Pigskin & flopping fishes

MOST EVERY weekday morning, the two of us walk six laps (20 minutes) around the neighborhood plaza. It’s fairly routine with the exception of Thursdays when there’s a mercado set up there. People selling stuff. Free enterprise. Capitalism!

Thursday is the best day for our power walks because there’s not simply exercise on the plate but lots of fun stuff to gawk at.

Two of my favorites are the pigskins being boiled in a big tub of oil. It smells like my childhood at my maternal grandparents’ farm in southwest Georgia way over half a century ago. The other favorite, though it’s a bit grim, are the flopping fishes.

New ImageA woman sells fresh fish — you know they’re fresh because many are flopping — atop a cloth she spreads on the sidewalk. No matter the hour we do our walk, some of those fish are flopping about, wondering where the water went.

Some flop right off the cloth.

There are lots of other things to see. Women set up small stands and sell stuff to eat, hot grub over charcoal fires. (Charcoal smoke always reminds me of Haiti.) Others spread cloth on the sidewalk and display used clothing, some obviously quite used.

This invariably slows down my child bride’s power walk because for her clothing for sale — especially if it’s cheap — is like catnip to a feline.

No matter. I keep going, and she eventually catches up.

1200-28731554-asiago-cheeseThere are two large stands of lovely fruit and veggies. You can find nicer, fresher merchandise there than you usually encounter in the supermarket. There’s also a fellow who sells cheese, just cheese. He arrives in a white truck.

Yes, Thursdays are the fun walks. The other days are just pedestrian events.

But we bought a mango today which, when combined with onion slices and some magic sauce my child bride makes, creates a very nice salad, which will complete the Greek garlic chicken I made yesterday in the crockpot for today’s lunch.

Life moves along for better or worse, usually better.

Bones, hair, cobblestones & cheese

FLY
I was sitting on the Jesus Patio when I shot this guy nearby.

AUTUMN ARRIVES on Saturday, but we’ve already started Fall.

In our hearts, if not in celestial reality.

The leaves are dropping from the peach tree, littering the Jesus Patio, making more work for me, not appreciated.

I like the photo above, so I’ve added it to the header.

Unrelated to fall is that we’ve now entered the third week of my child bride’s broken arm, caused by a fall. The doctor said the cast would stay in place from four to six weeks. We are praying, of course, for four.

The biggest challenge, certainly for me, but for her too, it seems, is her mop of hair. She cannot arrange it to her satisfaction with one hand.

So that leaves me.

We’ve come to verbal blows over this matter.

cdmx
Disheveled on an early morning in Mexico City.

Here she is sitting in our Mexico City condo three years ago. Her hair has not been cut since, so you can imagine. It’s not only long, much longer now than in this photo, but it is quite curly. You might even call it kinky.

We’ve had quite a few emotionally challenging moments due to this mop.

Her getting both her arms back in action cannot come too soon.

Matrimonial bliss hangs on it.

* * * *

And furthermore …

As I’ve written on various occasions, our town is renovating streets, especially around the spectacular plaza.

This has been going on for y-e-a-r-s. Three at least. Nonstop.

street
Just yesterday on the third side of the plaza.

Laying the cobblestones, and sidewalk renovation too, has been completed on two sides of the plaza. Above, you see the third side, and they’ve dug up all the old stones on the fourth, the side that abuts my family coffee shop. We’re in the rainy season, so we have an abundance of mud.

The Goddess willing, this will end before I die.

* * * *

Moving on to cheese

cheese
This is queso seco.

One of the many great things about living south of the Rio Bravo is the abundance of great avocados or, as we call them, aguacates. Another is cheese or, as we call it, queso. We Mexicans love our queso.

Visitors are cautioned to avoid cheese. Sometimes it’s not pasteurized, maybe most of the time. I pay that warning not a lick of attention.

The cheese in the photo is called queso seco or dry cheese. We bought it here on the mountaintop, but recently we found a very small store that sells only cheese on a street corner in the capital city.

The cheese is unrefrigerated, and on our first visit we found wheels of various cheeses sitting on the floor. This would appall a persnickety person, but we bought a quarter kilo, which was exceptionally tasty.

We took it home, ate it happily, and did not die.

