High in the barrio

Photo from on high, kinda like a drone shot.

I climbed to the water-tank perch atop my child bride’s pastry kitchen yesterday, and my Fujifilm Finepix F850EXR tagged along. My wife and I had just returned from our morning exercise walk around the neighborhood plaza.

The guy building the home across the street, virtually single-handedly, was hard at work. His wife was assisting too. The foundation outline is complete, and some of the floor has been filled with dirt. Rebar columns soar upward. They may be hard to spot. They’ll be filled with cement. Obviously, the home will be brick. My wife and I complimented his work. I asked if they will be living there, and the answer was yes.

Coming back from the plaza, I took the following photo, not a very good one, but you get the idea. It’s our neighborhood general store, the door on the right. Mostly, we buy veggies there. It’s owned by a woman who’s the mother of the woman who lives next door to the Hacienda, the female half of the sourpuss couple. But mama’s just fine. She has one more daughter who has a severe case of Down Syndrome.

Store has no name, but everyone knows the place.

While atop the pastry kitchen, I turned 180 degrees to get a recent, aerial shot of the Hacienda. That’s how it looks in October of 2020 on a lovely autumnal day.

It ain’t Houston, Toto.

Fan palm ever higher, and monster aloe vera by bedroom is gone.

14 thoughts on “High in the barrio

  1. Thanks for the pics. It adds detail to the story. Some of the stores in the small villages in our area have no name or a sign telling you that’s what it is. There is a new bar in the village, no name, no hours of operation. Had a grand opening with a band. Don’t need a sign. Everyone knows.

    Hacienda looks good after the rainy season.


    1. Kirk: Yep, the locals often have a very different way of viewing things. The biggest problem I have encountered over the years with the lack of signs is that if you’re hunting the establishment, and it’s closed at the moment you pass by, there is no hint that it’s there. Sometimes that is very annoying, and not too bright on the business owner’s part.

      As for the Hacienda, it’s nice and green. Next May it will be nice and brown.


  2. Names. I once asked a neighbor what his dog’s name was. He looked at me quizzically and responded: “El perro.” When I told him northerners give names to their dogs, he looked disbelieving with that “crazy gringos” squint as if to say: “Who would name a dog?” I suppose it is the same with shops. Most of ours here have names painted on the wall or on signs, though it is often difficult to decipher which word actually applies to the shop. Not that it really matters.

    Thanks for the wide shot of the hacienda. It reminds me that I almost ended up living in your area. As beautiful as it is, I think I made the right choice — even with our northern tourist population that loves to change things. And name dogs.


    1. Señor Cotton: I did not know that (some) Mexicans view dog-naming that way. All don’t because my sister-in-law’s two dogs have names in spite of their being very badly behaved dogs. That’s not their fault, of course.

      You think you made the right choice about where you live? Do forgive, but I am skeptical that you believe that. But I’ll play along. Keep in mind, however, that you always have the option to do the right thing. Sell Casa Cotton and move to a nice area where there are stores, theaters, banks, good weather, cultural activities, etc., etc., etc.

      We await you.


  3. That is an interesting comment on naming dogs. The poster may not have seen the recent hit movie Coco where Dante the Xolo was almost always at Miguelito’s side.

    He appears to also be unaware of the generic name all Mexicans use for any and all street dogs, “Firulais.” A name made popular by the famous clown Federico Ochoa.

    Then there was “el Satanás” who belonged to “la Bruja del 71” of the iconic TV series “el Chavo del 8.”

    But regardless of those examples, the simple fact is Mexicans most definitely are fond of naming their mascots, be they dogs, cats or even at times farm animals such as Pancho Villa’s horse “7 Leguas”.


    1. Antonio: Thanks for the clarification. Though I have lived in Mexico more than 20 years, I confess I pay little attention to popular culture here, especially the clown shows that are so popular with Latinos. I’ll bet my wife knows about the pooches you mention. In my defense, however, a little internet sleuthing reveals that, for example, El Chavo del 8 ended in 1980, long before I crossed the border. I did see Coco, however, not once but twice. Absolutely loved it. And while I did not know Pancho Villa’s horse was named Seven Leguas, I do recall the name of the Lone Ranger’s ride, Silver, as in “Hi, Ho, Silver!”

      Again, thanks for the update.


  4. Builder Bob has a huge job ahead of him. I wonder about how he will handle the altitude when he needs to climb. A good neighbor for you in the making.


      1. Did you have a senior moment and forget your builder neighbor? I nicknamed him Builder Bob who you wouldn’t know unless you read Builder Bob kid stories so titled.


          1. Altitude on rungs of a ladder. Older people tend to get unstable on higher higher rungs of a ladder.


  5. Felipe, never figured you to be one for “self-aggrandizement.” Just noticed your personal statue under the arch at the Hacienda! Cheers!


    1. Dan: You have a very sharp eye. But yes, I self-aggrandize shamelessly. Actually, a guy at a muffler shop made that thing to put outside his shop, and I bought it from him about 15 years ago.


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