A week from now at this time I will be landing in Guadalajara. I usually make this trip in late October, but nothing about this year has been usual.
When I booked my flights just over a week ago, my initial thought was to fly to Puerto Vallarta and spend some time on the beach. Thanks to Covid beach time has become more of a distant memory. But I opted to fly inland instead.
Flying inland seems to have been the wisest choice. Hurricane Nora tore into Puerto Vallarta this week, collapsing hotels and damaging bridges. Nora then made her way up the coast and caused extensive flooding in Mazatlan. It appears that once again my beach time has been put on hold.
That’s okay. I’m looking forward to getting back to Aguascalientes and seeing my friends. It’s been just shy of a year instead of the usual six months.
There has been so much talk of the new normal since Covid invaded our world. I’m trying to view it as the new usual. That seems a bit more positive.
I’ve been reading a lot about June 1 lately. That’s the date tourism is supposed to resume in a big way here in Mexico. Hotels are to open again and the beaches are expected to fill with vacationers.
In the past week restaurants have begun to welcome customers once again. Of course they do have to follow some rigid guidelines. I’m still sticking to takeout for the time being. I’m quite content with that right now.
I must admit that I’m just a tad reluctant to go to a hairdresser yet. I’ve passed by a couple of them in my neighborhood and it just looks like business as usual. No physical distancing. In one of them the stylist was not even wearing a mask.
I noticed that several shops had signs stating that only two people were allowed in at a time. Some food stores limited their cliental to only one per family. Absolutely everywhere you go there are bottles of antibacterial gel on countertops. That’s something that I’ve usually found seriously lacking in the past here in Mexico.
By the same token, there are no shortages of soaps, disinfectants or other related products. Nor is there a shortage of toilet paper. Food shortages have never been an issue.
Just yesterday the internet was flooded with articles about how the whole country of Mexico has now been declared a red zone. Who do you believe?
June 1 is tomorrow. I wonder just how “open” this country will be.
Aguascalientes City has taken COVID-19 seriously. Bars and restaurants have been closed for a week now. Meetings and other events have been cancelled. Group gatherings are discouraged. Workers are out trying to sanitize public areas.
I have bid farewell to coloring in the park for a while. I will probably limit my time to just short walks instead.
A short distance from where I live is a long street saturated with bars and restaurants. This is what it looked like on Saturday night.
Compare this with the chaos at the airport in Puerto Vallarta. Just think of all the potential diseases that are on their way to Canada right now. I feel that my decision to remain here in Mexico is a good one.
There is no country and no medical system prepared for this pandemic. Friends up north have told me of family members who are struggling with COVID-19 right now. I hear about shortages of masks and gloves.
But mostly I hear about people who believe they are invincible. They continue to go out on non-essential errands and visit with friends. They hit the grocery stores and hoard more than just toilet paper. I urge them to stop being so selfish. They are potential carriers and may be unknowingly spreading this horrid disease. Not everyone infected exhibits symptoms.
My friends in Mexico tell me the beaches are still crowded. Semana Santa hasn’t even arrived yet. I am so thankful that I live inland far from the tourist areas.
Stay at home and stay safe!
It’s pouring rain here in Aguascalientes and unseasonably low temperatures have graced us. It’s a good day to sip herbal tea and to watch movies. And to write a blog post.
New Year’s Eve 2009 was when I rang in the second decade of the millenium. At the time I was with friends from church and living in Winnipeg.
In 2010 I was on a tour up in the Copper Canyon in northern Mexico. I rang in the new year in El Fuerte with friends. We had dinner at the hotel where Zorro was filmed. Zorro himself appeared at our table just before the fireworks began at midnight.
I have celebrated New Year’s Eve with numerous friends from all over the world every year since then. I’ve been in Culiacán, Guadalajara, México City, Mazatlan and San Ciro. This year I will be in Aguascalientes to welcome the year 2020.
The past decade has been one of the most exciting times in my life. “Growth” has been the key word in describing my experience. I embarked in a new career in a foreign country. I learned a new language and assimilated into a different culture. I’ve celebrated holidays with new friends from all over the world.
I’ve lived in and explored amazing areas in Mexico that I’d never even heard of before. I went on an amazing train trip in the Copper Canyon, I climbed pyramids in central Mexico and I walked barefoot in the sand on numerous beaches along the Pacific coast. I’ve visited several magic towns and have enjoyed the local cuisine in most places, menudo aside.
Mexicans marvel at the fact that I am a single female and travel solo at my age, especially when I settle down for a while in a new place. I thrive on exploring new places and meeting new people. I have friends of all ages and backgrounds. I have a family in Culiacán who have adopted me and I am the proud abuelita of four amazing grandsons.
And just when I thought that Mexico was absolutely “it”, I discovered Leavenworth. This quaint Bavarian village has captured my heart. I’ve made good friends and we’ve shared some great adventures together.
All of these experiences have contributed to my growth. At this point in time I am really living life to the fullest.
Farewell to the second decade of this millennium. Welcome to the third decade. Can’t wait to find out what comes next!!!!
Semana Santa has arrived, that dreaded time of year when the beaches here in Mazatlan are packed due to the invasion of vacationers from inland areas in Mexico. Children have two weeks off from school and the beach is always a popular spot. Of course there is also the added nightmare of the rerouting of traffic in an attempt to alleviate some of the congestion.
I will be hiding out at the pool in our condo complex for the next three days.
Then I will escape to Culiacan for a long overdue visit with my Mexican family. We will attend the procession Friday morning to the cathedral. There are also special masses to be celebrated. Although I am not Catholic, I enjoy attending church and observing the traditions with my family.
Semana Santa is a busy time for all modes of travel, especially buses. Buses are crowded and it’s necessary to purchase tickets in advance, as opposed to merely showing up at the bus station and purchasing a ticket at the last minute, which is usually the norm here.
When I lived in Canada Cadbury creme eggs symbolized Easter. When I lived in Guadalajara empenadas were prominent. I miss both of these, but I do look forward to a pina colada raspado in Culiacan. But most of all, I look forward to spending Easter with my family. After all, family is what life is all about.