Today’s WordPress prompt asked about cities that I want to visit. Nope. I’m not writing about that. I’d rather write about other things today.
Friday night I went to a Posada (Christmas party) at La Bella Vita, an amazing Italian restaurant. There were eight of us from one of the local groups I belong to here in Aguascalientes. Our gift exchange was a blast! The idea was that we had to bring seven of the same item for the others in the group. So I came home with seven different gifts ranging from stainless steel chopsticks to butter cookies and everything in between. Needless to say we had a great time.
I found another English speaker in my neighborhood. Jerry is Mexican but lived in San Francisco for five years. He and his Mexican wife have a small cenaduria not too far from where I live. Their salads are amazing and so are their pastas. They make all of their food at home and bring it to the cenaduria. I have a small fridge and it is now full of healthy food.
The other night Charlotte and I went to El Centro to look at the lights. To our delight there was an amazing band playing. They were all alumni of UAA here in Aguascalientes. Their medley of Christmas music was most enjoyable and the air was festive with all the colorful lights surrounding us. Last night Carole and I went to El Centro and the entertainment included dancers and a band. The dancers weren’t all that entertaining but the band that followed was fabulous.
For the past several years I had a tradition of buying a small Christmas tree and decorating it. I would then give it to a friend when I’d head back up north in the spring. This year I decided to change things up. When I was at the tienguis the other day, I picked up some handmade Christmas decorations and these are now hanging on my walls.
Christmas is less than a week away. Here in Mexico the big celebration is La Buenanoche (Christmas Eve). December 25th is just a regular day, not a holiday. I miss the candle light services I went to back in the USA and Canada. The only time I found one here in Mexico was when I was living in Mazatlan. I intend to look for one of those on the internet this year.
My project for this week is to catch up on phone calls. I have not been good about those and I have friends back in the USA and Canada who have been complaining. With Christmas coming up fast, I need to get my act together and make those calls.
Have a great Sunday!
Monday, Monday. Facebook down. What’s App not working. Didn’t bother checking Instagram.
It certainly made for a quieter day. No constant pings and dings of notifications on my phone. I actually spent very little time on my phone.
Here in Mexico What’s App is a lifeline to many. I’ve met a lot of people who just put 50 pesos at a time on their phone. They don’t have a phone plan like I do.
For 200 pesos a month, less than $10 US, I have unlimited talking and texting as well as long distance to the USA and Canada. Some data is included ans all social media is also free.
Without a phone plan, What’s App that runs off WiFi is free, so that is a very popular option for those who do not have a plan.
Therefore a lot of people were impacted when everything went down on Monday. Their pesos on their phones would not stretch quite as far.
I find it interesting that phone plans here are so reasonably priced. In the USA a similar plan with AT&T costs me $40. Canada was even more expensive the last time I was there.
While buying cell phones is far more expensive in Mexico, using them is definitely much more affordable here.
When my children were young, a phrase often splashed across the TV screen. “Parents where are your children?” It’s now decades later and this phrase is still in my head.
A couple of weeks ago I actually emailed my current address to my children in Canada. Until now they’ve had only my email and phone number, as well as Facebook.
I move around a lot but I’ll be at my current address indefinitely. I’ve been self-isolating for more than a month now and Mexico has just entered phase three.
There were a number of factors that influenced my decision to stay in Mexico. First and foremost has to deal with my children. They may be in their thirties now but that protective instinct still kicks in. They are both asthmatic and have other inhalant allergies. I did not want to take the chance of my being a carrier and infecting them.
That leaves me with nowhere to quarantine and nowhere to live. I haven’t had a home in Canada in ten years.
The closest place for me to call home is Leavenworth, Washington. I spend six months of the year there when I’m not in Mexico. There I do have a place to quarantine and somewhere to live. But I am not American so the border is closed to me now.
Then there are the dangers of contracting COVID-19 or any other infectious disease by traveling through four airports to get to Canada from Aguascalientes.
Here in Mexico I am quite comfortable. I have a place to live. Food and other supplies are readily available within walking distance of where I live. My landlord Raul is the greatest and has provided me with a safety net should circumstances change.
My biggest challenge is in making my children understand the importance of more frequent contact. It’s not just that I need to know that they care about me. Hearing their voices is reassuring as I always worry about them. With COVID-19 I am even more concerned. I need to know that they’re okay.
It’s tough living thousands of miles away from your children in a different country during a pandemic.
Saturday is a very different day than it used to be. One cup of coffee with yogurt and granola. Off in an Uber to teach English for a couple of hours.
Another Uber home and off to the carnicería. He grilled the chicken I bought for me. I’d take a walk to the bakery and do any other shopping and then return to pick up my chicken.
After lunch (yes lunchtime was at around 4 pm) I’d head to the church to teach for an hour.
In the evening I’d explore the Expoplaza area. There were always numerous food vendors. I’d watch the children ride around the square on a burro. I’d listen to music and walk through the San Marcos park.
I’d have interesting conversations with people. A handful understood minimal English but it was a great opportunity for me to practice my Spanish.
Occasionally I’d attend a birthday party or another fiesta on a Saturday evening. And there were concerts close by as well.
Saturday now is very different. Lots of time for that second cup of coffee. I can leisurely make an omelet. No rush to get dressed. No reason to call an Uber. No students to teach.
I take two walks a day. One is before it gets too hot and the other is after it cools off in the evening. Daytime highs are in the low 90s.
This is what Expoplaza area looks like now.
I color, I watch movies, I write, I phone friends and I listen to music.
Actually Saturday seems pretty much like every other weekday now.