May 23rd, 2009
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Wandering into a play expecting the focus to be on one thing and then being pleasantly surprised that it is much more encompassing than expected is always a pleasant surprise.

Distracted addresses the issue of ADHD in society and the many causes and solutions that we fumble with.  One of the two lines in the show that impacted me was “How do we deal with a child with ADHD in a world that is ADHD?”  We have so many solutions, some like drugs treat the symptoms rather than the causes.  Others like diet and allergies may have credence, but are unworkable in the world in which we live.  The doctors and other solution providers are all married to their particular solutions and everyone “knows” that their solution is “the answer”.

The parents of the child struggle to “not drug our kid”.  However ultimately the arrive at that solution after exhausting all other options.  The side effects of the drugs certainly modify the behavior of their son, but then he’s no longer really the son they knew.  Of course this causes a sub-drama between the parents, both of which want nothing more than to do the best for their child and at the same time enable their son to “fit into” a world where there is no longer any more “fit”.

I found the play to be wonderful and touched upon all the areas of our lives which are out of control, seemingly without solution.  We are “wired in” to instant communication and symptoms abound for our “attachments” to feeding our insatiable minds.

Near the end of the play another line stuck out to me.  It was “Maybe to help my child with Attention Deficit Disorder, I can simply give him more Attention”.  I know for me, that if ADHD had been around when I was a child, I would have been medicated since the age of 2.  I also believe that much of my personal behavior could have been solved by having that attention applied rather than more things created for me to do.

In the late 90’s I was involved with a woman with a child who was severely ADHD.  There were other problems too, but the ADHD was very difficult to cope with.  We turned to medication as a solution simply to make life more tolerable for all.  It was the easiest way out.  Over time, Adam’s personal growth reduced his need for medication and a few years ago I had the chance to visit him.  At 19, he had been off medication for several years, had been writing poetry and composing music.  He seemed healthy in mind and spirit.  So it seems that there is hope and that our social environment is as much a cause of this problem as any physiological factor.

I wold highly recommend this play, especially if you are struggling with a child in you life who is labeled as ADHD (professionally diagnosed or simply socially diagnosed).  All the characters were played excellent and all the key characters of a child’s social life (teachers, babysitters, parents of their friends, etc.) are all addressed with their varying issues as well.

Well done.



May 18th, 2009
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This will be the last public posting (facebook) for this blog.  I will continue to add to it as need arises and those interested can check back to this site for updates.

I thought that getting home to my own bed would be a comfort.  I only had one short nap on the flights home so thought with the time change (2 hours later) that I’d be able to fall asleep quickly.  I went to bed about 11:30 but didn’t fall asleep till after 2.  I woke in the middle of the night with another headache (no idea what that is about) so took some Ibuprofen and tossed and turned and finally fell asleep.

I woke about 9 and did my usual coffee/email routine and decided to go to a 10am meeting.  Following the meeting I went and picked up my bicycle that I’d dropped off for some modifications before I left.  Came home, did a little work.  Started to attack the bills and decided I didn’t want to deal with them quite yet.  So went for a short bike ride, came home and watched game 7 of the Detroit/Anaheim game 7 of the western conference semi-finals.

Left to go play hockey at 5:30, carpooled with my friends Greg and Pam.  We won the game and it was a good game.  Although playing hockey when it’s 80 degrees outside is always a little strange.  It was warm in the rink so generated a lot of sweat.  Also rediscovered all the muscles needed for hockey that haven’t been used since before I left.  Came home and ate some more Ibuprofen (this time for body ache rather than headache).

Puttered with some work stuff for a bit waiting for the adrenaline to run down and now it’s time for bed.

I don’t like the state of affairs in my home right now.  I won’t go into any details here, but suffice to say that I’m questioning my choice in a roommate.  This is NOT what I needed upon my return, but I guess I should not have expectations of others.

Things I learned today:

  • I’m out of shape
  • I should not rely on others
  • I’ve dug myself into a hole that is going to be difficult to get out of (finance).

2009 Guadalajara, Daily Ramblings, travel

Day 22, returning

May 16th, 2009
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Okay I home!  But doesn’t feel like home….

So let me start at the beginning…  Got up this morning about 6:30 to pack, drain email, upload yesterday’s pictures, etc…  Had a nice talk with my host family before departing.

I was wrong about the school dropping the ball for my ride to the airport.  Jill showed up promptly at 9:30 just as planned.  Pictures finished uploading about 9:20 so everything was working perfectly.

