Tacos in a window

The young chef grills beef, onions and chiles.

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We renew our post office box every year in early January. It costs the peso equivalent of about $15 U.S., well worth the outlay.

I opened the account 21 years ago because the rental where I first lived had no mailbox. The mailman — and it’s always a man — just tossed everything over the wall where it landed on the ground, a particularly bad system during the five months of the monsoon.

Here in the nearby burg where we live now, the problem is even greater. There is no residential mail delivery at all. Mail is dropped off at two or three places, small stores or homes, where the owner has agreed to serve as a pickup point. I’m sure they get paid for that.

So your mail is first delivered to a neighbor, near or far, and you must go to that neighbor and ask for your letters. At times, no one is at home, and you must return. I do not like that system. But I do like my PO box. And I get so little mail that I only check the box twice a month.

But this afternoon we headed to the post office to renew the account. Coming as no surprise, the paperwork was not available, and we were told to return after the 15th.

It was lunchtime, so we crossed the street to an eatery that consists of a few uncomfortable tables and benches in a small space. The grub is prepared in the window over a homemade BBQ grill.

I shot the photo with my phone as he grilled my beef.

Beef and tortas

Yesterday, I addressed the issue of caldo de res, one of my favorite meals. I mentioned that I rarely ordered it in a restaurant because the beef is usually gristly. I attributed this not to Mexicans’ liking it gristly, but to the fact that gristly beef is cheaper to buy.

Later, my child bride told me it’s because Mexicans like gristly beef. I prefer to think it’s that she likes it, for some godforsaken reason, not that Mexicans in general like gristly beef. But when she makes it at home, she does not use gristly beef because she knows I don’t want it, and she is an accommodating woman.

Above you see the caldo de res she made for our lunch today.

Caldo de res tastes better if it sits a good spell. Same goes for pozole. So, instead of lunching on the caldo de res yesterday, we hopped in the Honda and drove down the highway to a torta restaurant where we enjoyed Cubanos, the torta, not the cigar, although Cuban cigars are available here downtown.

We are amigos to the commies.

Driving home after the tortas, I took these photos along the highway to provide another taste, so to speak, of our area, which is moist and green in September due to months of daily rain.

I call this shot “Yellow House and Tree.”
Let’s call this one “Foggy Mountain and Overpass.”

Actually, “Yellow House and Tree” was photographed from outside the torta restaurant. It was directly across the highway.

Day in September

Though, like most houses, there are four sides to the Hacienda, with one exception, windows face in just two directions. The sole exception is the tiny window in the upstairs bathroom.

We’re looking out that one today.

It was bonkers raining this morning as I looked out that way, so I decided to shoot a brief video, but by the time I went downstairs for the camera and returned, it had slacked up quite a bit.

But I made the video anyway.

That white building you see near the start was topless the last time I opened this window, but someone has installed a board frame under big pieces of laminate. The surrounding greenery is due to months of daily rain. For years, there was a family living on the property, but they vanished one day, and the space returned to nature.

Thursday is market day on the nearby neighborhood plaza, so the two of us, in addition to the daily exercise walk, bought veggies and beef to make caldo de res for lunch tomorrow. I do love a good caldo de res, which I was first encountered in the 1990s in Houston at a Mexican restaurant in The Heights.

Alas, most caldos de res one finds here in restaurants sport very gristly beef, so I include it in my list of grub best eaten at home and prepared by my child bride. Pozole is also on the list for the same reason, gristly beef when others make it. I don’t know if Mexicans actually like gristly beef or that it’s just cheaper to purchase.

Likely the latter.

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The Biden Gang

Speaking of purchases, the Taliban won’t be needing to buy military equipment anytime soon because The Biden Gang gifted them with more than enough for years to come.

According to news reports, the Democrat White House and Woke generals left more gear — guns, humvees, airplanes, helicopters — at Bagram Air Base than the United States gave Israel — the only democracy in the Mideast — in the last 30 years.

So what? At least we don’t have to suffer Trump’s Mean Tweets anymore. It’s a fair trade-off. ¿No?

Taliban enjoying its gifts from The Biden Gang.

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.