Life of little things

elephant
Elephant on our plaza.

FEW MEN lead lives like James Bond’s. Maybe none do.

Most lead lives that are a string of chores and small events. I am no exception. Here’s how it went on Monday. The morning hours went as always. Eat, walk, read news.

The real thrills began in the afternoon.

I headed out at 4 p.m. after tossing three bags of trash in the trunk of the Honda. We have neighborhood trash pickup almost daily, but it’s not like you put your garbage can on your curb where its contents get dumped into a huge truck with a mechanical rear end.

No, you have to keep your ears peeled for the clanging of the bell, which announces the trash men are nearby. Then you have to grab your trash bags, unlock the gate and dash down the street where the garbage men wait none too patiently.

It’s a bother, so I rarely do it.

Instead, I toss my junk into the Honda and drive to a spot near downtown that’s behind a large market. A trash truck waits there daily from 4 to 6 p.m., primarily to dispose of the market vendors’ garbage. I take advantage of that.

I’ve become buddies with those trash guys over the years. They love to see me coming because I’m a better-than-average tipper. And there’s my good nature too.

Just before dropping off the trash, I stopped at a paint store nearby and purchased lots of paint that set me back $1,800 pesos, which is a little under $100 U.S. bucks. Later this week, two guys are coming to start some major refurbishing at the Hacienda.

The most noticeable will be the whole front wall facing the street, which is currently a garish, almost orange, shade. It will morph into the color of adobe. The rest of the work will be primarily touch-up in various spots inside. And the entire roof over the dining room and kitchen will be scrubbed and a waterproof paint applied.

I left the paint store with the floor of the Honda’s passenger seat jammed with paint cans. Then I headed to the main plaza where I parked near a pastry shop before walking two blocks to my barber. I just got a rim job, and she charged me 15 pesos, a pittance.

I gave her 20 instead.

Returning to the main plaza, neatly trimmed and with a wool bebop cap atop my head, I went into the aforementioned pastry shop and purchased a chocolate muffin. I then walked to the family coffee shop, sat at a sidewalk table with a hot café Americano negro and my Kindle, and finished a short bio of Paul Newman. Then I drove home.

It appears the monsoon season has ended. It lasted longer than usual this year. Must be that “climate change.” I filmed the short video below this morning because it was a beautiful day, “climate change” or not.

I planted that palm when it was about 18 inches high, and the same goes for those pole cacti, some of which are, I suspect, of the hallucinogenic variety, but I don’t eat them. I just enjoy seeing them. It’s a visual high.

At the end of the video, you see one of the canvas curtains we installed last spring to block rain from entering the upstairs terraza. I’ll be raising the curtains soon, and they’ll stay up till next June when the monsoon descends again.

What’s that elephant up top? Part of a humongous Nativity scene that’s being installed on the plaza. It’s an annual Christmas event. The Yule elephant is larger than an actual beast. I shot the photo with the chocolate muffin in one hand, the camera in the other.

Multi-tasking.

Little things. James Bond would be bored if he walked in my shoes.

We have beautiful women here but no Aston Martins.

Mexican Bond

THE BODY sprawled by the pool on the first page of Ian Fleming’s novel From Russia With Love sported, among other things, a Gerard-Perregaux wristwatch.

He may have seemed dead, but he traveled in style. Fleming called the Gerard-Perregaux a “badge of the rich man’s club.” I also wear that badge in spite of not being rich.

Mine.

I found the watch in 1998 in an antique store in the Heights neighborhood of Houston.

The watch was inoperative, frozen, and I knew nothing of the brand. It was a time two years before I became Mexico’s Bond.

The watch was priced cheaply because it did not work. I forget how much I paid, but I immediately left it in a repair shop where it was resurrected for about $100.

Gerard-Perregaux, founded in 1791, is a Swiss maker of very high-end watches that sell new for thousands of dollars. They are every bit as good as Rolex though they make fewer watches and don’t crow about it so much.

I bought the watch for one reason. It was motion-activated. Battery-run watches screech to a halt on my wrist in a matter of hours. You may have heard of this odd phenomenon.

It is no myth.

I can only wear motion-activated watches or the old style you actually wind up. Try and find that these days. So, it’s motion-activated, or no watch at all for me.

Back in the 1960s and 1970s, it was easy to find motion-activated watches, but they gradually vanished until the late 1990s when it was almost impossible to locate one. These days, they have become popular again, considered “eco” or “green.”

I wore my Gerard-Perregaux for about five years, totally unaware of its snazzy rep, till it stopped dead again in Mexico. I took it to a humble repair shop, and the guy got it running — for about a week. I tossed it into a drawer and bought a Citizen.

Sometime during the decade it sat in the drawer, I learned what it was that I had, but I did nothing about it. But six months ago I fished it out and took it to the repair desk at the Liverpool department store in the state capital.

A month later and with my wallet over 3,000 pesos lighter, I picked it up, and it’s been running like a watch ever since. I pray this will continue for the rest of my days. I rather like being Mexico’s Bond, or at least resembling him in one small way.

Seems about right to me.