Got to the airport and went through the new medical stuff (a form and shoot you with a temperature sensor), had them totally destroy my careful packing of the things I was bringing home (they search bags in MX).  Got checked in and then had a 1 1/2 hour wait for departure.  Flight from GDL -> HOU was fine.

Got into HOU and it was very crowded.  Long lines at immigration and then went find my bags.  At HOU International (when named after Bush, what would you expect) there are about 15 baggage carousals  and you have to speed read to find which one is SUPPOSED to have your bags.  After waiting a full 20 minutes (after taking 40 minutes in immigration) I found a Continental rep to ask if they were sure the bags from my flight were coming in on F4 as it was posted.  They got on the radio and surprise, someone decided to put them on F10 instead.  Actually got both of my bags and set out for the LONG line for them to take your declaration card and let you out.  After another 1/2 hour, finally made it through.

Decided a cigarette was definitely in order so ducked outside to have one, then up to the next floor to go through security again.  You have to go through security again from an international flight anyway and the lines were actually shorter upstairs via the normal ticket area.

Had an exit row from HOU -> PDX which was a blessing.  Problem with the air-conditioning meant maintenance had to come reset something or other.  We took off a 1/2 hour late but got in on time anyway.

Ted was supposed to pick me up.  But he got Chuck to do it for him.  Chuck was right on time.  We got home and the changes started to be apparent.  I’d said that Chuck could stay with us temporarily till he got on his feet.  But it seems that some surprises were in store for me.  Ted seems to have moved to his girlfriends (residing there anyway) but his stuff is still all here.  Chuck has changed his address to my address.  My garage is full of stuff that is now blocking the things I need access to.  While I was gone, some contracts came registered mail from Russia that I had been waiting for.  So there was 1 notice, then the 2nd notice that they would be returned to sender on 5/9.

I unpacked and tried to get myself settled in, but I feel anything but settled.

Seems that I must have been expecting that my reentry to my home would be similar to my departure from it.  I don’t like it when things change underneath me and I’m not expecting it.  Saying somone can have a couch for a bit is not the same as having them change their address.  And having a roommate who is 1/2 moved into his girlfriends house (and no rent to be found) is also somewhat disappointing.

Yeah, I’m ranting a bit….  But right now, a Mocha Frapuccino at San Pedro Cafe after a nice meeting with Grupo Refugio sounds pretty damn good!

I’m tired and have had a long day.  Hopefully when the sun rises tomorrow it will feel like a new day.  I have a hockey game tomorrow night which should be interesting having not skated for 4 weeks (nor done much else other than walk a lot) and then another on Monday night.  I’ll probably cough up all those Mexican cigarettes I smoked!

Okay, outta here…

Things I learned today (this ought to be good):

  • People are people and I shouldn’t expect anything from anyone
  • I count on the “security of home” more than I thought
  • I don’t like change – which means I’m not as adaptable as I thought.

2009 Guadalajara, Daily Ramblings, travel

Day 21, La Terminal

May 16th, 2009
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Ah, the last day….

Had horrible night’s sleep.  Awoke again in the middle of the night with a headache.  Took Ibuprofen and took a couple of hours to get back to sleep.  Woke 15 minutes before school so rushed out the door.

The boys from Holland didn’t make school in the morning.  Too hung over.  So I had a nice couple of hours of private instruction from Julia.  It helped fill in the gaps of my pronouns and conjunctions.  I was able (probably 80%) to describe my evening.  Was slow, but at least it came out in sentences!

For the afternoon class, we all just went to a restaurant.  Alejandrea (my PM instructor) apparently drank too much wine at the party and was also out for the day.  Gee, I’m sure glad I don’t get stuck behind that 8 ball anymore.

Was a pleasant lunch.  Got to know one of the other students better.  Gina is from Nashville and is actually a hockey fan!  So we were able to talk hockey!  No one else around here even seems to know what it is.

After lunch I went down to visit Evilea for a few minutes.  But I was exhausted.  So went home for a siesta.

Got up and did a little work before heading out to my AA group for my fiesta.  As the meeting progressed, my headache came back.  We had a great Pollo en Mole (chicken in mole sauce) with rice.  Was really nice and it was a good time.  Unfortunately, during the meeting my headache returned.  By the time to eat, it was raging.  So I was less “spirited” than normal.

