Tag Archives: restaurants

Two Countries Two Different Worlds

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Two Countries Two Different Worlds

When I talk to my friends in Winnipeg, it sounds like we live in two completely different worlds, despite the fact that the USA and Canada share a border.

Friday night we went out for dinner to Wok About, a Mongolian Barbecue style restaurant. We bumped into my friend who was there with her two grandchildren. And we all sat at a table together to have dinner. Four different households at one table. A buffet style restaurant. And in Winnipeg if you want to share a table you need to produce ID to prove you actually reside at the same address.

Let’s talk church. They’ve been open here for a while now. And even when they weren’t supposed to be open they were open. Masks are optional in several churches. Attempts at physical distancing aren’t always successful either.

Then there is the other extreme here in Washington state. Masks are required on public transit. Masks are required to enter most stores although Safeway tends to look the other way.

I met with my immigration attorney earlier in the week. He took my temperature and I had to sign a health form. And masks were mandatory throughout the two hour meeting. I almost felt like I was in Canada.

Walking through downtown Leavenworth on the weekend I’ve noticed that the majority of people wear masks. Until they sit down at all the outdoor tables that line the main street. Lots of restaurant seating when the streets are closed to vehicular traffic.

Texas leads the way in doing away with masks and other restrictions. And I thought Washingtonians were rebels.

When I tell my friends here what’s going on back in Winnipeg and the rest of Canada in terms of quarantine and other restrictions, they don’t believe it. Until I show them the newspaper articles and other news reports. Their response is always “They could never do that here in the USA. We wouldn’t stand for it.”

Please don’t even get me started on the quarantine cash grab issue in Canada right now. This is yet another example of the disorganization and inefficiency of the way Canada is mishandling this pandemic.

For the time being, I intend to mask up when necessary and maintain physical distancing when possible. And I’m looking forward to getting my second shot on Tuesday, months ahead of when I’d be vaccinated if I were in Canada.

Nomad Moved Again!

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Nomad Moved Again!

Yes I did. I moved again. On Thursday. To a house in Wenatchee. Covid has slowed me down but hasn’t stopped me yet.

I was at Cascade Medical the other today and the receptionist remarked that I’d been seen on two occasions and this was now a third address and a second phone number.

The phone number is a simple explanation. Because I’m gone more than three months AT&T makes me get a new phone number each time I return to Washington.

Two years ago I saw a doctor and was living on West Street in Leavenworth at the time. Last week when I had lab work done, I had moved onto Prospect Street. And when I saw the doctor on Tuesday, I provided the clinic with my new address here in Wenatchee.

My plan right now is to stay here until my 180 in the USA is up this time around. I must admit I’m getting tired of counting days and dealing with immigration in three different countries. But when I think of actually settling down in one place for more than a few months at a time, it’s actually a tad overwhelming.

Wenatchee is the largest city in Chelan County with a population of just under 35,000. Wenatchee Valley Mall is an indoor mall with Macy’s, Ross, Bed Bath and Beyond, Victoria’s Secret and Bath and Body Works as well as several other smaller stores. North Valley Mall is a strip mall and has J C Penney as its anchor along with Old Navy and a WinCo opening up in the near future. Wenatchee also has Costco, Wal-Mart and Target. There are lots of restaurants here as well including Applebees and Olive Garden. When I lived in Leavenworth I spent a fair amount of time here as it’s less than a half hour drive.

Wenatchee is also closer to Cashmere, my favorite town so far in Washington state. I often visit Spirit of America, an amazing memorial for 9/11. The cinnamon buns and apple fritters at Sure to Rise Bakery are the best I’ve ever had. Agave Azul is home to the best Mexican cuisine in the area.

While the sidewalks in Leavenworth are icy due to the recent snowfall, I just returned from a walk on clear sidewalks with no ice or snow in sight. At a lower elevation, snowfall is significantly less and temperatures are milder here in Wenatchee.

This will be my first winter up north since 2009. Wenatchee seems to be an ideal spot for this experience.

EVERYTHING IS OPEN

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EVERYTHING IS OPEN

I went to bed on May 31st and woke up to an entirely new world the next morning that suspiciously resembled life before COVID-19.

Although people are still wearing masks and practicing physical distancing, most of the smaller shops that have been closed for months have now reopened. Restaurants are also now open for dining in.

A friend came in from Zacatecas and we went to Terraza Italiana for coffee. In the photo below you will note the physical distancing I observed.The tianguis In Las Flores was in full swing this morning. Much more than just food was available for purchase. Physical distancing was not at all evident.My feelings are quite mixed about this reopening. I would have preferred a more gradual reopening in stages. By the same token I enjoyed sipping freshly brewed coffee in a cafe rather than the instant Nescafé which has been my norm for several weeks now. It’s also nice to see the streets filled with activity once again.

But thousands of new cases of COVID-19 are being confirmed every day. This virus is here to stay. On the one hand we need to protect ourselves but on the other hand we need to build up immunities.

I have no faith in the statistics they provide us with, especially here in Mexico where testing is practically non-existent.

I’m beginning to question the idea that travel is more dangerous than staying at home and I look forward to the borders opening up again so I can go home to Leavenworth.

Quarantine has done its job of slowing the spread. But quarantine does not prevent COVID-19.

The fact of the matter is that life simply cannot go back to the state it was in prior to COVID-19. The economy has been crushed. The fragility of our mental health is evident in the catastrophic increase in suicide rates. And now the anger and frustration of being confined is showing up in the forms of protests and race riots.

Enough of man’s inhumanity to man. There is a new reality now and society needs to adapt. And the sooner the better.

Tomorrow is June 1

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Tomorrow is June 1

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.