Sunday, August 10, 2008
While walking through the streets of Ajijic, I often hear "adios" used as both a greeting and a farewell. Villagers passing on opposite sides of the street smile, wave, and declare to each other "Go with God" -- "Adios". "Hola" is frequently used as a quick "Hi". "Buenos Dias" or "Bueno Dia" (swallow the final "s") may follow the "Hola" greeting.
It isn't always easy to get the older women of the village to look up and greet you. A warm smile usually does the trick. The most difficult folks, it seems, are the gringas viejas. The older American (and sometimes Canadian) women are the toughest nuts to crack. They seem the most self-absorbed and unwilling to look at passersby. I see more of them as my walking/exercise time is now in the mornings.
I really can't comment on the Mexican men in the village. I don't see as many on the streets as most are off working through the day. The street vendors, most of whom are men, smile easily and greet you with enthusiasm. After all, they want to sell you a cheap watch, sunglasses, lace tablecloths, fruit (What are those red spiny things?), nuts, roasted corn, or cotton shirts that everyone says come from China and are modestly decorated with strips of ribbon.
I am discovering more about village life as I walk (and walk and walk and walk) in the morning. I usally make it to the Plaza before the shops surrounding it are open. It is quiet there, then. The streets and sidewalks along the main tourist drag are empty except for the maids sweeping and washing the walks in front of the shops, realtors, hotels, restaurants, and bars. I enjoy the quiet and appreciate the fact that I can take long strides up and down the hill from the lake to the Plaza without having to stop for or avoid tourists.
After my walk today, I sat in the shade of the trees in the public park next to the Ajijic pier. The sky was mostly clear and I watched the clouds drift over the peaks of Cerro de Garcia across the lake. The villages resting in the shadow of the "little mountain" were more visible than usual, as were the distant farm fields. The vistas here are breathtaking.
What a start to a beautiful sunny day!
The pictures above were taken a few days ago. I was on the roof and I climbed up on the base of one of our two water tanks. That is Cerro de Garcia and Lake Chapala. The first picture is without the zoom. See, I told you I live in Paradise.