Tag Archives: parks

Road Trip

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Road Trip

I was having lunch with Joanne and Carole one day. We were brainstorming about what to do that afternoon.

Joanne enjoys driving and we all enjoy exploring. We decided to venture out of the city and head north to the pueblo of Pabellon de Arteaga.

We had expected a small town. We were pleasantly surprised at how big and quaint it was. The main street through town was crowded with a variety of shops and businesses. There was even more than one Oxxo!

We all preferred the quaint old church compared with the big modern one.

Joanne and Carole opted to stay in the car while I wandered through the plaza across from the church. I snapped these two photos.

No idea what the second one is supposed to be other than it was kind of dilapidated. At one time a miniature train ran through there but the track was broken now.

When I come back next winter I plan on spending a few days walking the streets in Pabellon.

Parque Rudolfo Landeros (CEAR)

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Parque Rudolfo Landeros (CEAR)

I first visited this park almost three years ago. It was a weekend and it was packed. The parking lot was overflowing. Food vendors were busy and bike and golf cart rentals were very popular.

I went back a couple of times before Covid and it was crowded even on a weekday. Field trips from schools were in abundance.

Yesterday it was a very different story. The park was all but deserted. Signs indicating masks were required were prominently displayed. However nobody wore masks, even the staff.

We had picked up breakfast and found a shady spot to eat. Then we began our walk around the park.

This was our first greeter.

And here was our second.

The water levels were surprisingly low, considering that it’s rainy season now. But we did see some ducks and geese enjoying the water.

Very few animals were out but I did capture a shot of this guy.

We even found a train here, although the museum was closed.

And I had to take pics of the trees and the cacti.

It Feels Strange

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It Feels Strange

This is the first time in five years I’ve been in Mexico in late September. It feels strange.

Autumn Leaf Festival is happening this weekend in Leavenworth. I’m usually sitting out on the verandah of the Senior Center with friends watching the parade.

Instead, today I went to the park at the end of my street. I worked on some Spanish grammar for a while. I was about to leave when a man approached and asked if I knew the name of the park. And I don’t know the name of the park. It’s just always been the park next to the bull ring or in front of Expoplaza.

Anyways, a long conversation followed, all in Spanish of course. While we talked he kept a watchful eye on his children, ages 9 and 6, who were taking advantage of the playground structures.

He told me they had moved to Aguascalientes from Zacatecas two years ago. Zacatecas had become very dangerous because of cartel activity and was not a good place to live anymore.

He was curious as to why I had come to Aguascalientes. When I told him I was Canadian he admitted he knew next to nothing about Canada and had never even met a Canadian before.

He also told me he had never traveled outside of Mexico and didn’t speak any English at all. But he wants his children to learn English. He wanted to know if I still taught English even though I was retired. I told him Covid had put an end to that for the time being, although I have occasionally taken on private students in the past five years.

After close to an hour of conversation, he left with his kids and I headed for home. I was really pleased that my Spanish skills had improved so much that I didn’t have to ask him to speak slower or repeat himself. Not once did I say “no entiendo. “

I’ve come a long way.

Where I Live

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Where I Live

Aguascalientes City is in the state of Aguascalientes in central Mexico. Aguascalientes means “hot water.” And there are hot springs close by, even in the city.

My neighborhood is called Las Flores, which means “flowers.” The streets are all names of flowers. The name of my street is Begonias.

There are two tiendas, corner stores, within a block of where I live. There are about a dozen scattered throughout the neighborhood. Their shelves are full as there are no hoarders here.

There are three cocinas, kitchens, within four blocks of where I live. My favorite one has fresh vegetable salads and fruit salads. The dishes change daily and offer a variety of food from soups to desserts. I prefer to avoid the fried food but occasionally I can’t resist the flautas.

A block away is the lavenderia. I drop a bag of laundry off and a few hours later I pick it up, clean and neatly folded. It costs a few pesos, and far less than I’d spend buying detergent and fabric softener. And it’s done for me.

