Marketplace on the plaza

As has been mentioned many times, weekday mornings find us — sometimes just me — doing exercise walks around the town plaza.*

Most of the time, the plaza is devoid of activity, but Thursday is an exception. A street market is thrown up from scratch, and all manner of things are sold, used clothing, fruits and vegetables, pots and pans, galvanized tubs, most anything made of plastic, a dairyman selling cheese and yoghurt, you name it.

The morning walk is more interesting on Thursdays.

In one sector, the smells of cooking dominate. And that’s where I shot this photo.

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In other news

Since the annual monsoon ended a couple of months ago, I’ve been eager to get started on another phase of grass removal and replacement with stone and concrete.

Alas, my main construction guy has been tied up with building a large home somewhere. But he phoned almost two weeks ago to tell me that he could start here in about two weeks. That two weeks was Mexican time, but at least he has me down on the list.

Alas, that work may keep us trapped here over the Carnival weekend. Mardi Gras is March 1, and we like to get out of Dodge due to the drunkenness, the racket and general confusion.

But maybe we’ll get lucky. I pray so.

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*I used to say the neighborhood plaza, but I discovered recently that I live in a separate town from the very nearby principal mountaintop burg. Silly me. Where was my mind?

Our frightful times

A sidewalk singer who posed for me.

We are in the midst of the Day of the Dead hoopla. It’s the 22nd time for me and, like the 18 years I lived in New Orleans during Mardi Gras, the newness has gone poof! Now it’s just a big traffic jam.

No matter. We drove downtown yesterday afternoon. We had to park blocks away from the big plaza due to traffic and the closure of some streets. In time we made it afoot to the family coffee shop where I sat with a cookie and coffee, and took some photos.

The guy above is one, and the girl below is another. She is the granddaughter of a friend of a friend who happened by.

It’s her everyday makeup, she said.

This last photo is what we used to call lagniappe in New Orleans. It’s a little something extra, a gift. I shot it last week while strolling downtown. If you walk directly down there, turn right half a block, you’ll be on the main plaza.

It was a quiet, lovely afternoon. Unlike yesterday.

Around the barrio …

New street light that looks to be solar. But maybe not.

Today is Ash Wednesday, which means yesterday was Mardi Gras or, as we call it hereabouts, Carnaval. Normally, it’s one of the worst periods in our hardscrabble barrio because the locals go loco with up to four nights of blaring concerts on the neighborhood plaza just a block and a half away.

In recent years, we’ve made it a habit to skedaddle to somewhere that’s not here. Last year we went to Guanajuato. This year we went nowhere because it was nice and quiet even though a Gringa who lives not far away in our hardscrabble barrio was complaining about freelance festivities on her street. I heard nothing.

No official Carnaval this year thanks to the Kung Flu.

Yes, I am not the only norteamericano who lives in the neighborhood, but I have been here the longest. Actually, I have been on the mountaintop longer than almost all Gringos and Canucks who now reside here, too many for my taste, actually.

Most belong in San Miguel de Allende.

Just here in the barrio, there is a Gringa in one home and a Gringo couple in another, all of whom arrived here long after we built the Hacienda. The Gringa lived downtown before moving nearby, and the couple, who are in their 90s, bought a big, fancy home from another Gringo couple who had bought it from another sole Gringo even earlier. I watched all these goings and comings from right here.

The initial owner of that property was a gay bookseller who returned to the United States and shortly died at a fairly young age. The second owners fled to Uruguay due to some police problems, according to gossip. The current owners seem to be really fine folks.


We had been warned yesterday that our state and quite a few others likely would suffer rolling blackouts as Mexico tried to cope with an energy crisis in the north of the nation, which was a result of the problems above the Rio Bravo, the Texans and their hippie fans. But nothing happened here. The lights stayed lit. More importantly, Netflix stayed lit.

Speaking of lights, over the past few days, a crew has traveled around our barrio changing street lights. Before, we had the large bulbous variety — the one outside the Hacienda had been burned out for over a year — and now we have the sleek version you see in the photo. I’m thinking that little circular, blue thing on the top means it’s solar-powered. I hope so. It’s a good use of solar power.

We have a solar water heater on our roof that does next to nothing. I have disconnected and given up on it. If you want it, it’s yours for the taking. No joke. It’s our second solar heater. The first did not work at all. The current one simply works badly, at times sending scalding water to the shower via the cold tap. Yes, the cold faucet.

This morning dawned cold, but it did not freeze last night as it did the previous three nights. How do I know? I check the birdbath at 8 a.m. Solid or not? Low-tech information.


Storefront update

Photo taken just this morning.
The middle of last year to provide perspective. That’s the lone builder and his wife.

Here’s a photo update on the storefront construction that lumbers on across the street. As previously mentioned, it’s being built by one man with the occasional assist of his wife who totes things. He works most days, but he wasn’t at work this morning. I suspect that’s because it’s Ash Wednesday.


It’s a lovely day, and we’ll be dining on beans, rice and sausage (from San Antonio) this afternoon. Later I’ll drive to a carwash, and after that I’ll head downtown for a nice café Americano negro on the plaza with a chocolate-chip cookie.

Google tofu boy calls 911

I’M A DEVOTED FOE of Google even though it’s hard to avoid online. I have a Gmail address which long was my primary, but I don’t use it anymore though I still have a Google account. It’s very difficult not to have a Google account.

If you don’t have a Google account, you’re cutting off your nose to spite your face. Alas, Google owns YouTube, one of the most interesting, fun and informative corners of the World Wide Web. I love YouTube. If anything has ever been filmed, it’s likely on YouTube.

I never say I’m Googling anything. I do “online searches,” and I use the oddly named DuckDuckGo search engine. It’s very good and not sneaky.

The folks who run Google are the sort of people who are ruining Western Civilization. The same kind of people run Facebook and Twitter, and since one can easily live without those two, I do not have accounts with them anymore. I don’t want to be an enabler.

Enjoy the video even though it’s on Google’s YouTube. Sigh.

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As I write this late Wednesday afternoon, it’s dark overhead and there are lightning flashes. This should not be happening in March which is the middle of the dry season on the mountaintop. Must be that global warming we hear about, eh?

Does global warming cause unseasonable rain? Lord knows. Ask Al Gore.

Why didn’t it storm yesterday, the last and most riotous day of Carnival in my hardscrabble neighborhood? Maybe it would have canceled the ear-splitting concert we endured last night till 3 a.m. Even my earplugs did not fully suppress the godawful racket.

Living in Mexico is not always a sack of tacos.

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(You may notice that I’ve reverted to a previous look for The Moon. And back are the wise quotes down the right-side column plus links to all manner of fascinating stuff. The same material was available in the last “look,” but it was hidden behind a Menu button. Who bothers to mess with that? Darn few. That’s who.)