Catching up

We are over the holiday festivities and looking forward to the new year. It’s already been interesting, just a few days in.

It rained. How dare it! We had a fairly heavy downpour a few days ago and it was great. It made a nice change from continual sunshine. We also got a kick out of people running by who got caught in the deluge.

Me in my rain gear buying my camaron

Little Camila next door thinks it’s great fun to sneak up and watch us through the gate. She doesn’t say anything just stares. I think we should be worried. Her big brother Ivan has a three-wheel plastic contraption that he rides outside our place and makes a whole bunch of noise. Mostly he’s a real good kid and it is his country after all. But still…

An iguana who thinks he’s a squirrel amused us for a while by walking along the cable tv lines. I was expecting him to fall off but he seemed to realize his mistake and reversed his course and went home.

Our local squirrel was not impressed.

We went for dinner a few nights ago with Linda, Art and Art senior to their casa in west Melaque. We took a taxi and asked for it to pick us up again at eight-thirty. We knew we were taking a chance on this but what the heck. Eight forty-five came around and we decided to walk.

We got a block away and there was another cab sitting in a side street with a bunch of guys hanging around. One of them was pretty well drunk but the taxi driver was sober so we squeezed by and got in. Before we left, the drunk guy climbed in the front seat and away we went. When we got home a lot of ‘Feliz año’ and handshakes were exchanged but we arrived safely.

Just watched the local tourist cops drive by on their quads. The first one was driving with one hand and texting with the other. Such is Mexico.

Rosalie was also not impressed

I finally signed up for a VPN service today. I’m having trouble getting hockey games lately so this was very important.

I thought things would be a little different this year, but no. The f**king rooster still makes a racket during the night and the ice cream truck still drives by with his insidious music playing. I would be tempted to blow the thing up but he does have good ice cream.

We still use our charcoal BBQ quite a bit. I have to be sparing with the starter gel, not because we are cheap, which we are,  but the stores seem to run out quickly and it’s hard to light it with dried-up tortillas and coconut husks.

I’ve just been trying to delete a period on the computer until I realized it was a bit of dust. I really need to stop drinking.

I’ll catch up again soon. I’m waiting for some other exciting thing to pounce. I just hope it’s not in the form of a spider.

Feliz Año

So, we had this Piñata that we didn’t know what to do with. We had stuffed it with the candies that we hadn’t eaten so it was all ready to go.

I suggested that we get Rubii to help us as she would know what the protocol was. She agreed to meet us at 3:30 for the big event at 4:00.

I had already arranged for Gerry to block our side of the boulevard with his van so the kids wouldn’t get run down. I had also run a cord from a palm tree to our bedroom window.

When Rubii arrived she not only brought Josué her “hombre”,  but a much heavier rope and a homemade ladder. Josué strung the rope to a bigger palm tree and then to a hydro pole on our building. I hauled on it and the rope immediately broke. Rubii toddled off and came back with a much stronger rope.

They brought a pully to raise and lower the Piñata so the kids had fun trying to hit it. I forgot to use it though, I am after all just a newbie at this.

Remember to click on a picture to see the larger picture.

There weren’t as many kids as we had expected but it was our first time. We wanted to have Camila go first as she was the youngest at 3 years old but she was too shy. Another little girl stepped up and started to pound away.

Several kids later, I decided that they were too small to do much damage so I got Rubii’s son, also Josué, to have a go at it. He had obviously done this before as he first pounded off all the glitter and just left the cavity in the centre.

One more whack and the thing fell to the ground and shattered much to the delight of the kids. They rushed in and grabbed as many candies as they could. The little lad across the street works with his parents at a taco stand and missed it all so when he came home I gave home a big hand full of candies.

We had hauled chairs onto the sidewalk so that we could watch the action. After it was all over we sat there drinking and talking until the rest of the crew turned up for appies which we also ate in the street.

Soon the time came for the eight of us to go to Salamandra’s for dinner. Gerry and Elaine had other plans so we said our goodbyes.

At the restaurant, they started us off with a complimentary glass of tequila with lime so we knew we would have fun. Some of us ordered ‘gigante margaritas’ with our meal, and so it began. It was Barb’s birthday so we incorporated that into the festivities as well.

The entertainment and the food were great. The guy singing was was Dr. Lalo Woo who happens to be the husband of Raquel our new landlady for next season.

We left about 10:00 and went back to Bill and Connie’s place to see the New Year in. As midnight got closer the fireworks started to increase so we went down to the beach for the final countdown.

Boom! Midnight! The main event started and the sky lit up with dozens of fireworks as well as many, many globos. Then we were wishing everyone in sight “Feliz Año.” Some Mexicans came by and we wished them the same and got big hugs in return.

We finally started to tire so returned to the casa for a nightcap and a well-earned sleep. What an awesome New Years’ Eve and start to 2020.

