Another Day In Paradise, Mar 11, '11 (Long)

by Gringo Viejo @, Kansas/Zihuatanejo, Saturday, March 12, 2011, 09:35 (3408 days ago)

I open one eye as the sound of the bird chirping outside my window greets a new day. The first very faint light from Another Day in Paradise brings the night sky to life. I was barely dozing after my trip to the bathroom at 5:30 a.m. when I heard the Toyota pickup with the distinctive engine/muffler sound go up the street.

A car door slamming, the engine starting and then driving down the long driveway Probably someone going out on a fishing charter. Sit up on the edge of the bed to get my bearings, off to the bathroom (again!) and into the kitchen to make coffee. I usually do this the night before but it really doesn’t make any difference. I turn on the laptop on my way past it. That completes my wake up sequence and morning ritual of greeting the day. The early morning temperature is 71 degrees F plus or minus a few degrees as it is everyday.

The dawn comes on fast now. Colors start to show the hazy blue sky, the green and lushness of the tropical vegetation and the bright colored buildings around the deep azure bay. Now all sorts of sounds penetrate the air. The motor scooter up the driveway with one of the day workers here at our lodgings. More traffic on the street below (we are high on a hill overlooking the bay). And, I almost forgot, the white noise of the surf and waves from the beach; it is there 24/7 and somehow hides in the background.

And now the birds are really picking up the pace! Chirps, tweets, calls, peeps, cheeps-sounds of many descriptions. I don’t recognize any of them but some are songbirds, others calling to friends and mates, warnings---all kinds of sounds. The most identifiable are the Chacalacas. The size of a small chicken these birds are in small flocks of 6 or so, are primarily fruit eaters and live in the canopy of the thick trees. They run from tree to tree on the upper branches and seldom are seen in flight. Their call is something to behold. You’ll hear them at one spot down the hill calling out all at one time with a raucous clatter of 5 to 10 seconds that sounds something like the cross between a turkey gobbling, guinea hens cackling, crows crowing and 4 squeaky wagon wheels. Several seconds later, perhaps a minute, they have moved to a new location and call out again. Mother nature is at work!

I check the email. Have a little work to do to support my business partner. We have some messages about places to rent in Patzcuaro, a colonial mountain town we visited a short time ago and may spend next year there. Nothing of importance to us but the earthquake in Japan is a national disaster.

Bev is up and stirring about and ready for her coffee now. We sit over a breakfast of Cheerios and discuss what we will be doing for the next year. The trip to Missouri, Minnesota, Montana and Washington in June and July is locked in. This may be our last big driving trip and we’ll arm twist our kids and realatives and friends to come visit us in Arizona.

Maybe down to Patzcuaro to finish out the brutally hot summer in Arizona. A trip to New England for the fall foliage ? Now we are biting off more than we can chew I think. We really want to come to Patzcuaro next winter to experience the culture, history and people of the real Mexico. The expatriates as well as locals who live there make short trips down to Zihuatanejo for a “beach fix” every couple of months. The buses are clean, cheap and have bathrooms! This year the all- inclusive resorts offer great last minute deals-beautiful room overlooking the beach, all the food and drink you can consume and lots of menities for $120 a day per couple.

Now to plan the day. First a nap and then clean up and down to Paty’s, our favorite place on La Ropa beach—a typical beach restaurant with cold beer and great seafood plus Bev can get a pedicure there. Our domestica, Veronica, comes in around noon and cleans the place spic and span. She has a big smile and is a hard worker. Her appearance is typical of the ladies on the staff here-hair pulled back tightly in a pony tail, no make-up (they don’t need it), tight fitting short sleeve top, skin tight (I mean tight) hip-hugger pedal pushers and flip-flops. Veronica’s husband is recently unemployed, she has two sons and a daughter still in school. She feels lucky to have a job and sings with the radio as she goes about her duties which includes mopping the floor. She comes on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Down to the beach around 2 p.m. Bev up the stairs (now that’s a challenge!) for her pedicure, me to the beachfront bar for a cold beer and I order a glass of wine for Pablo to take up to Bev. The crowd today is a 50/50 mixture of Mexicans and gringos. I strike up a conversation with a Danish couple who migrated first to Iceland then to Alberta, Canada. They aren’t enthralled with the Canadien socialized health care system and much prefer what the U.S. presently has to offer. Bev joins us after finishing her pedicure. We order a shrimp cocktail to split. Later she has a plate of fish tacos and I have shrimp brochettes (shrimp kebobs). Of course it takes some more beers and glasses of wine o wash down the delicious fare! The peaks out at 84 degrees F plus or minus a few degrees as it is every day--it hasn't even sprinkled since we got here.

Suddenly, everyone is standing up and walking near to the water on the beach! The tsunami from the earthquake in Japan has reached our coastline and the water is retreating into the bay. A fellow who was standing in water up to his armpits finds himself with the water down around his ankles! Then the water surges in, not in a wall of water but coming higher and higher with every wave until it is up to the edge of the restaurant in less than a minute. This was around 4 p.m. and the cycle continued until we left well after sunset.

A stroll up the street to catch a taxi and then home. We go through our evening routine in the bathrooms. I check email but nothing important. We sit watching the gray hue of the night come into the bay with our feet hanging outside over the window sill—our place is open to the elements.

Off to bed and turn on the TV. Fox and CNN are the only two English speaking channels we get and it is entertaining to watch their different views of U.S. politics. Their coverage of the earthquake in Japan, the tsunami and the nuclear power plant damage is depressing so off goes the TV.

The birds have gone to roost. Man's noise pollution is virtually gone. Darkness has overcome light. The surf hisses gently as I roll over to sleep. So ends Another Day in Paradise.


Another Day In Paradise, Mar 11, '11 (Long)

by JeffMN ⌂ @, Minneapolis MN USA, Saturday, March 12, 2011, 12:09 (3408 days ago) @ Gringo Viejo

¡Buen trabajo, GV! What a fine summary of a day, especially of the rewards of simply being in the moment. Don't you find that when you write about a typical day, it no longer seems "typical?"

One Man's Wonder


Great post, and one more suggestion for Patzcuaro

by Karen, Sunday, March 13, 2011, 07:33 (3407 days ago) @ Gringo Viejo

Sure enjoyed your recap of yesterday, and yes, life can be perfect when we have an attitude of gratefulness and wonder.
I thought I would add one more place to consider in Patzcuaro... 2 blocks from Plaza Grande, wonderful, walled in 5 acre garden area, pets allowed, and the most peaceful and Zen-like surroundings. Once I found this place, I continue to return, as well as each of my friends who have tried it... it is Casa Werma.