YESTERDAY MORNING, I found the birdbath frozen over, first time this season. Must have been a soft freeze because the banana trees weren’t burned too badly.
Overnight freezes are common in winter, and it always warms up quickly after the sun rises, but they still do damage to the yard, sometimes severe.
Around noon, I sat a spell on the yard patio, putting my footsie up on one of the web chairs for you to see. It was lovely out. Nary a cloud, and the sun was nice and warm.
Today is Three Kings’ Day, which is when kiddies get their gifts in Latin America. I wish it were otherwise. I wish they got gifts from Santa instead because then we’d have just two traffic-jammed, abutting holidays instead of dragging it out another week for the Trio of Kings to come on camels, a real pain in the keister.
By today, even Mexican adults have had it up to here, but then they do it all over again the next year. Sometimes I think self-abuse is a genetic trait of my (relatively) new paisanos. Luckily, I was not born here, which gives me a saner approach to it all.
Let us now forge on to Carnival and Easter Week and beyond!
For Carnival, which is a dreadful mob scene in our ramshackle barrio, the worst place in town to be, we’ll be enjoying a great getaway in Guanajuato.
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(Monday morning update! It froze again last night. Oh, dear.)
WALKING AROUND a corner yesterday, I paused to take this photo. This is the intersection of two of the streets that have been renovated here over the past couple of years, street renovation that included the rectangle around the main plaza, work that is on the verge of being completed.
After gussying up the streets and sidewalks, huge planters have been placed in some areas. Some of them have been broken by vandals, but most are intact, often with bougainvilleas like this one.
Bougainvilleas are not fond of living in planters, so we’ll see how it plays out over the long haul. This one seems happy enough.
Later yesterday, I shot the photo below. Our main plaza is full of Yule decorations, huge ones. These figures are likely ten feet tall.
The plaza has lots of such stuff. Elephants, camels, sheep and other beasts and characters, all larger than life. It’s a major tourist attraction. I don’t know what the figures below have to do with Christmas, but it doesn’t matter. They are impressive.
Santa’s trek is just days away and, about two weeks later, the Three Kings come calling and leave gifts for our Mexican kids. Santa ignores Mexican kids, but the Three Kings do not, which is why we love them so.
Their names are Gaspar, Balthazar and Melchior, and they are reputed to be very Wise Men.
STREET RENOVATION around the plaza and some connecting calles has been under way for years, and it appears almost finished.
The four sides of the plaza are done except for a small area on one corner, and they were working like mad on that late yesterday. The section in the photo is finished although it’s still not open to traffic.
I shot this scene with my phone as I was walking to the Honda to return to my hardscrabble barrio on the outskirts of town. It’s not noticeable in the photo, but city workers are busy installing Christmas lights atop the buildings facing the plaza.
And the humongous nativity scene that debuted last year (or the year before?) is going up on the plaza, off to the left of the photo. We have become very festive over the holidays since a mayor who cares about such stuff won the vote a few years ago, and was re-elected last July.
I’m not a yuletide fan due to the crowds, and “Christmas” here does not end on New Year’s Day. It soldiers on till Three King’s Day, January 6, which is when little Latino kids get their goodies.
So I don’t get to emit a sigh of blissful release on January 2, as I always did above the Rio Bravo. I have to wait till January 7 till it all settles down.
Call me a Grinch.
My second ex-wife and I were always at painful odds over the holidays due to her being a Yuletide maniac and my being, well, not. I don’t have that problem with my child bride because she’s more easygoing. She loves me in spite of my numerous social and psychological warts.
TRUTH BE TOLD, it was a walk in the plaza yesterday, not a park.
But first I sat a spell on a concrete bench drinking an agua de frutas and watching lots of children playing with toys they received Saturday morning, Three Kings Day, which is the big deal for kids in Latin America, not Christmas, which is a white folks’ fiesta.
Mostly, the children were enjoying new bicycles, scooters and roller blades, and everyone had a smile on their faces.
An exception to smiley faces were the two women in the photo above. They were sitting on the concrete bench facing me across the way.
In the other direction, a pretty girl was selling corn on the cob and potatoes.
After finishing the agua de frutas, I took a walk around the entire, humongous square, and in so doing, I noticed the final scene, which I’ve left in color. What makes it remarkable is that it’s free of power lines. I couldn’t resist that rare photographic opportunity.