Pluses of the plague

500px-Plus_symbol.svgALL IS NOT bad in these days of the plague. There are pluses.

 

  1. We’re spending less money. Yes, staying at home means not going out to eat, something we usually do a lot, but rarely now. So, more cash in the bank.
  2. No more roadblocks on the highway between here and the capital city. There is a teachers college* in a small burg between here and there, and the students — radical, ignorant nincompoops one and all — regularly put roadblocks on the highway to solicit money to further the Revolution. I never give them a peso. But the CCP Virus has chased them away. Ha! Irony.
  3. Lower gasoline prices. Apparently, this has squat to do with the plague, but it happened almost simultaneously, so it seems connected. Gas prices in Mexico have plunged from about 20 pesos a liter to 14, a sizable savings. I think we can thank the Russkies and the Mohammedans for this.
  4. More together time with my child bride and her with me. This is mostly a plus, but we are getting on one another’s nerves now and then. In our 18 years we’ve never been together so often. She is cute, however.
  5. More posts on The Unseen Moon. This is a plus more for you than for me, but it’s a plus for me too in that it gives me something to do aside from watch YouTube videos and read books on my Kindle. I  also garden now and then. Weeds.
  6. A cleaner house. We have no domestics aside from Abel the Deadpan Yardman, but that’s just the yard. Inside the house, milady is the Queen of Cleaning. It’s not her best talent, but she does a decent job when she finds time free from her pastry business, which is kaput for now. So housecleaning is getting more attention. I do some too. I am very un-Mexican in that regard. Pass the broom.
  7. I’ve ceased to shave.

* * * *

* These are called “Normal” schools, but there’s nothing normal about them. It’s a chain of “teacher colleges” around the country, which has existed for decades. In reality, they are communist training camps replete with murals of Ché, which explains the radicalism of teacher unions in Mexico and also the appallingly low education level. Sad.

Our interesting times

May you live in interesting times.

— ancient Chinese curse

CITY HALL here on the mountaintop yesterday reported the first Kung Flu case in our quaint Colonial town, news I could have lived long without, perhaps literally.

So we have pivoted, the two of us.

Till today we had reduced our gadding about, but every afternoon, simply to get out of the house, we had gone downtown with a Thermos of café, which we filled at home, to sit a spell in the open air of the coffee shop on the sidewalk abutting the plaza.

People-watching and reading.

Well, that’s off the table, so to speak. We’re staying home.

There will be exceptions. For instance, early this morning, we drove down the mountainside to the nearby capital city to shop at Costco and Chedraui. We got there just after they opened. There were few shoppers, which was the idea.

We’ll make that jaunt every Monday.

We purchased enough vittles at the two stores to last a week since we have now eliminated restaurants from our lifestyle.

Days will consist of some light exercise on our gym set at home, plus the daily walk around the neighborhood plaza. One must keep the blood circulating.

Mexico has relatively few Kung Flu sightings, 2,143 cases and 94 fatalities as I write this, but it will worsen, of course. Government action has been somewhat spotty so far, and our demagogic, airheaded president is setting a horrible example by continuing his hugs and kisses to one and all, including relatives of a famous narco capo.

The uneducated, not surprisingly, love him, especially since he gifts money, á la Bernie Sanders, but there are even a significant number of otherwise well-educated Mexicans who also embrace him, literally if possible. Astounding.

The good news is that his popularity is slipping.

I think we have an old backgammon board in a cabinet downstairs, and we need to wash windows and do other chores that we’ve been putting off. And there is also the internet, Kindles and Netflix. Life plods on.

About that Chinese quote at the top. It’s those damn Chinamen who got us into this Kung Flu mess in the first place. Ah, the irony.

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We’ll be sitting out here more often. Come join us, but sit over thataway.

Plague year pleasures

ENOUGH OF GLOOM and doom. Let’s focus on pleasures, which we have quite a few here at the Hacienda on a daily basis.

They start at dawn. The window is open for the cool night air, and when the sun rises, the birds start to sing. Neighborhood chickens too, but the birds are nearer, sweeter.

And waking at age 75 with a sleek, smooth child bride at your side on the king bed is quite the pleasure, believe me. Were I still with wives No. 1 or No. 2, I’d been waking with crones. Let’s not underestimate the pleasure of this.

Then there is food. Neither of us is a foodie, but that doesn’t mean one doesn’t find pleasure in eating. This morning was special in that we had waffles, which we rarely do because we like to remain svelte and healthy.

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Aunt Jemima mix makes the best waffles.

Atop the waffles we pour real Canadian maple syrup from Costco.

To burn off the waffle calories, we did the usual morning exercise walk around the neighborhood plaza. We normally don’t encounter many people, but during these trying times we find even fewer folks. The plaza is ours, a pleasure.

A hot shower is great too. That happens later so we smell nice, a pleasure to others.

For lunch today, it’s minestrone, which I tossed together from a very simple recipe I’ve used for decades. It’s a healthy, low-cal version, which was the reason we ate syrup-drenched waffles earlier. We deserved it.

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Old Felipe makes the best minestrone.

In the afternoon, I make coffee at home, pour it into a thermos, and off we go to the big plaza downtown where we sit at a sidewalk table. I, of course, read my Kindle, and my child bride gossips with her sister. Bringing our own coffee negates the need to have the coffee house employees involved in the process during this plague year.

The less touchy-touchy you do improves your survival chances, it’s said.

That’s the primary period each day in which we escape the confines of the Hacienda to avoid going stir-crazy. Then it’s home for salads and Netflix before beddy-bye and pleasurably slipping into a world of dreams till it starts over the next day.

Plenty of pleasures available during the Plague Year.

The morning light

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DEPENDING ON the season, sometimes I begin the day in the dark and sometimes not. I prefer starting with light. For instance, this is the scene that faced me this morning as I walked from the bedroom through the living room headed to the kitchen.

The hour will change, alas, next weekend, and I will be plunged back into darkness when I hop from the king bed about 7 or so. This is not good, but there’s nothing to be done about. It is ongoing foolishness that I do not control.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Reinhold Niebuhr

Here at the Hacienda, we’ll be initiating changes for the upcoming month due to the Kung Flu.  We will eat in restaurants less. We will still drive once a week to the nearby state capital but earlier, getting to Costco and Chedraui just after they open.

There will be fewer pesky people.

There is also the matter of my afternoon visits to the big downtown plaza where I sit at a coffee shop table, admiring the passing babes and reading my Kindle. It gets me out of the house. One element of that routine that has bugged me is being served café in questionable ceramic cups by the hodgepodge of employees.

Solution: Take my own coffee in a thermos. And tote my cup from home.

Of course, this would be discouraged in any other coffee shop, but this is a family establishment, so I can implement my plan easily.

Sadly, there are far fewer passing babes now.

Speaking of the Kindle, I’m now reading the second of two books about the White House permanent staff. Few people think about the White House’s employees, many of whom work there for decades, passing through many presidencies. Interesting stuff.

The first was Upstairs at the White House: My Life with the First Ladies by J.B. West, who was a head usher. Don’t be fooled by the movie-theater job title. It’s akin to being a hotel manager. The second, which I’m still reading, is The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House by Kate Brower.

I was surprised to read that it was not Hillary Clinton who was the biggest First Lady harridan in White House memory. It was Nancy Reagan. I wager that Hillary came in a close second.

Jackie Kennedy, Betty Ford and Barbara Bush were good guys, especially Barbara Bush. Did you know Jackie was just 34 when Kennedy was killed?

This afternoon I’ll be at the coffee house. Come join me. I have java to share, but you’ll need your own cup. And sit over there at the next table, please.