There are a number of small restaurants, gordita stands and taco stands in the area. A block away from home is Expoplaza where a number of food stands open up on the weekends at night.

Some of the specialty stores include butchers, fruit stores, bakeries and even a couple of pie stores. Fresh tortillas are made daily at tortillarias. There are also doctors and dentists, and even a pet store.

A tienguis takes place on Thursdays. This little street market features everything from fruits and vegetables to tools and everything in between. Many vendors are set up on tables but some just put a blanket or sheet on the ground to display their wares.

There is a lovely little park at the end of my street. I’ve spent many an hour coloring and watching the children play on the playground. People are always curious to see my art and it leads to many interesting conversations.

And did I mention that there is also a bull ring at the end of my street?

Today in Aguascalientes

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Today in Aguascalientes

It’s hot out there. The 90s have arrived. Days like this I miss the ocean in Mazatlan.

Thursday morning there is an outdoor market in my neighborhood.

Restaurants are closed. Take out and delivery only.

Bars are closed here although my friend told me they’re still open in Leavenworth, Washington. Go figure.

Schools are closed. I haven’t heard anything about the indoor malls yet.

A friend in Zacatecas told me this morning that she couldn’t find chicken or eggs. So far we have no shortages here in Ags.

Corner tiendas are open. Note in my pics that these are not completely enclosed. Lots of fresh air gets in and social distancing is easy as there are seldom more than 2 or 3 people in them at the same time.

My saving grace are my daily coloring sessions in the park. The flowers are beginning to bloom again.

I really miss all the time I used to spend walking in and out of shops and engaging in conversation. It was a great way to socialize as well as practice my Spanish. Now most of my socializing is over the internet or on the phone.

A silver lining to every cloud……more time for writing!

I’m Staying

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I’m Staying

I have decided to stay here in Aguascalientes rather than return to Canada.

Because of my age and health issues I am in the high risk category.

If I didn’t get sick from COVID-19 from crowded airports and stuffy airplanes, I’d probably get pneumonia from arriving in Winnipeg in shorts and sandals. I haven’t experienced a Winnipeg winter in over ten years.

I opted to do on-line church only today as my city has banned public gatherings.

There is lots of toilet paper here.

I also have the blessing of being able to go outside to the park everyday.

Stay safe everyone and practice whatever preventative measures you are able to.

A Park, A Book and A Journal

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It’s a beautiful sunny day and I’m thinking of a million different things I should be doing this morning. I should do some laundry. I should pick up a few groceries. I should, I should, I should. But I won’t. Instead I pack up a book, my journal and of course my cell phone and I head to the park.

I use the term “park” quite loosely. There are very few trees here and there are no flowers. But there are tables and benches more conducive to writing or reading.

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There are two basketball courts across from the table where I am sitting. Interestingly enough, I have never seen anyone play basketball here. Instead, the game of choice is soccer.

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The swings, slides and climbers are always popular among the children.

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But I sit here at a table, alternating between reading a book and writing in my journal. The shouts of the children and the roar of buses passing by are acceptable background noises. Occasionally a dog comes by to check me out and people passing by often greet me with “Buenas Tardes”.

The book I am reading today is about a family in Dublin. The father, an abusive alcoholic, disappears one night and is never heard from again. The wife is left alone to cope with three teenage sons who are resentful and bitter and have turned to a life of crime.

In my journal I am writing about feelings; mainly how I am tired of always trying to do the right thing and banging my head against a brick wall every time. That’s what it feels like. But it’s difficult to look the other way when you see others hurting, despite the fact that they are never there for you when you are in pain. And then they totally ignore your attempts to reach out to them. Life is just too damn short and every moment is precious. Maybe it’s time to change my focus.

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My thoughts are interrupted by the chime of my cell phone. Apparently my daily horoscope has arrived. Groaning inwardly, I hesitantly tap the “ignore” icon and glance at the time. How could the hours have passed by so quickly? Reluctantly, I return my journal and book to my backpack. My students await and I have classes to teach. Life in Dublin and pondering my feelings will have to wait for another time.