horrible mess. We wrote a letter to the mayor a few years back, suggesting he put signs on the plaza forbidding the feeding of pigeons.

He ignored us, and the pigeon population continues to swell.

On a positive note, the days now consist of blue skies and cool-enough temperatures. Not only are bougainvillea blooming all over town, but spectacular jacaranda trees too.

And the first flower of our golden datura appeared by the Alamo Wall this week.

Other current events: At this moment, just after High Noon, the folks who live in the hovel out back are blaring music to one and all. Luckily, that side of the Hacienda has no windows save a small one in the upstairs bathroom, so the noise is not a problem.

This afternoon we’ll be lunching at a health-food joint by the docks. Haven’t been there in many a month. Should arrive about 2 p.m. Come join us if you like. Dutch Treat, of course. We’re fixed-income pensioners.

Then later we’ll drive downtown for a stroll around the Semana Santa market that covers the plaza. Some interesting things on sale, but the Day of the Dead market is superior.

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Note: The horror story I mentioned about a week ago likely will appear here on Saturday. I’ve emerged from the grim tale intact. Stay tuned, as they say.

Mexican life

The early anniversary

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Just after returning late in the afternoon. Note brown grass of Springtime at left.

WE CELEBRATED the first stage of our two-weekend, 17th anniversary on Sunday by driving clockwise around the lake and stopping at the German restaurant.

I had German sausage and sauerkraut, and my child bride went for trout a lá pistachio. Both were above average. Next weekend, we’ll repeat the route to celebrate again but at a different joint. Lots of restaurants to be found out there, especially if you drive clockwise.

Seventeen years is a long time to be married, especially if it’s a third marriage, which it is for me but not for her. She’s not a repeat offender. I was married to my first wife a bit over five years, to my second a tad over 10 years though I lived with No. 2 about 19 years.

So we have another two years to top all relationship records for me.

I like being married. My head drifts and my heart cracks when I’m single. I tend to lose my mind.  If I’d done it right in the first place, marrying a Mexican, my entire life would have been different. I highly recommend Mexican wives.

Mexican husbands, nah, not so much. I hear things.

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Photo I like, the various elements. Stone, brick, color, mushroom, clay tile, Nissan tail light.
Mexican life

Semana Santa, again

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Scene this morning upstairs. One of my art chairs.

OUR HOLY WEEK (Semana Santa) festivities kick off today with a huge artisan market downtown on the main plaza. At least I think that’s true because I saw lots of vendors setting up shop late yesterday.

We’ll know for sure when we get downtown this afternoon to sell pastries.

Semana Santa and the Day of the Dead are our two big tourist draws each year. It means clogged traffic and mobs of people and other inconveniences for those of us fortunate enough to live here, but it also brings money into town, always a good thing.

I took the above photo today. I shot the video below yesterday. The tinkle of wind chimes are from us. The cackle of chickens are from next door.

It’s how things look and sound around here in dusty, dry springtime.

Mexican life

The weekend update

MEXICANS VIEW Friday and Saturday as the weekend, not Saturday and Sunday. At least that’s what my child bride tells me.

So I wonder what Sunday is. Maybe it’s just the day you go to Mass.

This business of Friday and Saturday being the weekend is akin to Mexicans’ thinking that a week has eight days instead of seven, and two weeks amount to 15 days instead of the 16 they would have if one week has eight.

Where’s the logic? There is none.

These are a few examples of why I say living in Mexico is like living in Alice’s Wonderland. There’s always a huge cat grinning in a tree somewhere.

Phil in Arizona emailed me yesterday, asking about the progress on the upstairs terraza dome. I’ll tell you what I told him. There is none. We’ve been shopping for glass, which turned out to be a whale of a lot more costly than I anticipated.

I finally got a price of 98,000 pesos, which is a bit over $5,000 in dollars. The initial price I got from the first business I asked was a stunning 280,000 pesos, almost $15,000 U.S.

That’s what I paid for the Honda CR-V new, and it’s one-fourth of what we paid to construct the entire Hacienda. Sure, those were 10 and 16 years ago, respectively, but still.

On Wednesday, I made the 50 percent deposit on the 98,000-peso deal. They say it will be installed in two to four weeks. Don’t count on two weeks. With luck, it’ll be four.

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Stunning stupidity

In one week more, I’ll have a story to tell. It’s a very Mexican story, one that made me steaming mad, and I do not get mad easily. I’m still mad.

It’s a two-pronged story of stupidity. But, for reasons I will explain in another week, I cannot get into it now. It may bring bad luck. I am superstitious.

And as things stand so far, all is well. Fingers crossed.