Tag Archives: Easter Week

The guitarist

EASTER WEEK, or Semana Santa, brings tons of tourists to our mountaintop town. Tourists bring money.

And street musicians hope to score some.

I was sitting yesterday at a sidewalk table with my electronic book and a cup of hot café Americano negro when this old boy appeared and struck up a tune or two.

He got 10 pesos from me, and other tables also contributed.

If I’d had my best camera, the photo would be sharper, but I did not have my best camera. Maybe next time.

Music men

band

OUR MOUNTAINTOP is a magnet for tourists, especially during the Christmas holidays, Easter Week and the Day of the Dead. Most of the tourists are Mexicans.

But in all the years I’ve lived here, I don’t recall our having the hordes that we have right now.

We live on the outskirts of town, and every day we face a long line of creeping traffic heading downtown. Luckily, there is an alternative route, but I’m not going to advertise it.

A twist to this year’s Christmas season is a gasoline crisis. Lots of gas stations are out of fuel, and those that have some often have long lines of cars. A number of Mexican states are affected, and nobody seems to know why.

Rumors abound.

Our “Energy Reform” starts Sunday, the first day of 2017. Gradually, the Pemex monopoly will fall as foreign gas stations are phased in around the nation.

In theory this will lower prices, but on Sunday prices will increase from 15 to 20 percent, so people are angry.

But Mexicans are usually angry about something or other. Along with the Energy Reform, we’re getting a reform of the legal system, and reform of the educational system.

That latter has the teachers, a gang of union leftists, foaming at the mouth, which tickles me no end.

Mexico is changing.

The last gas crisis, earlier this year, only lasted about a week. The current one has gone on more than two weeks. Nobody seems to know how long it will last. I fill the Honda tank every time I pass an open station with no line.

Mexico is ever entertaining and challenging. If it’s not severed heads rolling down cantina floors or teachers apoplectic at having to take competency tests, it’s something else.

One way to stay mellow is to sit at a sidewalk table on the main plaza with a hot café americano negro, reading my Kindle and sometimes seeing street musicians.

I tipped those old boys in the photo.

And life goes on.

News of Springtime

Shot

IT RAINED YESTERDAY, which it should not have. April showers isn’t an expression that normally applies to our Mexican mountaintop. April drought is more like it. The forecast says it’ll do it again today, but the sky is blue so far.

I used to dread Springtime rain because it — unless brief — would rouse the lawn, and that would require mowing that big baby. But since I quit mowing a couple of years ago, it doesn’t matter if it rains. Our yardman, the dour Abel, just makes a bit of money.

Easter Week ended. That’s a big deal here, the resurrection of Jesus, so I mostly avoid it. Mobs of tourists arrive downtown. There’s a big artisan market on the plaza, and some of my Mexican relatives come visit. Fortunately, they stay downtown with my child bride’s sister or we let a chosen few stay in our downtown casita. The boozers, chain smokers, cheats, children and irresponsible can sleep elsewhere.

This year we gave the casita keys to a favored niece, about age 30 and married a year; her husband, a very nice fellow; and the niece’s papa, a good guy, and stepmother, whom I do not know. Four people, we thought. Of course, Mexicans often arrive with hordes of human baggage, and the papa and stepmother showed up, without warning, with their other two adult children.

None proved to be boozers, chain smokers, cheats or irresponsible, so it was okay. The casita has only a queen bed and a double bed, so God knows where they all slept. There was a small, fold-out mattress in a closet, leaving just one bedless. Probably snoozed on the sofa.

They were there only two nights, and they left yesterday afternoon. Later we passed by the casita and found it spic and span, which is how we like to find it after guests depart. There were neither cigarette butts nor dead bodies.

Next week we’ll be enjoying the Pacific beach at Zihuatenejo. Most Mexicans will be back at work or in school, so we should have the place pretty much to ourselves, which is how I like it. It’s a slightly late anniversary jaunt. We hit the 12-year point just two days ago.

This morning, under blue skies and enveloped in cool air and optimism, we walked our usual exercise laps around the neighborhood plaza. On returning, we sat a spell in the downstairs terraza with orange juice and grapefruit. That’s when I snapped the photo above.