Dead birds, sheets & towels

We’re having a scaled-down Day of the Dead this year due to the Kung Flu hysteria. Normally, there’s a massive artisan market installed all around our big, downtown plaza, but not this go-around. Instead of the market, they installed this decoration, which is cordoned off, appropriately, with crime-scene tape.

To stand where those people are, you enter from the right, way over there, after having your temperature checked and a glob of anti-bacterial gel dumped on your hands, no matter that the virus is not bacteria. This year, all good sense has sailed out the window.

I took the photo yesterday.

This morning, I trimmed some bushes, raked up some crap, found a dead bird, tossed him into the trash, and picked up rotting, mystery fruit that falls from the neighbors’ tree that they have growing directly against my property wall. Yes, my wall, not theirs.

Later, I ascended to my roof via the circular stairway atop the dining room to check on something to do with the defective solar water heater and, while up there, I noticed the sex motel next door was drying sheets, towels and blankets. Directly on the floor.

I’ve noticed this many times over the years, but I’ve never photographed it. The sex motel has two or three giant washers in a room that sits on the backside of the roof, but what it lacks is even one dryer or a clothesline, which I guess would look low-brow.

So, flat on the roof they go. Nobody knows but me.

Yep, right on the roof. Towels, sheets, blankets, whatever needs to dry.

Step back in time

Wind chime we bought in Zihuatanejo years ago. Enjoying Sunday morn.

Mexico switched its clocks in the middle of last night. Doesn’t happen above the border till later. Has there ever been such an annoying custom that covers so much of the world that continues due to sheer inertia?

Why won’t someone say, Enough already!? Or, as we say in español, ¡Ya, basta!

Here at the Hacienda, we try to soften the blow by moving the clock only 30 minutes on Sunday and then the other half hour mañana. It helps. One of the two switches, fall and spring, feels worse than the other, but I forget which. I think it’s the spring switch.

Reeling from the change of even 30 minutes, we sat down this morning at some vague hour for biscuits, honey and coffee. Then we sat on the scarlet sofa for 30 minutes more, which is our habit every day of the week, a plus to not having real jobs.

Breakfast-recovery time. With music.

Then I put on grubby sweatpants, grabbed yard tools and sat on the rock/concrete out there pulling weeds from around the base of two little palms we were gifted years back by friends of my child bride’s in her long-ago home of Los Reyes, Michoacán.

Weed-free circle.

When you’re 76, getting down and — even more so — getting up from a rock/concrete surface can be a challenge, but it’s all part of the fun, I prefer telling myself. Yipee!

Meanwhile, the Kung Flu terror continues. I once more compared the number of people who have been infected and those who’ve died against the total population, and the results are always the same. You have a better chance of being struck by lightning or gored by a rampaging bull or kicked by a donkey in downtown Seattle.

It’s another cool, lovely day. We’ll be lunching this afternoon in a downtown hotel that serves some killer stuffed chiles. Wish you were here.

Fooling ourselves

Or rather, Mask Madness! It’s well known that people who (inexplicably) still vote for Democrats are far fonder of wearing masks than more sensible folks who vote for Republicans. Why is that? One wonders.

Medical experts from The New England Journal of Medicine to The World Health Organization and also the Centers for Disease Control, the Center for Infectious Disease Research, the Journal for the American Medical Association, the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons have all publicly stated that wearing masks is mostly useless.

Even the medical bureaucrat Dr. Fauci said in March:

“There’s no reason to be walking around with a mask.”

I hear that in some areas above the border, going out sans mask can actually get you attacked, either physically or verbally or both. Or arrested. Here in Mexico that is rare because we are peaceful people who mind our own business.

I only mask up when necessary, mostly to enter a store that requires it. Otherwise, I walk about breathing freely. We do have our mask fanatics here, and my favorites to laugh at are people driving alone in their cars or walking alone in the open air.

If you want more depth on the details I mentioned above, go right here.

Downtown life

Rained cats and dogs downtown yesterday. I was sitting at one of these tables when it started, and we had to move the table a bit back from the street. This rainy season — normally June through October — has been the lightest in all the years I’ve lived here, and I like it. There is more than enough rain, but not too much.

Usually, it’s way too much. Yesterday was way too much.

That’s my sister-in-law’s coffee shop to the left. Business has fallen off due to the Kung Flu, but she’s doing okay. A couple of months ago, the city tore up the sidewalk on this block, dropped new drainage pipes into the ground, laid a level of concrete atop it all, and then ran out of money before laying the sidewalk tiles. They say it will be done in November. The unfinished work is why you see that mound of gravel to the right.

The mayor announced this week that our mountaintop town has become the first plastic-free municipality in the state, a bit of an overstatement because there’s still plastic all over the place. However, our few supermarkets have mostly quit supplying plastic bags, which leads to amusing scenes when customers stumble out the door trying to balance their purchases in their open arms. We bring reusable cloth bags. Duh!

We’re still commanded to stay home due to the Kung Flu, but most people ignore it. I do. You can only stay home so long. I stopped on May 10. We’ve also been threatened by the governor that if we don’t use masks we face 36 hours in the slammer. If that’s been enforced anywhere, I’ve not heard about it. Rules in Mexico are issued to be ignored.

It’s a great nation for a libertarian.

For over a year, the mayor has closed streets around the main plaza to vehicles on Sundays, making it pedestrian-friendly, a move designed to attract tourists. A few months ago, due to the Kung Flu “threat,” the plaza itself was closed to pedestrians to discourage tourists. But the traffic closure continues, so we have two contradictory policies on Sunday. Actual plaza shut to discourage tourists. Street circling plaza shut to encourage tourists.

To paraphrase Gen. Anthony McAuliffe, “It’s nuts!”

I pointed out the contradiction to our mayor on his Facebook page a couple of months ago. He responded that he would think about it. I guess he’s still thinking.

About the only good thing about this year is that we’re spending less money.

And there’s less rain.


In other Hacienda news, my child bride turns 60 next week, raising the question of whether I can continue referring to her as my child bride. It’s always been a matter of perspective. When we wed, she was 41, and I was 57.

¡Mama mia!

My gut feeling is that she still qualifies. In part because she does not look like a woman of 60 summers in the slightest.

Plus, on the day she was born at home in the city of Uruapan, Michoacán, I was a high school junior. When she was 3, I was in the Air Force. When she was 6, I was married with a child of my own and living in New Orleans, never dreaming that my third wife was in First Grade way south of the border.

Life takes unusual twists at times. I like it.