I spent 3 months in Aguascalientes last winter and never saw one raindrop. This morning I ventured out to my favorite gordita stand for breakfast and noted the gloomy skies. I made it home just before it poured.
I decided that it’s a good day for writing. But before I dive into my WIP, I thought a blog post might be in order. In Leavenworth I didn’t spend much time at home so the blog posts were few and far between. But here in Mexico I am determined to spend more time writing this winter.
These containers are found everywhere in the neighborhood. There is absolutely no excuse to litter. The trash is emptied daily.
May God forgive me for taking this photo. A funeral procession came by and I couldn’t resist at least one photo. The mariachi follow the casket. The mourners in turn follow the mariachi as they walk through the streets from the church to the cemetery.
In the area where I live, clothes dryers are rare. Many people wash their clothes by hand and hang them out to dry in the sun. They are quite creative and merely string a line across the sidewalk or put items out on a chair.
As for myself, I prefer the lavenderia. I drop my clothes off in the morning and pick them up later in the day, neatly folded in a bag. I just picked up two weeks worth of laundry and the cost was a mere 69 pesos. Well worth it.
Minutes away from where I’m staying is Expoplaza. I often walk to the park there and color.
In the evenings, especially on the weekends, the playground here is very popular. also on the weekends, bordering the park are various vendors selling everything from sunglasses to churros. There is a cinema in the expoplaza itself which I frequent. I like to watch movies in Spanish, without subtitles. I get braver as the years go by.
Tomorrow I am looking forward to the tienguis. There is also no rain in the forecast.
This winter my home base is in Las Flores, Aguascalientes. I discovered this neighborhood last winter and love its proximity to the historical center and several museums, all within walking distance.
The name of my street is Begonias. All the names of the streets are flowers. (Las Flores is Spanish for “flowers.”)
This is a photo of the hotel where I live. You won’t see a Hyatt sign here. It’s an old house that’s been renovated into a hotel. Each room has its own bathroom. Common areas include the kitchen and laundry area.
Raul is the owner and takes good care of his properties. He is currently renovating a house where I first stayed for a week when I arrived. Not only did he move me and my luggage from place to place, but also a fridge and a microwave. I guess you could say that my room has now been transformed into an executive suite. None of the other rooms here have these appliances.
The following photo is the bull ring at the end of my street. It sees a lot of action during the Feria in the spring, but otherwise sits empty.
On my morning walk I encountered this neighbor across the street from my hotel. Cute, isn’t he?
There is no shortage of tiendas (corner stores). These two are at the other end of my street.
Two blocks away is the church I attend. It occupies the main floor of an apartment building.
Today is Thursday which means the tianguis (flea market) occupies a street a block away from where I live.
There is also an abundance of food available in this area, but I will save that as well as some other places in my neighborhood for another blog post.
I am constantly being asked this question. My friends up north wonder why I spend 6 months of the year in a country ruled by a drug cartel. My friends in Mexico wonder why I spend 6 months in the gun-toting state of Washington.
I think about my hometown in Canada. Winnipeg for several years was synonymous with the highest homicide rate per capita in the nation. Just last week a three year old child was stabbed to death by his mother’s boyfriend.
So where exactly in this world is “safe?”
I long for the days when air travel was fun. Security has become an ordeal. Take off your shoes and jackets. Take out cell phones, tablets and laptops. No liquids over a miniscule amount. And I have knee replacements. Bring on the body scanners and pat-downs.
Do all these precautionary measures make me feel safe? Nope. Just makes me wonder what might come next.
Please stop asking me if I feel safe. In this crazy world we live in, no-one is safe. But what we can do is enjoy the time we have left in our lives instead of dwelling on whether or not we feel safe. After all, when you were a child, did you not just enjoy life without a thought to being safe? Maybe it’s time to start being a child again.