After the meeting I went to San Pedro Cafe for a final Mocha Frappuccino.  Didn’t really even want to go due to the headache, but decided I needed to end as I began!

Came home by 10:30, took more Ibuprofen and went to bed.  No email, no blog, no nothing!

Woke this morning about 6:30, got up and packed, write this blog, drain the email and prepare for departure.  My ride is supposed to be here at 9:30 but I’ll almost bet it will be a no-show.  We’ll see.

All in all, I’m ready to go home.  While I feel that I really just got started with the language and that after 3 weeks I made a couple of friends there is a bit of sadness in leaving.  But there’s also an immense amount of gratitude for having the opportunity to do this.  When I get home, the next 6 months will be make or break for my business.  I’ll either be going bankrupt or will maybe be able to slowly get out of debt.  Time will tell (and there’s no Spanish translation for that).

I would like to come back in the fall if possible.  Maybe for a month then.  We’ll see.

Things I learned today:

  • Headaches are debilitating for me.  I’m completely non-functional
  • People are warm and welcoming if you let them in.
  • Even difficult times can be rewarding in their own right

2009 Guadalajara, Daily Ramblings, travel

Day 20, hot and busy

May 14th, 2009

School was good.  Mostly prepositions (many of them).  This was done before I got here with the others.  So it was review for them and new for me.  No wonder I’ve struggled with many of the holes….  Sentences don’t have any flow without prepositions!  Just more stuff to try and remember.

I haven’t done an update to my spreadsheet for quite a while.  I’ve marked things in my notebook to add and figure I’ll just do it on the flight from Houston to PDX at this point.  I don’t think anything more is going to seep into my brain or out of my mouth.  I think I’m full on all counts!  I can understand the gist of most peoples speaking, but some either take short cuts and cram all their words together or my ears simply can’t hear the differences.  I’m getting good at my “blank stare”! 🙂

It was pretty hot here today.  Probably upper 90’s and humidity was up too.  Like tonight, didn’t get to bed until late and up early.  Seem to have acquired a nice headache through the morning.  For the last 1/2 hour of school we did a little field trip down to look at the booths of the indigenous people and their bead work.  It’s really pretty incredible.  Learned a bit more history.  But it was in the middle of the day and my head was pounding.  Came home, took some ibuprofen and tried for a nap.  Got woken by the family cuz the mid-day meal was ready early.  Ate and went back to my siesta.

Did a little work and then went for conversation with Louis, then met Eveila for a nice steak dinner and then went to the BD party of one of my compenaros from school.  Mostly young people (20’s) but felt welcomed and had a good time.

Other than the headache and exhaustion, it was a nice day.  A light rain came in this evening which cooled everything down a bit.  Now the clouds have cleared and the air is clean.  Walking the streets late at night is beautiful here.  The lighting is very nice and I feel completely safe.

What I learned today:

  • I’m getting old and need my rest! 🙂
  • I can still cure a headache by a little nap.
  • Life is usually good if we get out of the way and simply let it unfold.

2009 Guadalajara, Daily Ramblings, travel

Day 19, just getting started

May 13th, 2009
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Funny how sometimes life requires “warm up time”…  I’m sitting here tonight after a very full, but very nice day.  I’ve been here nearly 3 weeks and I have 2 days of school left and then the next morning (Saturday), I hop on a plane and return home to the normalcy of life.

It feels like I’m finally at the beginning.  Can you really start in the negative and get to zero?  So I’m leaving at the time where it feels things are coming together (many fronts).

School today was good.  We had to construct all the right verbs in a bibliography about Hernan Cortez, the Conquistador of Mexico.  It was fun to learn more of the history (again – I’d forgotten what I learned in 6th grade) and to get a clear view of the verbs in context.

Following school I went off to look at Luis’ art which is in a small gallery here.  The store owner speaks English but was embarrassed by it.  But once I revealed the level of my Spanish, I think she felt more at ease.  We talked for a couple of hours, she correcting my Spanish, me correcting her English.  It is exactly what I’ve been looking for and now there are only 2 days left!

I bought the piece that struck me a couple of days ago.

It was fun, enlightening and nice to learn about other people’s lives.  Unfortunately, it is difficult to speak of feelings at this point in time because that takes a whole different vocabulary and words that I just don’t know.  It’s too hard to look up each one in the dictionary.  I forget what I was trying to say by the time I find it!

Went to my meeting after coming back to la casa and working for a couple of hours.  Was nice to see my friends and to be welcomed and encouraged.

