Barrio going gentry

casa 1

WHEN WE moved here 15+ years ago, this house was not there, and neither was the one to the left that you can barely see. Neither was the sex motel next door.

About a decade back the one peeking from the left was built, and a man about my age and his wife moved in. The fellow owns a small clothing store downtown. He is really nice guy, and his wife is a sourpuss.

About the same time, construction began on the pale yellow house, and then it stopped and sat for years looking like it looks in the top photo, gray. I’m thinking it’s a retirement residence for the owners. Maybe they live in the United States and are returning to their Mexican roots.

That is quite common.

About two weeks ago, workmen appeared on a daily basis to finish the place and gussy it up, so now we have this view. I like it.

The house is still unoccupied.

A sharp eye will notice something in the top photo that is missing in the second photo. That’s right. The monster nopal, which I had removed recently.

* * * *

Día de la Raza

Yesterday we celebrated Día de la Raza, Race Day, which is when Mexicans celebrate their race. There was a long parade of mini-buses downtown, men on horseback, and the obligatory racket.

There is one problem with this scenario, however. Mexican is not a race. Neither is Latino.* No matter. Race is celebrated even when it makes no sense at all.

Any excuse for a party. ¡Viva la raza imaginaria!

* * * *

* Mexican is a nationality. Latino is an ethnicity based on commonalities like religion, language, culture, etc. Latinos come in all colors.

19 thoughts on “Barrio going gentry

  1. Speaking of “New Black,” the wife and I just had our spit analyzed by “23 and Me.” Turns out I am 0.5 percent Congolese and she is 2 percent west African. Now just how did that happen?

    I connected with the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of my uncles and aunts. No one from our generation participated. I guess they are smart enough to not waste money on such foolishness, or maybe they are all dead. The wife’s connections all go back to the ranch their family had in Zacatecas. But no one wants to connect with her. I suspect that not all of those relationships were cordial or voluntary. I suspect you will soon have new neighbors in that house. I hope you get along with them well.


    1. Señor Gill: Well, that was interesting. I wonder what my percentage of Congolese genes is. I do know one of my far-back relatives, a slave owner in Georgia, had a, er, relationship with one of his properties. Someone later actually wrote a book about it.

      As for my new neighbors, a year or two ago, they visited over there and were standing on the roof. At least, I think that’s who they were. I was on our upstairs terraza. We exchanged waves.


  2. New paint, new houses, new Gringos. Soon you’ll have to find a more remote corner of Mexico.


    Kim G
    Redding, CA
    Where we long to be in CDMX.


    1. Kim: I just spotted what I assume were the owners from my upstairs terraza a couple of years ago, but they did not look like Gringos at all. Plus, I doubt Gringos would be crazy enough to build that house almost on the edge of railroad tracks. The trains pass a time or two in the middle of the night, and it’s pretty loud in our house. We have grown accustomed to it and often don’t even wake up. But that house, plus the one next to it, are right next to the track. What in the world were they thinking? The sound must be deafening.


  3. “Día de la Raza.” I had never heard about that other Mexican excuse to celebrate. It reminds me of a “day at the races,” which is a totally different thing.
    A week from today we’ll be in Mexico again. We’re busing around the Yucatan again to see a few different areas. Seven weeks sounds like a lot, but I’m sure you realize it’s not. Unfortunately, we won’t make it to your area but perhaps another year. For all its warts I can’t think of a better place to visit than Mexico.

    Love your new view sin nopal.


    1. Brent: “La Raza” is also a big deal with the Latinos beyond the border, especially, I think, in California. I guess they think they’re a race too. Silly.

      Yucatan, eh? I don’t envy you, but perhaps you enjoy the heat, being a Canuck and all. I do not. Went to the Yucatan just once, about five years ago, to Mérida. Too warm for this boy even though it was January. Better up here in the hills.


      1. Yes. You guessed it. We enjoy the heat. Perhaps it’s the result of being cloistered north of the 49th parallel for our formative years. Heat is relative. It’ll only get up to 30 C or so where we’re going. Far better than the cold rainy reality of the west coast of Canada. Same goes for Washington and Oregon. The winter sucks.


        1. Brent: Where I spent almost all my life before moving to Mexico, it was the summer that sucked. Winters were a relief. Yes, it’s a matter of what you’re used to and what you want to escape. I have escaped sweat. Glory Hallelujah.


  4. “Race” is one of those words that has been badly abused — and it continues with the political folks who make their living off of stirring the pot. I, of course, stir pots in my own fashion. I have a certain affinity for slipping “race” into perfectly proper contexts, but that causes at least eyebrows to lift. “The race of women” is one of my favorite. And, listening to some women politicians speak recently, I am beginning to believe that it exists in the anthropological, and not just the romantic, sense.

    I do not think we celebrated Día de la Raza in my little burg. But that is not surprising. Night of the dead is a private function in the home. Not the grandiose spectacular like your neighborhood.


    1. Señor Cotton: Race of women. Never heard that one. Of course, women are not a race but a gender.

      No Día de la Raza in your neighborhood? Nor much of Los Muertos either? You people might as well move to Omaha.


  5. One thing that always amazed me on my trips to Honduras years ago was the electrical system. Wires tacked up everywhere on the poles. Transformers rare. I’m no electrician by any means, but I always wondered how they kept the power on (which they frequently did not — usually off at least once a day for an hour or two), and how they kept from burning the whole town down.

    Your system looks much better, but the pole in the left foreground looks a little sketchy in both photos. Do you have any problems with your service?


    1. Ray: I’ve never been in Honduras, but I imagine it’s not all that different there, Latinos being who they are. But since Mexico is far better managed than Honduras, we have better service here, at least in my neck of the woods. The power rarely goes off, but it does now and then, especially during thunderstorms. But it usually does not last long. Sometimes just a matter of minutes. Or just seconds.

      But wires hanging all over the place is common. There are no rules, and if there are, nobody pays them a lick of mind.


Comments are closed.