I’ve been in Mazatlan for three weeks now. Temperatures have been hovering in the mid 30s during the day and mid to high 20s at night. It’s extremely humid here. Three hurricanes have barrelled up the coast with no significant effect.
Mazatlan is a much cleaner city than Guadalajara in terms of both the streets and the air quality. Because it is a smaller city there is considerably less industry to contaminate the air. The streets themselves seem to be well maintained and there is a great deal less litter on sidewalks.
I had to deal with an immigration issue the other day and had some time before my classes in the afternoon. I was only a block away from the malecon, so an Oxxo cappuccino in hand, I went for a walk along the beach. The surf was definitely up, due mainly to Carlos heading up the coast. This is the third major hurricane since the season began a short time ago.
I saw a man fishing and he actually caught a fish while I was watching. One of the beach peddlers walked by displaying jewelry. Another came by shortly after selling pails and shovels for kids. I had my hair up in a ponytail, but I really don’t think I look that young! But apparently he thought I needed some toys.
I noticed several white flags warning people of jellyfish. One of the security staff at the hotel where I teach enlightened me on the subject of jellyfish. During hurricane season they wash up on the shore due to the strong tides. Unsuspecting swimmers as well as those strolling along in the sand are in danger of being preyed upon by these tiny poisonous creatures.
I spent over an hour on the beach, fascinated by the rhythm of the waves and the sounds of them crashing ashore. I spent over an hour in contemplation of my life. The water is soothing and calms me. And I think about all the changes that the past few years have brought.
I have moved several times. The first move was Oak Bluff to Winnipeg. Next came Culiacan, Irapuato, Tlaquepaque, Winnipeg, Tlaquepaque and now I’m in Mazatlan. And I hope to stay here for a long time. Here is the house where I live now with a Mexican family.
I live in Colonia Libertad de Expression. In a way it reminds me of Tlaquepaque except that there is no Jardin Hidalgo or Calle Independencia. There are small tiendas, taco and hamburger stands, grilled chicken and pizza all within walking distance. Mariscos are readily available but I have to pass on those due to allergies. There is a Kiosko across the street and an Oxxo a few blocks away.
Along my street some of the businesses include a glass shop, a vulcanizer, a mechanic, a butcher, a tortilleria, a tool rental, a dress shop and a Tecate outlet. And that’s only in one direction. I haven’t ventured out the other way yet.
I must admit that I rather enjoy the buses here. The men at the wheel do not drive like maniacs the way they do in Guadalajara. The buses are in much better condition. There is also a 10 peso air-conditioned bus that I took today for the first time. It also is in better condition than the Tur buses in Guadalajara. But I must admit that I miss the musicians and clowns that used to entertain us back in Guadalajara. But I spend mere minutes a day on buses rather than hours as I did in Guadalajara.
Because this is a large tourist area, English is quite prominent here. Although I do make a point of using my Spanish whenever I can, I must admit that I was quite excited about finding the Vineyard Church this morning and attending a service in English. I made some new friends and we all went out to breakfast after the service.
Although I’ve only been here three weeks, I have seen a fair amount of this city and I look forward to exploring new territory. Mazatlan has much more to offer than beaches, restaurants and bars. I have already been back to the Centro Historico and look forward to revisiting the aquarium. There is a magnificent lighthouse here with hundreds of steps. For those of you who know me, you will understand the significance of a lighthouse in my life. So stay tuned for future posts from here in Mazatlan.