Following the meeting, I grabbed a couple of tacos before heading home to write this.  Now it’s time to pull the laundry off the fence and start thinking about preparing to leave.

I don’t seem to see my host family much these days.  We have breakfast but many days I’ve missed the mid-day meal.  Then, when I get home later in the afternoon, they are all in siesta mode in their rooms.  I go out in the evening and may touch base when I return about 10pm, but like tonight when I got home at 11, they are all in their rooms watching TV or playing video games.

I offered to take the family out to dinner one night this week.  Was told they’d let me know which day would work.  But like many things in Mexico, it seems to be soon forgotten.  Now, I don’t think I have time to take them out.  Tomorrow night is a birthday party for one of the students from Holland and Friday night my AA group is throwing a dinner/fiesta before the meeting.

A week ago, I was ready to bag it and just go home.  I was lonely, tired, felt isolated and didn’t feel that school was sinking in.  Now I feel like I’m starting to find my way, have cultivated a couple of friendships that I hope will continue via email and I can almost get the point of what I’m trying to say across to whomever is listening.

What I learned today:

  • Patience is a virtue I seem to have little of.  I was anxious to find people to talk to and it’s taken the full 3 weeks to do so.
  • Many times communication is so much more about meaning, intent and the underlying message versus the words we choose to use (or the language we speak).
  • God has a funny way of leaving us with fond memories so that we’ll hold on to them and return again; sooner than we thought.

2009 Guadalajara, Daily Ramblings, travel

Day 18, learning to talk

May 12th, 2009
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Not a lot to say today…  School seems to be moving at a faster pace now and I’m struggling to keep up.

I met with a new conversation partner this afternoon (Alfonso) and it was good.  We mostly talked about the differences in weather between here and Portland.  New words for me like cloudy, rain, windy, thunder, lightning, warm, cool, etc.  Tried to set another date to meet him before I leave, but it’s not in his schedule.

After Alfonso left a guy at another table had overheard us.  He lives in San Jose (Ca.) but his family is all here.  So he was looking to speak English so I obliged.  Nice guy and he hasn’t been back here for 15 years.  Says it’s quite different, much bigger.

Went to my AA meeting tonight.  It was a large group (maybe 15 people).  Apparently they have a thing they do here where several people from each group go visit other groups.  It’s kind of nice.  The format of the meetings is quite different.  But at the same time, the content is the same.  I pick a few more words out.  One they use no one could translate for me.  It’s “anima”…  Apparently it means something like “It’s all okay”.  Google Translate doesn’t know it either….  I’ll have to ask at school tomorrow.

Capped the night off with a Strudel Al a Mode and a cafe de creama and came home.  Did homework and that was about it.

I feel tired today.  Not quite sure why but probably because I worked for a couple of hours this afternoon following school.  Switching to “work mode” is difficult after sitting in class all day.

2009 Guadalajara, Daily Ramblings, travel

Day 17, busy day

May 11th, 2009
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Today was just busy…  School was good but my brain feels “stretched”.  Trying to sort through all the data stored in my head (and in notes) to make grammatically correct sentences.  It’s hard when the adjectives always follow the nouns versus English where the adjective precede the nouns.  Also, the prepositions and pronouns are killing me!

Anyway, had conversation the morning class and the afternoon.

After school, I worked (m ywork) from about 1:30 to 6pm.  Lots of little things and other things to “nicely defer” until I get home.  It’s a balancing act right now.

At 7pm I met with Louis, my new conversation partner.  We spoke mostly English but plan to switch to Spanish next time.  He told me about his business and so we talked business stuff for quite a while.  He wanted to introduce me to a woman who owns a shop where some of his work is sold.  But when we walked down there it was closed.  Maybe manana!

I went to my AA meeting which feels like home.  I got compliments on how much my Spanish has improved.  They wanted to know when I was leaving so they could have a fiesta in my honor!  How’s that for making someone feel welcome and loved?  So Friday night someone is going to make a meal for the dozen or so folks who attend this particular group and we’re going to have a little party!  Very cool from my perspective!

Got home from the meeting and talked business with Xavier.  He’s frustrated being in between “the boss” and “the sales guy”.  Too many conflicting directives.  I shared some of my corporate experience and tried to be a good listener.  Hopefully allowing him to just vent will remove some of the frustration and give him a clear head for tomorrow.