Feliz Año to all our friends and family.

Perro

When the neighbours moved in across the street they not only brought the noisy dogs, with them came this nasty, vicious chihuahua.

For a while, he was wandering around minding his own business. Then, he started to take an interest in us. He would wander onto the patio from time to time and me, being un-neighbourly would chase him off. I didn’t want him doing his business here.

One thing I noticed about this dog was that he has attitude, and I respect that. He would make a worthy adversary. If I try to chase him away he stands and growls at me. Not to be intimidated, I stand there and growl right back. We got the so-called silent whistles but it’s taking a bit of time for him to get it.

When Rubii was cleaning the place she put the garbage outside to be taken away. The dog saw this and started to close in. I immediately attacked: growling and blowing the whistle. It’s hard to growl with a whistle in your mouth, but I managed it. He gave me a vicious look and just stood there growling back. Finally, he wandered off and I sat back and relaxed.

But I had underestimated the cunning of this guy. He tried to sneak back at an angle so that I couldn’t see him. I once again confronted him and the growling and whistling continued. The neighbours must have been killing themselves laughing. A tiny dog and a full-grown male locked in mortal combat.

Then I brought in the heavy artillery: I ordered up a cup of water from Rosalie. I had to ask her to get it as I couldn’t take my eyes off of this guy for a second. He crept in closer and closer and I struck. He was pretty fast though and didn’t get too wet. He finally backed off and I thwarted him by taking the garbage away, putting it in the bin.

Later Rosalie and I went to the local cafe for a coffee. As we walked back all unsuspecting, we were confronted by a pissed-off chihuahua. I was a bit worried as I had no water with me and I had to protect Rosalie.

We stood facing each other. Me, looking down at him and him looking up at me as we circled each other. Rosalie managed to escape unscathed as I held him at bay. Finally, I too slipped away.

I don’t think I’ve heard the last of this guy: I’m sure he’s holding a grudge. We will have to be more cautious when we’re out and about.

He was almost as big as the spider I fought last week.

A Fishy Story

Christmas day we were invited to our neighbours Gerry and Elaine’s for dinner.

One of the guests, John and I were talking when his wife said: “Did you hear about John’s fish?” That’s all I needed was another fish story. However, this one was a bit different.

John and a few other guys were out on a charter boat run by Jerry, a Mexican. They were a long way out and taking 20-minute shifts on the rod.

When John’s turn came around he got a hit. They started to play it but lost it again. But then it hit a second time and the fight was on. It took them two and a half hours to get it to the boat. They had caught a huge Blue Marlin.

When they tried to get it into the boat it almost swamped them. Two guys had to sit in the bow to balance things out.

When they got to shore there was a crowd to meet them as they headed to the weigh station. The problem was that the scale wasn’t big enough for the fish. They got a bigger scale and tried to weigh the thing. It was 12 feet long and was weighed with the tail still in the boat. It topped out at 302 Kgs. or 665lbs. John told me that his arms hurt for the next couple of days.

Cleaning it was a breeze. The locals took over because they knew that they were about to get a steak or two. After the guys that caught it had got what they needed, the rest was distributed to the skipper and the locals.

The best part of the story is that they couldn’t wipe the smile off Jerry the skipper’s face. He got great advertising for the third largest fish caught out of Barra. Not only that, there was a pool by the local fishermen that went to whoever brought in the first fish over 150 kg. He won between 10,000 and 12,000 pesos ($690 – $830.)

Check this link. It’s in Spanish but the pictures tell the tale.

Feliz Navidad

We are slowly getting used to having Christmas in the heat. 22c in the morning and 26-28c during the day. The humidity has eased off so it’s a lot more comfortable now.

Last night after watching the sunset with Bill and Connie we went up to the square to see the parade. As these things are always late starting we arrived fifteen minutes late. Guess what! For once they started on time and we missed the whole thing.

Yesterday we went up to the square to see what was going on. On the way back we picked up a piñata for the local kids. We thought it would come with candies but discovered that it didn’t.

We met up with Bill and Connie and went to Albatros Restaurant for Christmas Eve. The food was great and the entertainment a little different.

The little kids in the picture were trying to copy the dancers. At one point the little lad went down on one knee and the girl jumped up and balanced on it to the roar of the crowd. Hilarious! The two dancers then did an energetic version of the Can-Can.

Later we walked up to town again but it seemed to be quieter this year. So we walked home and had a nightcap before turning in.

On Christmas morning we walked into town to get candies for the piñata. We bought quite a few because there was a huge cavity to fill. When we got home we found that we had a lot leftover. I’m sure we can take care of them though. I’ll let you know later what happens with the Piñata.

Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad to all our friends and family.

