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

Flaming New Year’s

burn
Fire started at the top.
remains
A burned-out skeleton.

FOR WEEKS, it had been a spectacular sight on our town’s plaza. A Christmas tree about three stories tall.

Not a tree actually, an artwork, lamentably flammable.

Thursday afternoon, on the cusp of New Year’s Eve, a fire erupted at the top and worked its way down. Apparently, a kid lit a pyrotechnical device nearby, and it landed on the tree.

The flames consumed about two-thirds of the elegant structure before a fire truck arrived and extinguished it.

And so ended 2015.

Below is a “Before” shot I found on Facebook.

(UPDATE: It will be rebuilt. Since Christmas is not the big day for children in Mexico — Three Kings Day is — and that doesn’t arrive till next week, it will be repaired for the kiddies, according to the mayor.)

before

My Mexican holiday

WHEN I WED into a mob of Mexicans almost 14 years ago, I initially made an effort to assimilate. In time I discovered that I could not. I am of a different world, a foreign mindset.

New ImageThere are the endless hugs and kisses done to a silly degree that the word overkill doesn’t begin to describe it. I have learned to dodge those as often as possible.

And, of course, the fiestas. My new paisanos party hearty and at every opportunity. One occurs Christmas Eve, and my wife and I go different ways. This year was typical.

I spent Christmas Eve quietly at home with a smile on my face and peace in my heart. After a nice salad before the telly, I was in bed by 11, and I woke up Christmas Day refreshed.

She spent Christmas Eve downtown at her sister’s place — with about 20 relatives and friends from our mountaintop town, the nearby state capital and the city of Querétaro.

They whooped it up, karaoke and all, till 6 a.m. Then a contingent of 11 decamped to our Downtown Casita to conk out. Only a queen bed, a double and a cot are there.

So people slept on carpets, sofas, armchairs, etc. My wife was among them. At 10:30 a.m., she came home in a taxi, showered, napped an hour and headed back downtown.

tequilaThe mob was still there. She finally returned at 7 p.m.  last night. We ate our customary evening salads with Netflix. She lasted about 45 minutes before falling asleep in her chair.

Normally, they repeat the entire process a week later for New Year’s Eve.  All Night Long.  Simply amazing.