Tag Archives: child brides

The arrival

vista
The view that changed my life.

I’M FOND OF noting milestones.

I just missed an anniversary, but only by three days. My arrival here on the mountaintop on September 10, 2000. I was not entirely new to Mexico, but I was quite green.

I’d lived seven months at a lower altitude, 40 minutes away in the state capital. Four of those seven months had been dedicated to attending a language school because when I got off the plane in Guadalajara I didn’t speak Spanish.

I was a language ignoramus.

My decision to move from the state capital up here was made while sitting at a coffee shop and looking in the direction shown in the photo. I looked at that view and told myself, I’m gonna move here. And I did. Lickety-split.

My first challenge was to find a furnished place to rent. While my town now is chockablock with real-estate agencies and lots of furnished rentals, there was not even one real-estate agency in 2000. I knew no one here, and I had no idea where to start. I was alone, and my Spanish was dicey.

Someone online pointed me to an old Gringo named Gray who’d moved here after the Second World War.  He had married an indigenous woman, and they had multiplied.

Gray had some furnished rentals that catered mostly to the sparse Gringo crowd. I moved into a two-story house on a main drag with furniture that aspired to the junk heap.

The first thing I did was buy a new mattress and sheets. The second thing was to buy an equipal love seat and matching chair. The store here neglected to inform me that the set would be made in and shipped from Guadalajara.

I got it about four months later.

I lived in that rental for two-and-a-half years. My child bride was there the final year while we constructed the Hacienda.

It wasn’t a bad place if one didn’t cringe at the hordes of mice during the rainy season or the two times I found dead rats in the toilet. They had come up from below, and I flushed them back to where they came from.

And there was the matter of the house abutting a open sewer/creek that provided a notable fragrance during the dry months. And the lights went out a lot.

It was an interesting home along the lines of the Chinese curse, May you live in interesting times.

We were elated when we moved into the Hacienda in May of 2003. It’s been a great 17 years here at altitude. The changes are considerable. Plenty of rentals available now. With rats or without. Ten times the number of Gringos. Some people regard that positively. I’m not one of those people.

But I’m glad I sat at that coffee house that long-ago afternoon, gazing up the street. It was a decisive moment.

The photo’s from yesterday. It hasn’t changed much.

Glimpse of sunshine

yard
The psychedelic birdbath is full of fresh, clean water.

WE’VE BEEN dreadfully wet of late. Not Houston-style, but extra wet in our own way, and it’s due to two factors.

One, it’s the rainy season, and it rains a bit every day. But, in addition, we were getting almost nonstop rain for a spell due to a hurricane out in the Pacific. Not Harvey but Lidia.

When hurricanes run amok in the Gulf or Pacific, we get extra rain sometimes, and that’s all we get, which is good.

But the sun was out this morning, so I did some yard trimmings, cutting dead stuff, picking up nopal fruit that had fallen to the grass. You need gloves to do that latter, as I discovered painfully some while back. Nasty little spines.

And I refilled the birdbath, which I had not done for days due to the rain keeping it full. However, I noticed today there were tadpoles in there, so I dumped it out, and refilled.

During the morning activities, I needed something from the downstairs closet and while in there I got in a sharing mode. I don’t think I’ve ever put a closet photo here, so …

closet
We maintain marginal order in the closet. There’s a similar closet upstairs.

The closet is across from the downstairs bathroom and next to the bedroom. You enter from the hallway. It was my idea, and it baffled my child bride at first because it’s as big as many — perhaps most — bedrooms in Mexico.

I hired a carpenter to build shelves that don’t just abut the wall but extend outwards, giving much more storage space. It’s an idea I got from the late, great Al Kinnison (R.I.P.) who had such a closet next to his kitchen. He lived downtown.

While I’ve been writing this, the clouds have grown, which may cause a problem for my morning exercise walk around our nearby plaza. I think I need to get going.

Adiós.

18 quiches, to go

quiche

MY CHILD BRIDE is a baker, a very good baker.

She hawks her wares downtown on the main plaza most Saturday afternoons. She does it for fun and profit, the profit going into a separate bank account that sports only her name, not mine. It’s her mad money.

On very rare occasion, she does special orders. That’s one in the photo, 18 individual quiches that were delivered to a private party Tuesday. They were ordered by a woman doctor who runs a chain of medical labs in town.

Finding quiche in this neck of the Mexican woods — well, probably in most parts of Mexico — is not easy to do. It was my suggestion in the first place, way back when.

Quiche, that is.

Many people who pass her basket downtown pause, point at the quiches, and ask: What is that? Pizza?

If the locals don’t spot a tortilla around it, they’re perplexed.

She cooks a variety of quiches. These have spinach, bacon and some other tasty stuff. And she sells them for just 25 pesos each, which is about $1.50 U.S.

When we met in 2001, she was a civil engineer for the federal highway department. Now she’s a love slave and part-time street vendor. Life changes, often for the better.

Dos vistas, again

new-image

I CALL MY wife a child bride, but hereabouts some people take the phrase more to heart and actually do it.

Walking around the main plaza the other day, I couldn’t help but notice this young mama for two reasons. One, her youth, and two, she was decked out like a banana.

The age of consent in Mexico varies by state, and can be as low as 12. In the State of Nayarit, it’s set at puberty.

Between 12 or puberty and 16, 17 or even 18, you’ve entered a nebulous zone, depending on individual states.

The entire matter appears to be legally muddy or, as Wikipedia phrases it, complex.

It was her attire that made just a black-and-white photo unfair. I wanted both views, and here they are.

color

The perfect time

bedroom
Smaller bedroom window.

NOVEMBER, THAT IS. It’s the perfect time here, not that other times aren’t swell too, but you can’t beat November.

There’s something strange about our perfect time being ushered in by the Day of the Dead when we embrace and drink to the notion of death and mortality.

But don’t dwell on that. November is almost upon us. And why is November so sweet? Because the summer rains have ended, but everything is still fresh and green.

Plus, frigid winter hasn’t arrived.

Friday morning was full of chores while my child bride was out working in her pastry kitchen. Chores for me, that is.

One was window-washing which inspired me to shoot the two photos. At the top is the smaller window in the bedroom, and at the bottom is one of two huge, dining room* windows.

Note the very green grass. People have asked me online why in the world I have a green lawn in Mexico, that it makes no sense. I guess they expect dust and burros.

The grass makes sense to me, especially now that I don’t mow it anymore. Someone else does.  I just admire it.

And sometimes I clean the windows for a better view.

kitchen
Big dining room window.

* Why is dining room two words while bedroom is one word?

(Note: The stained-glass items hanging on the bottom window were made by the two of us about a decade ago at a trade school in a nearby town. There are much larger ones hanging in the living room window.)

(Note 2: An astute observer might notice the black dot on the middle pane of the bottom photo. That’s a very small piece of broken mirror my child bride pasted to the spot. She uses that little mirror to pluck her eyebrows under natural light. Women are strange sometimes.)