Dogs and Whistles

Last year we had the noisy rooster in the back of the duplex so we moved to the front bedroom. Great move, cooler in the hot season and quieter. In spite of the odd parade coming by at 5 am we like it better. Or we did.  

Some new Mexican neighbours moved in across the street and they brought two dogs with them. Unfortunately, the dogs are left alone a lot and tend to bark. I think they come from a quieter area of town because when the real noisy vendors come by with their messages blaring out through speakers most of the local dogs just yawn, roll over and go back to sleep. Not these two. One of them sounds like a sea lion with a severe smokers cough.

Our neighbour Gerry went across and gave them a severe talking to the other day and they were quiet for a while. He obviously didn’t impress them much as they soon started up again. Now we have to take drastic action. I thought of a shotgun but Rosalie vetoed that idea.

We read about someone getting a silent dog whistle and letting it rip when the barking starts. This trains the dogs, over time, to stop as they don’t like the sound and equate it to their barking. 

I can see it now; WOOF, PEEP “Ouch! What the f…k? That hurt my ears I better not do that again.” It makes a lot of sense. The problem is where do we get a silent whistle?

I knew that there is a Veterinaria in town so we walked up to see if they had whistles. Of course, we got there at 3:30, right in the middle of siesta time and the place was one that did close. We did a bit of shopping and had an ice cream and went back to wait. By 4:10 no-one had shown up so we decided to go home and order one on Amazon.

I got out the laptop and found just what we needed, three whistles for $13. Alas, they don’t deliver that type of merchandise down here. By this time I’m looking for someone or something to hit. Rosalie didn’t even flinch as she knows that she can take me easily. I need to learn more Spanish swear words  I will have to talk to Rosalie she seems to know a lot.

The next morning I went back to town on my trusty bike to see if the Veterinaria had one. They didn’t! Then on the way home, I realised that I could order one on Amazon. Mx. Which I did.

Later, we had to meet some friends for coffee and while we were sitting there I had a brainstorm. There may be an app for that, and there was. I tried three, and still don’t know if any of them worked. When I try them the dogs kind of look up but I’m not sure if it’s loud enough. Perhaps I should throw the phone to shut them up. Anyway, the new whistles will be here next week so I can throw them instead.

Follow up on a later blog.

It’s chilly!

5 am, kaboom! I usually go back to sleep but only dozed until the next round  of explosions at 6 am. I lay awake for a while and at about 6.45 decided to get up and go on the roof to watch the sun rise. Rosalie was up by this time so I grabbed a couple of chairs while she made tea and we went up to the roof.

When we got up this morning it was the coldest so far at 22 deg. On the roof it was quite chilly as there was a breeze blowing. I stood it for a while and then had to get a better shirt on and Rosalie grabbed her shawl. Perhaps we should have done this when the weather was hotter. At least then we could cool off.

Sunrise was expected at 6.57 but as this is Mexico it was late and we didn’t see it until about 7.15. It was quite beautiful though and worth the wait. It was bright red due to the pollution in the air but doesn’t look that way on the photo.

We sat and enjoyed the sunrise and surrounding country side and eventually had to go and get cleaned up as Rubii  was due to clean the house.

Rosalie has had a few minor issues so we went across to Barra to see Dra. Linda Rubio. Afterward, we walked along the Malecon before stopping for lunch in one of our favourite restaurants.

We had a great meal of Pescado de Veracrusana. Fish smothered in a fresh tomato sauce. Delicious! And of course we had to have a drink with it.

When we had finished and were seeing off the rest of our drinks, a young lad  of about 4 years old came up and started to talk to us in Spanish. I asked his name and he said something like Owen. However, ever time we tried to say it he shook his head.  I listened intently and finally pronounced it to his satisfaction as he pointed at me and nodded his head.

We thought that he wanted us to take his photo but it turned out that he wanted to take ours. He got hold of Rosalie’s phone and we posed. Dang, it was one of the best pictures we have of us.

 

He didn’t stop there though. Rosalie checked later and he had taken pictures of the floor, the table, Rosalie sideways on and even a few split second videos. He then professionally scrolled through to check that they were good enough.

That evening we had a dinner party with some friends from Spider lake Resort. We talked the night away and had a great old time.

We were supposed to go in the Christmas parade but Rosalie is having some side effects from the drugs she’s taking so we had to beg off. Perhaps next year.

As we went to bed last night I encountered a huge spider in the bedroom. The first one I’ve seen down here. Not wanting to kill it I rushed down to the kitchen and grabbed a plastic container to catch it in so I could throw it out side.

It was bigger than our wolf spiders in Canada and twice as fast. I had a terrible time trying to catch it. Eventualy, I damaged it enough that it didn’t have a leg to stand on and victory was mine. Rosalie proclaimed me as her hero and I accepted the hugs and kisses for being so brave.

Valerie has returned to Canada after five weeks and we hope to see her back next year.