I should get out more

That’s a poached egg in the middle. Who knew?

My child bride had to attend to some legal matters in the nearby capital city on Thursday with members of her family. I was not needed. I was superfluous. I was unwanted perhaps. No matter.

After dropping her off at the appointed place and time, 10:30 a.m., quite early for us, I headed straight downtown to hunt Eggs Benedict in a restaurant we visited years ago.

I do love Eggs Benedict. I passed the restaurant, which sits just behind the cathedral, and parked in a multifloor garage for a pittance, the peso equivalent of 75 cents an hour.

I was on the third floor. I looked over an accessible edge and thought to myself: Great place to commit suicide.

Tragically, Eggs Benedict had been erased from the menu, so I ordered what you see above. It wasn’t Eggs Benedict, but it was quite tasty. I accompanied it with a fruit smoothie.

A shot from my table in the restaurant.

Departing the restaurant and mounting the Honda again, I motored to a shopping mall a few miles away and rambled around. I sat in a coffee shop with a double espresso. There were so many Kung Flu precautions that the experience was tainted.

I departed that shopping mall and drove to another — still killing time, mind you — a few miles farther and up a mountainside. I sat at a nicer coffee shop, a sidewalk table. I watched the passing crowd, such as it was on a Thursday afternoon. I exchanged text messages with Ms. Shoes, who was some miles away in a restaurant eating pasta because the pulled pork she prefers was unavailable.

After downing another espresso, a single this time, I walked to the Daily Pick nearby and ordered a teriyaki bowl. See below.

A bowl full of teriyaki stuff. Tasty. Note my knee.

I bought a shirt in a department store, first time in years. Normally, I purchase them in second-hand stores in my mountaintop town. I don’t do that often either.

At this point, I had been roaming around town, playboy style, five hours. I had one double espresso and one single, one mystery breakfast with a surprise poached egg and then a teriyaki bowl. It was a good day, but I was ready to return to my mountaintop home. Luckily, my child bride phoned, time to scoop her up.

Half an hour later, she was in the Honda.

The capital city is a great place to visit. I should do it more often, with or without her. With her is better, but flying solo is an interesting experience I rarely have anymore. Very different.

Stuff I’ve lost

Enjoying an espresso on the plaza after the dentist visit.

—–

We were watching a television series last night on Netflix when someone started to dine on a TV dinner. It occurred to me that I’ve never seen a TV dinner south of the border, and I liked TV dinners. I know they’re not haute cuisine or a great bowl of Vietnamese pho, but I’m a simple fellow, and I liked TV dinners, past tense.

That got me to thinking. Just recently, I remembered those cinnamon rolls that come in a cardboard cylinder with a spiral seam, the things you whack against a counter edge to open. Bake and serve. I liked them too, and I’ve never seen them down where I am now.

I wonder what other cheap pleasures I’ve lost, things I’ve yet to notice, like those TV dinners last night.

—–

At 4:30 today, I went to the dentist. I’m getting a new crown after a root canal. She’s a lady dentist whose office is just two blocks off the main downtown plaza. She shares space with two brothers who are also dentists, so you get three for the price of one at times.

She’s the oldest of the three, and one brother is named Fidel.

They have different specialties. It’s a very modern establishment with its own lab where they make whatever needs to be made so you look right. Though my dentist just turned 40, she looks about 25, and she has two kids. She’s named Torres. Doctora Torres to you.

Dr. Torres has a strange way of working. She does a little bit, then she schedules another visit. When you return for the next visit, she does a little bit more, then schedules another visit. So her work, which most dentists would do in two or three visits, can spread out for weeks. But it doesn’t cost more. It’s just her style. She’s meticulous.

Or something like that.

So, not surprisingly, my visit today was brief. When I left, it had been pouring rain, but it had stopped. I leaped across part of a river-filled street and aimed for the main plaza where I sat at a sidewalk table, ordered an espresso and watched people passing by. There were lots of folks for a Wednesday.

We must be in a vacation period. Every day is vacation for me.

Around the barrio …

New street light that looks to be solar. But maybe not.

