Wet, cool and green

It’s been quite a spell since I posted one of these shots. I took it yesterday afternoon just before my child bride returned from the gym. Indeed, no more than three seconds later, the green gate opened, and her red Nissan pulled in and parked to the left where there’s another carport.

There was light rain falling though it’s not visible here.

There’s some big news hereabouts. Just four blocks away from the Hacienda, there’s a major intersection where the four-lane highway down to the state capital collides with a right-angle two-laner that heads to a small town named Tzintzuntzan about 15 minutes away. There are ancient pyramids on the edge of Tzintzuntzan.

But I digress.

The intersection in question has always been perilous. Accidents are not rare. There is no stoplight, no caution signs, no nothing aside from some piddling speed bumps installed just a couple of months ago. We were delighted with that, but the speed bumps are gone now because a massive construction project is under way.

We’re getting a huge roundabout, a traffic circle, a glorieta, whatever you wish to call it. It will slow people down. Mexico is fond of traffic circles. There are some doozies in Mexico City, and one entrance to San Miguel de Allende tosses you around a circle. About a year ago a big lovely, chaotic one was constructed here closer to downtown.

Normally, people pass by my woebegone barrio at warp speed, but this will slow them down. It will make a big change in our atmosphere. We will sport our Big-Boy Pants, and perhaps it will inspire economic growth because people won’t be able to barrel by at 200 mph.

They’ll notice the roasted-chicken restaurant where we eat at least once a week at that intersection, the spectacular building that houses the carnitas emporium, and the pizza parlor. If they hang a right at the glorieta and go down that way a bit they’ll find ice cream and wrought-iron yard furniture and more roasted chicken.

We used to be a separate village, but we’ve long since been annexed to the mountaintop town four miles away, making us just another neighborhood, but our past explains the big, tree-filled plaza and its obligatory church, all just off the highway, unseen.

And soon a glorious glorieta.

My year’s transition

fish

LATE YESTERDAY, around 6:30, I was standing at this seafood stand on our mountaintop town’s smaller plaza, the one  where the ancient, colonial library abuts. I was enjoying a shrimp cocktail.

Like Christmas Eve, I was flying solo, but there was no hotel waiting. All I had to do was drive home, lock the big, red gate, put on my jammies, write this and slide into the king bed well before midnight.

And that’s exactly what I did. My child bride, yet again, was overnighting with 500 or so of her closest kinfolks, but this time it was downtown at her sister’s home on our big plaza.

One day earlier, on Sunday, we had planned to lunch at a seafood restaurant on the ring road because we knew going downtown would be difficult due to tourist traffic. But the traffic was far worse than we’d imagined. We were stopped dead in our tracks in less than one block from the Hacienda.

We switched to Plan B, which was devised on the spot. We went away from town, not toward it. We drove to another town, Quiroga, to hunt a restaurant. We parked on one end of Quiroga’s main drag and walked almost entirely to the other end before spotting a Chinese restaurant.

And that was lunch. It wasn’t bad.

Returning down the jammed main drag afoot, we sat a spell on a steel bench in Quiroga’s main plaza for a bit of people-gawking. Then, on the way to where the Honda was parked, we bought an ice cream cone and shared. Vanilla with Oreo bits.

Driving toward home, we passed through another little town with the odd name of Tzintzuntzan. Can you say Tzintzuntzan? Just outside Tzintzuntzan, there’s a series of stone-carving businesses.

I stopped and took the photo below. Then we went home.

Yesterday, my child bride was busy most of the day fixing grub for last night’s New Year’s Hoopla with her 500 or so relatives. In the afternoon, I went downtown for a nice café Americano negro on the plaza. Then the shrimp cocktail. The traffic was quite light for some reason.

Then I came home and did what I already told you I did in the paragraphs above. I hope 2019 is a fine year for one and all.

I’ll continue what I’ve been doing for many years, which is not much of anything aside from awaiting the Grim Reaper. I find it suits me.

carved

Two neighborhoods on high

THE FIRST VIDEO shows pre-Hispanic, indigenous ruins that remain near where I now live. It’s about a 20-minute drive away.

The second is the nearby state capital. The park where the video takes off is about a five-minute walk from where I lived my first eight months in Mexico, from January to September of 2000.

I often sat alone on a bench in that small park with an ice cream cone and wondered what the devil I had done to myself.

But it all ended well.

Ice cream for sale

ice cream

WE HAVE TWO primary plazas in our Colonial downtown. One is a good bit bigger than the other.

We call the bigger one the Big Plaza, and we call the smaller one the Small Plaza, but we do it in Spanish, not English.

The two are just one block apart.

They are very distinctive, those two plazas. The Big Plaza is where fancy people hang out. The Small Plaza is where the working class gathers. It appears to be self-segregation.

I, of course, hang out in the Big Plaza.

There are other differences. The Big Plaza has far fewer sidewalk vendors than the Small Plaza, which not only has more vendors but a wider variety of products.

The vendors on the Big Plaza mostly sell corn on the cob. The far more numerous vendors on the Small Plaza sell all sorts of stuff. I’m particularly fond of shrimp cocktails.

I was slumming the other day by walking through the Small Plaza, and I noticed this smiling woman selling ice cream. I took her photo, and here it is.