Tag Archives: sex motel

Man versus beasts

Photo shot April 12, 2017. Almost high noon.

IT’S SPRINGTIME, and the two banes of my life are muscling up in the yard, threats sans mercy. Monster thorns.

On the left is what I imagine is the world’s biggest nopal tree. Perhaps I should notify Guinness. On the right is the bougainvillea that, of the four in the yard, I let fly out of control.*

It’s hardly the biggest in the world, however. Bigger ones abound in my town. They never, ever stop growing.

I inserted myself into the photo to provide perspective. I planted both the beasts when they were tiny tykes.

Click on the photo for a closer look. Yes, the grass is mostly brown due to our being in the dry season. All is dark and dusty. The sky is not dark. It’s blue and beautiful.

The house is off to the left. The pastry kitchen and Nissan carport are off to the right. The sex motel is behind that wall. It’s what appears to be a white stripe. Actually, it’s yellow.

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* The other three I keep firmly under my green thumb.

The switcheroo

New ImageA PAIR OF YOUNG ladies rang our doorbell this week. They said they were from City Hall and that all the house numbers in our neighborhood were being changed. They even had a can of black paint and a brush to slapdash the new numbers on the exteriors.

They said they wouldn’t do it on our front wall due to our stunning new paint job, done during the recent bakery construction, plus the old address numbers attached out there are artsy ceramic tile.

But we will have to do it. You can’t opt out.

My child bride answered the gate, not me. I would have asked questions. The first to enter my mind was, Does CFE know about this? That’s the Comisión Federal de Electricidad, the light company. In order to get most anything official recorded here, one usually must show a comprobante de domicilio, a proof of residence.

Your latest CFE bill normally does the trick. Your phone bill will work too, but we have no phone bill. A water receipt will suffice, but our water receipt is handwritten down on the plaza and doesn’t show an address.

The only option we have is the CFE bill.

You might ask: Can’t you just show your driver’s license? Makes sense, but you usually cannot. We also — unlike the silly Gringos — have laminated voter-identification cards.* That won’t work either, even though you have to show the light bill, etc., to get a driver’s license or a voter-identification card at the get-go.

Sometimes logic is in short supply hereabouts, but it’s what makes us so freaking colorful.

I went to CFE’s website and signed into my account. There is the old address, not the new one.

Here’s what I will do. I will buy the new numbers on more artsy ceramic tile, and I will attach them to the property wall just below the previous numbers. Yes, we will have both. Other than that, I’m not changing anything unless the CFE bill appears with the new numbers one day.

If that happens, I may have to change lots of stuff — banks, driver’s licenses, passports, online shipping addresses and so on. The list will be lengthy. Time will tell, but until then we’ll just have two addresses.

While this will be an inconvenience, I understand why it’s being done and embrace it. Currently, many — likely most — houses in our neighborhood have no number outside at all. And when they do, they often make no sense, as if the residents simply made them up, which is quite possible.

Let’s say our old number is 32. Guess where the old 34 is? Instead of next door where it belongs, it’s about four blocks down that-a-way — and on the other side of the street!

This explains why deliverymen often ask not only your house number but what two cross streets you are between. Our being next door to the only sex motel in the neighborhood simplifies matters for us.

If you’re delivering something, and you hear squeaking bed springs and howls of glee mixed with moans, well, you’re almost at the Hacienda. Brake soon and keep an eye peeled.

This standardization of addresses is just one detail in the ongoing modernization of Mexico, a good thing.

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* This sensibly insures that only citizens vote, plus it doubles as an official ID. Nobody thinks there’s anything discriminatory about their voter ID. We think it’s just common sense.

Mexican palette


SWEEPING THE Garden Patio at the back of the property yesterday, I noticed this combination of colors.

You don’t get this type of view often above the Rio Bravo. It just wouldn’t look right, so people rarely do it. But this is very Mexican. You’ve got your strong contrasts of yellow, green, red and the clear blue sky. You’ve also got your water tank up there, something that’s usually black.

There’s the white tank of the solar water heater too, a gizmo that heats water sometimes, and sometimes not. It disappoints me. The yellow building is the sex motel next door. Only at its rear is there a third story that houses the laundry, a room with washers but no dryers. There are clotheslines in there!

Since the sex motel has only eight rooms, and it doesn’t stay real busy, that works out for them.

Lots of color pleases me. And living here is an endless delight.

The summer scene

WE’RE WELL into summer, and every year or two I like to take a photo from the upstairs terraza to show changes in the Hacienda compound.* One shot, years back, showed a place in progress, rather bare.

But this is 2014’s scene, fully developed:


And looking down to the left. The nopal tree is at least 13 feet tall, and the bananas are even higher. On the far side of the ochre wall is the sex motel:


Now doing a full turn to the right, out toward the back. That angled tile roof behind the red wall is relatively new. That’s where I keep the lawn mower and garden gear:


Abel, the deadpan neighbor who cuts the grass every Saturday morning, had done just that about an hour before the photos were taken. I planted 95 percent of what you see with my own grubby fingers.