Didn’t get a siesta in today and have done a lot in front of this laptop screen.  So I’m pretty tired and looking forward to going to bed.  No thunder/lightening show yet tonight.  But it has sprinkled a little.  It feels much cooler this evening so I’m hoping for a very sound sleep without waking up in a sweat in the middle of the night.

Take a look at Luis’ work that I posted on Facebook.  There’s one piece I simply love.  Very cool stuff.  Maybe this is the sculptor I’m supposed to meet here?

Via condios.

2009 Guadalajara, Daily Ramblings, travel

Day 16, uh… Not such a great day

May 10th, 2009

Woke this morning after a good nights sleep.  Looked at my cell phone and it said 9:15.  Wow, haven’t slept that late for a while.  Then I looked at my watch and it said 8:15.  Go figure…

Xavier cooked a nice breakfast of beef in a chili sauce with tortillas and frijoles.  Not the normal Americano breakfast, but getting used to eating weird things at weird times.

Was excited about the day I’d planned.  Intended to go to Guadalajara to the Mercado de Liberdad.  It’s the biggest market in GDL and covers 3 floors of a huge building with a plaza in the center.  I took a taxi for $50p (about $4.00) and started off to walk the Mercado….

Not quite what I expected.  The Mercado is really geared to family shopping.  There are a thousand vendors selling knock-off shoes and lots of beef heads hanging in the air.  There are many restaurants kind of like the counter of a Denny’s serving all kinds of Mexican specialty foods.   There’s also a lot of cowboy boots, leather and jewelry for sale.  I was hoping to find more crafts and unique items for gifts.  But I came up completely empty.

After walking for a couple of hours in the Mercado I decided that I would ditch this idea and go back to Tonola where I went the first week I was here.  I roamed around GDL for a while down one of the pedestrian malls and tried to ask a few people “?Donde el bus a la Tonola?” (where is the bus to Tonola?).  I got a lot of blank stares, a few finger pointers in one direction or another.  I finally found a nice gal at a booth who told me there was a tourist info booth in the plaza a block or two away.  At the booth, they told me where the stop was so I was on my way.  I’d been walking for probably 2 more hours through the historic district of GDL at this point so getting into an air-conditioned bus was a blessing.

After about a 1/2 hour bus ride I arrived in Tonola.  The Mercado Tonola was well underway with the normal shops on the streets and the sidewalks stuffed with booths of all kind of things (most of no interest to me).  The crowds were thick and at each block, I’d duck down a side street and check out the shops on that calles (street) for a couple of blocks, then head back into the booths.

There seemed to be a lot of artists (painters) that had shops off the main drag and tons of manufactured pottery, glass and molded plaster-of-paris.  None of this interested me.  But I did run across a shop (studio) of a sculptor who carved wood.  He had everything from full tree-size pieces to smaller items that I could actually pack.  I bought a small piece for myself.

I continued to roam and look…  Found a few small gifts for people at home but overall, I’d say that 99.9% of the stuff for sale was of zero interest to me or the shop owner thought he could milk the gringo (like a key holder which was punched metal and nicely bent and stained for $600p – right!  It’s worth $30p at the most).

I found the bus back to Tlaquepaque but missed my stop so had to walk an additional 6-8 blocks to get to the central square.  I sat down at Cafe San Pedro and had my Mocha Frappuccino and then wandered on to la casa.

Took a short nap and then went out to treat myself to a nice dinner.  I had a great steak and all the fixings.  It was probably the most expensive meal I’ve had since getting here ($260p including tip – about $22.00).  Following that, I came back to la casa to write this and go to bed.

Another thunder and lightening show is starting now so that will be entertaining….

Things I learned today:

  • Traveling alone kind of sucks for me.  While solace can be good for the soul and stretch one to act outside of our box, I’m getting pretty tired of doing EVERYTHING alone.  I’m not my own greatest company!  Conversations in my head are usually not that entertaining!
  • Being Mother’s day, I looked back at my relationship with my own mother and the “mothers” I’ve been involved with over the years (wives and girlfriends).  Not sure I know what to say about it all other than I feel that I’ve missed out on a lot being a perpetual single person.

2009 Guadalajara, Daily Ramblings, travel

Day 15, Luago Chapalla and Ajijic

May 9th, 2009
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This one turned out long so read when you have the time…..