Odds & Ends south of the border

LIFE CONSISTS of details strung together, some good, some bad.

We live next door to a hot-springs motel that was constructed over a decade ago in what was an empty lot where a lonely cow lived. The motel has not provided us with as many interesting moments as we had imagined.

The traffic there is fairly constant. It’s a nice, well-maintained place.

Recently, the owner installed an automatic gate opener in the exit lane. It makes a whirring sound every time it’s activated as satiated customers depart.

We hear the whirring in the Hacienda, and we call it the Sound of Satisfaction.

* * * *

Credit card fraud, etc.

We’ll be going downtown early this morning to the bank. If you get there at 8:30, the wait isn’t bad before you can talk with one of the officers.

We have a number of issues to resolve. My child bride’s debit card is about to expire. The electricity bill for the Hacienda was not paid automatically from our checking account last time, as it’s done for years. And I need a new credit card because we had to cancel one last week due to hefty fraudulent charges.

odds&endsI only use credit cards online, never out in the real world. How do crooks put charges on it? This is not the first time it’s happened, but this week’s bogus charges are considerably higher than ever before. Good thing I keep a sharp eye on card movements.

Due to such perils, I consider four a minimum number of cards. All of my credit cards are issued by our Mexican bank. I had American credit cards when I moved south, but they’ve fallen by the wayside.

Anyway, if you live in Mexico you should have Mexican credit cards.

If you don’t care if your name is engraved on the card, and I don’t, you can pick up another credit card immediately at the bank. Ditto for the debit cards.

Our bank is BBVA Bancomer, the best bank in Mexico.

The worst bank is HSBC.

* * * *

Sonogram of my insides

More has happened on the health front. Recently, I got a colonoscopy, which I wrote about here, Getting a hose up my butt, and then a few days later I wrote a companion piece, An inkling of death.

The gastroenterologist who put the hose up my butt, due to some blood work he found suspicious, recommended I get a sonogram of my liver. I did that yesterday, and the doctor said everything looked okay.

The doctors keep trying to kill me, but I defy them.

The sonogram, done by a doctor not a technician in a high-tech lab in the state capital, cost the peso equivalent of $27.

Beats the devil out of ObamaCare.

* * * *

Nasty little birds

New ImageI’m battling birds. Some years, but not all, I have to fight off swallows around this time who want to build their wretched mud/spit nests on the roof beams along the edge of the Hacienda’s exterior.

They stick muddy spit up there, and I scrape it off from below with a hoe. They try it again. I scrape again, and so on. This has been going on for a week. Some years they bypass us entirely. Most years, actually.

But they are stubborn this year. Some people say it’s bad luck to remove their nests, but I don’t care. They’re nasty.

* * * *

Cheese and chairs

Within two blocks of the lab in the state capital, we found a cheese shop, so we bought some superlative cheese off a huge wheel. We also found a specialty workshop that we’ll be using. It’s a guy who renovates old office chairs.

At this moment, I’m sitting in an elegant office chair that I bought about three months ago at Office Depot. It was a replacement for the previous elegant office chair I had used for many years.

Alas, the old one is in bad shape, even sporting tape on one arm.

How fortunate to have found a shop that renovates old office chairs. When we return next week to pick up the official results of my sonogram, I’ll be dropping off the old office chair. Perhaps it has many more years ahead of it, supporting my butt because I prefer the older one.

Mexicans do everything.

We’ll likely cross the street for more cheese too. It was wonderful cheese.

 

Card from Mexico

one

LAST WEEKEND, we leaped into the Honda and drove to the far side of our big lake to eat at a favorite restaurant in celebration of my child bride’s birthday. She’s 57.

That may not sound like child-bride territory, but considering my advanced vintage, she could be my daughter. My actual daughter is only five years younger.

She ordered beef. I ordered shrimp. It was very well-prepared. She said her beef was a bit overdone. She should have ordered shrimp, but separating a Mexican from beef is no simple matter. It’s like separating them from cheese and chiles.

Especially when there’s celebration in the air.

shrimp
This was my plate of fried shrimp. I really like fried shrimp.

One of the best things about this restaurant is the location. It sits alone near the shore of the lake. The views are spectacular. Below is a shot in another direction.

two

Even if the shrimp weren’t great, the view would justify a visit.