Today is Ash Wednesday, which means yesterday was Mardi Gras or, as we call it hereabouts, Carnaval. Normally, it’s one of the worst periods in our hardscrabble barrio because the locals go loco with up to four nights of blaring concerts on the neighborhood plaza just a block and a half away.

In recent years, we’ve made it a habit to skedaddle to somewhere that’s not here. Last year we went to Guanajuato. This year we went nowhere because it was nice and quiet even though a Gringa who lives not far away in our hardscrabble barrio was complaining about freelance festivities on her street. I heard nothing.

No official Carnaval this year thanks to the Kung Flu.

Yes, I am not the only norteamericano who lives in the neighborhood, but I have been here the longest. Actually, I have been on the mountaintop longer than almost all Gringos and Canucks who now reside here, too many for my taste, actually.

Most belong in San Miguel de Allende.

Just here in the barrio, there is a Gringa in one home and a Gringo couple in another, all of whom arrived here long after we built the Hacienda. The Gringa lived downtown before moving nearby, and the couple, who are in their 90s, bought a big, fancy home from another Gringo couple who had bought it from another sole Gringo even earlier. I watched all these goings and comings from right here.

The initial owner of that property was a gay bookseller who returned to the United States and shortly died at a fairly young age. The second owners fled to Uruguay due to some police problems, according to gossip. The current owners seem to be really fine folks.


We had been warned yesterday that our state and quite a few others likely would suffer rolling blackouts as Mexico tried to cope with an energy crisis in the north of the nation, which was a result of the problems above the Rio Bravo, the Texans and their hippie fans. But nothing happened here. The lights stayed lit. More importantly, Netflix stayed lit.

Speaking of lights, over the past few days, a crew has traveled around our barrio changing street lights. Before, we had the large bulbous variety — the one outside the Hacienda had been burned out for over a year — and now we have the sleek version you see in the photo. I’m thinking that little circular, blue thing on the top means it’s solar-powered. I hope so. It’s a good use of solar power.

We have a solar water heater on our roof that does next to nothing. I have disconnected and given up on it. If you want it, it’s yours for the taking. No joke. It’s our second solar heater. The first did not work at all. The current one simply works badly, at times sending scalding water to the shower via the cold tap. Yes, the cold faucet.

This morning dawned cold, but it did not freeze last night as it did the previous three nights. How do I know? I check the birdbath at 8 a.m. Solid or not? Low-tech information.


Storefront update

Photo taken just this morning.
The middle of last year to provide perspective. That’s the lone builder and his wife.

Here’s a photo update on the storefront construction that lumbers on across the street. As previously mentioned, it’s being built by one man with the occasional assist of his wife who totes things. He works most days, but he wasn’t at work this morning. I suspect that’s because it’s Ash Wednesday.


It’s a lovely day, and we’ll be dining on beans, rice and sausage (from San Antonio) this afternoon. Later I’ll drive to a carwash, and after that I’ll head downtown for a nice café Americano negro on the plaza with a chocolate-chip cookie.

The knitted lion

That could be the name of a British pub, The Knitted Lion. It isn’t, one imagines, but it could be. It would sound quite right and good.

My child bride is a high-energy woman, which balances our relationship very nicely since I am a low-energy man and always have been. I enjoy relaxing. She doesn’t know how. Hand her a cup of coffee, for instance, on a summer afternoon. Does she sip and talk? No, she chugs it like a Hells Angel with a Heineken.

Since the Kung Flu descended upon us, she’s temporarily retired her pastry business, the one in which she baked goodies and sold them on the downtown plaza out of a wicker basket on Saturday afternoons. Been almost a year now since that happened. Her income vanished, so we had to increase her monthly allowance to even things out.

But you can’t keep a hyperactive woman down for long. She found knitting, or maybe it’s crochet. I don’t know, don’t care. The last few months, she’s knitted sweaters for me and herself, but just recently she discovered these little animals.

She’s finished two so far, a bear and a lion. We see similar stuff being sold online for 500 or 600 pesos, for Pete’s sake. I wonder if anyone pays that? No matter. It keeps her busy, giving me ample time to do what I do best, which is pretty much nothing.

Or maybe it’s time to open the Knitted Lion Cantina. We could serve both Corona and Guinness Stout. I love Guinness Stout. It’s very relaxing.