I like living here. You really can’t beat it.

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* Yes, compound. I like to think I’m kinda like the Kennedys. Or the Bushes of Kennebunkport.

Looking around

The Hacienda is a rectangle, so it has four sides. It is two long lots that abut, and a brick wall encloses the whole shebang.

It runs lengthwise from the street out front to the street out back, making it a block deep. The house itself sits in the southwest corner.

Were we to start over, we would do everything differently.

Our task today is to gaze upon the neighbors. In the decade we’ve lived here, things have changed, people have come and gone, often in a hearse.

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Recycling cabbie

Out back, only visible from one small window in the upstairs bathroom, we look into a large lot across the street where some poor people live. Or perhaps not so poor because they recently installed a wall around their place too.

But we can see over it.

soleThey used to have a brick kiln, and that was their business, making bricks. But it polluted, and City Hall made them stop. Good.

The guy now drives a taxi part-time, and just this morning I noticed a mountain of plastic bottles over there.

Now they’re recyclers?

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Sex motel and Abel

The sex motel on the left sits on what was once a vacant lot of grass. A cow grazed there, and swarms of houseflies flew.

I like the sex motel. It’s quiet, and it provides us free security. Sometimes people leave the curtains open. That gives both me and them a thrill.

Before the motel, we could see across the lot to the house beyond. That’s where Abel lives. He’s the deadpan man who mows our grass in summertime. His wife, who seems nice, and a couple of kids live there too.

outhouseThere’s also an older guy who’s the dad of either Abel or his wife. Don’t know which. We don’t socialize. We don’t even chitchat. But the older guy is quite friendly, and we wave and smile on passing. We live in different worlds.

I remember before the sex motel went up. Behind Abel’s house, which I cannot see any longer, there was an outhouse. At night, I would stand on our upstairs terraza and peek. Often there was a fire blazing beneath a huge iron kettle. Maybe there were human body parts, but probably not.

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Neighbors, known and unknown

Across the street out front are two houses a little to the left because our lots don’t align. One is occupied. The other is not. Both are nice houses.

The one farther to the left is occupied by a man about my age and his wife. His hair is silver, like mine, and he’s very friendly, unlike me. He’s the only one of my neighbors I’ve actually conversed with. Alas, his wife is a grump.

fashionHe owns a small clothing store in the center of town.

The other house is unoccupied because it has been under construction for three or more years, which is typical here. Home construction can be an ongoing process that one does as money becomes available.

That two-story home is quite elegant. We have not met the owners, but once they were standing on the roof, looking in our direction as I pulled the Honda into our property. They waved, and I did the same from our yard.

A pricey car was parked outside, so the neighbors will resent them.

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Cranks and beasts

Continuing to the Hacienda’s right side, we have the menagerie. Pigs, goats, dogs, cats, chickens, a horse, you can hardly name a farm beast that doesn’t live there or hasn’t lived there. There’s a John Deere tractor too.

pigA decade back, a nice older couple lived there with a younger couple, one of whom was the offspring of the older couple. Plus, there were little kids, grandchildren to the older couple.

One day, the old woman died. A couple of years later, the old man followed her into the mists, the passing of generations. The mother, who is about 35 now, is a sourpuss. Her husband is better, but not by much.

I’ll give him a tip of the hat, so to speak, on passing. I just ignore her on the street, and she ignores me. A few years ago we’d hear a toddler screaming bloody murder on a regular basis, but they hasn’t happened lately.

The kid’s probably buried under the pig pen.

And that concludes the looking around.

My favorite neighbors are the mountains.



This is what I was wearing: Light-cotton, green-plaid pyjama pants with a drawstring and pockets, plus a green, long-sleeve T-shirt.

I was standing outside. On the rock sidewalk at near night. The final remnants of birds were heading to their trees. They don’t fly at night because they bump into one another. Or something like that.

Bats replace them in the night sky. I was hoping to see the bats sail out from under the downstairs terraza, but I had arrived too late, it seemed.

Bats are not idlers. At the first hint of darkness, they head out for bugs.

My child bride had not arrived home from the gym where she was pumping iron. I missed her, while standing there. But you’re never alone in this neighborhood. I heard the animals next door. Pigs, horse, goats and so on.

It ain’t Kansas, Toto. And I like that.

Over and past the roof of the sex motel, I saw a massive cloud of black smoke from a burning field not far away. Laced with the fading sunlight, it looked like bombs bursting on Berlin.

The metal gate swings open, and she pulls in. That means it’s time for a salad, and we’ll watch Mad Men on Netflix. I’m glad I don’t live in Texas anymore.