Saturday, January 27, 2018

Spring is in the Air

It is just fantastic to live in a climate where late January turns into spring and many blossoms are appearing on the naked tree limbs, indicating the end of winter. Gone are the endless long dark winter days of Canada and we are stunned that the days are getting longer and noticeably warmer already. We've had a few swims over the past week and even some rainstorms. The evenings are still chilly enough to enjoy an outside barbecue without too many bugs. We have a bat that flies low over the pool eating the bugs and freaking out the pooch.

The birds in the garden are noticeably fewer this time of year, but it is still beautiful in the mornings listening to the sound of country living. Some roosters seem to have serious issues with timing and will crow in the middle of the afternoon or the middle of the night. Maybe it's all the street lights that have been installed in the small town recently. Goats, chickens, Brahmans and horses are a comfortable occurrence on our street and the newborn puppies, kid and calf are sweet to encounter on our frequent excursions to the local fresh market. We have become part of the  community here and people no longer stare and point at the weird people who have moved to their small town.

We have recently often been dropped outside an unknown house not far from here by some of the moto-taxi drivers and then we had to tell them, no, please continue. We were a little surprised, but then found out that another "gringo" couple have moved into the town. Shortly thereafter, Dianna came over and introduced herself. She and her husband are from the southern US and have moved here after living in M├ęrida for 8 years. It was interesting to wonder if we all look the same to the locals.

In Mexico, services come to you, not the other way round. Each service then plays a special jingle, so that you can be notified of said arrival. The baker plays a certain tune, the water delivery another tune, the gas supplier yet another one. As such when the water guy is a few blocks away, we get our empty bottles ready for exchange for the new refilled ones. He promptly drives to our front door and carries the full bottles into the house and removes the empty ones for next time.

We skip the gas delivery, since we do not have a stove yet. But boy, does the baker's cart every afternoon around 4:30 stir things up! The entire neighbourhood seems to surround the cart on almost every street corner and at our house Xena is front and centre to start barking at the excitement of our not too infrequent purchases of freshly baked rolls. On those days when we do not need bread, we will then mentally refrain from running outside as if an invisible force is encouraging us to do so. Maybe a little Pavlovian conditioning happening here?

We do feel that we were made for rural living and cannot understand what took us so long to discover we both felt this way. I know I have been pretty vocal about my feelings on city life over the years, but financially it was never viable. But I never realized that Herman also secretly felt the same. And people say women are hard to understand. Whatever, right ladies?

I have decided it was time to insert some culture into my reading habits and downloaded the book "To Kill A Mockingbird". It is an amazing book and I thoroughly enjoyed it after I got over the language of a bygone era. Onto some Hemingway next and who knows, maybe I'll read some F. Scott Fitzgerald. I am finding a sentimental enjoyment of the non-smutty writing of an era where language was used to its intended extent and not every second eBook author became a New York bestseller.

We recently ventured out to Chicxulub Puerto in search of a friend's daughter who spent a couple of weeks here to volunteer. We never found her, because they were probably off at some project, but we did see the place where they were staying, and it was typically secure for accommodating young volunteers in a foreign environment. So we stopped for lunch, visited the local fresh market and leisurely drove back home through several small towns where we took some pictures of the focal point of each town: the church. It was a pleasant day driving through rural Mexico and the vivid colours reminded us what a beautiful place we have chosen to live in. We also discovered that we are very close to one of the most sought after haciendas in the Yucatan, visited by royalty (not our type of accommodation). The Hacienda Katanchel is literally just a few kilometres down the road. If you are inclined to enjoy the finer things in life and can afford it, here is more information.

In our daily endeavours to live simply, we sorted out our routine to boil a few eggs on a fire, which only takes about 40 minutes start to finish­čśĆ. But since time is not money here, we can manage.

Changes we have noticed to our routine are that Herman now absolutely drives "Meksikaan", and we both have a walking pace we fondly refer to as "Mayan". These are good changes that we hope to hang onto, even though I doubt if mine will last long into 2018, since I am planning an extended visit to Canada in March this year, and I know life there is a different kettle of fish. We walk around the neighbourhood sometimes, and took a few pictures of the water tower and trees magically illuminated by the setting sun. We also walk past the local bull fighting arena, which we have not had the gumption to visit as of yet.

This week's video includes lots of pictures, but sadly, no videos of Herman dancing or singing (maybe next time). Enjoy!