Had a somewhat restless night’s sleep.  Woke early AM and was way too hot.  Cranked the fan up a bit and fell back asleep about an hour later.  Woke about 8am to the sound of a leaf-blower.  I haven’t heard a leaf-blower since I left Portland.  So that kind of symbolizes a little of the difference between the Ex-pat community that lives in Lake Chapalla and where I’m at in Tlaquepaque.

Lake Chapalla was not what I expected for an ExPat community.  The ExPat community is really a pretty small little group inside a traditional Mexican village.  I will describe the several little towns all as one since they’re pretty similar and the gringo population is different size in each, but the environment is pretty much the same.

The actual lake is big.  It’s the biggest lake in Mexico.  The town of Luago Chapalla used to be a high-end resort town for the upper class of Guadalajara.  Several years ago, the level of the lake dropped considerably so the resort was quite removed from the lake and there was a large area of barren land between the town and the lake.  Hence is much less of a destination than it was before.  Over the past few years, the lake level has returned to normal and the town is starting to get new building and growing again.

The towns are (my observation) typical small Mexican communities.  Narrow streets (all one way) with room for parking on one side and thoroughfare on the other.  The roads are almost all cobblestone and the workers place each rock by hand and tap it in firmly with a hammer so that it “sets”.  The sidewalks are really built for one person to walk on.  When people oppose each other, one steps in the street or into a doorway.  The building are traditional Mexican, mostly brick with some stucco work on the exterior.  It feels like Mexico.

Then there are the “colonies”…  These are the tracks of land that were broken into lots and sold for new building.  Generally these are still mostly Mexican owned but have a high percentage (maybe 30% on average) of gringos.  The houses are all modern with a Mexican flavor, but North American architecture and amenities have definitely crept in.  Almost all houses are walled in.  I.e. you can never really see someones house.  So it’s a bit strange to drive through a sub division of walls….  Some have gates with bars so you can see inside, but most have steel doors that are impervious to sight.

Quite a few of the local businesses are owned by gringos.  I think there were more restaurants here than any other place I’ve seen in Mexico, especially for the size of the towns.  We had a wonderful dinner last night at a modern style resturant.  If you  pictured an Olive Garden with a terrace for ambiance you wouldn’t be far off.  The food was great.  I had a “Global” something…  It was shrimp, crab and scallops all baked in a very light pastry.  Very yummy and was only like $100p (about $8.50).  Vegetables were fresh and the bread and patte was good too.

This morning Joy and I went out to breakfast at a little restaurant on the square.  It was filled with gringos, most of them seemingly in their 70’s.  Many of them knew Joy and came by to say hi.  The food was okay.  Not great, but not bad either.  But the bill for our breakfast consisting of waffles, orange juice, coffee, omlette, hashbrowns, etc. for both of us came to $94p (about $8.40).

The gringos seem to mostly be older (60’s and 70’s) and seem to live in their own world.  I’m sure they have significant impact on the community around them and hope that the community impacts them as well.  They do not speak Spanish amongst each other and there are a lot of little dogs with groomed coats.  A lot of “Fi Fi’s”.  The woman dress much like they (I assume) would dress if they lived in the states.  Same with most of the men.  Kind of like they moved their world down here and are a small American town living inside of a Mexican community.  Almost like Sun City in Phoenix but on a much smaller scale.  There are a lot of resources here for gringos.  They have their own little community center, library, etc.  All the things to keep people busy who really have nothing to do.

We then strolled through the streets of Ajijic (pronounced ah-he-hec) and along the lakefront.  Very pleasant.  We checked out a few shops but I bought nothing.  Most was typical tourist fare.  There were some real hand-crafts by locals but it was mostly jewelry or photographs that I wasn’t interested in.

Came back for our little jaunt and I settled in for a quick nap reading the local English newspaper.  It’s a little out of date since thefront page  headline was that there are cases of the pig flu in Jalisco now but then a 2nd page article talked about the schools, bars, etc. all reopening on Monday.  But the Monday date has now been extended to the following Monday and that’s after I leave.

I drained some email and hung out and talked.  I read some stories Joy had written while she was in school about our time raising dairy goats and living 11 1/2 miles up a dead end gravel road in Southern Oregon where our son Dan was born.  Reflected on those times and it really feels like it was an entirely different life.  The guy writing this today is a very different man than they guy who grew pot at the rear of their 10 acres of land!

We talked about our time together, the divorce, changes that have occurred in each of our lives, etc.  It was all very pleasant.  Some things were brought to my attention that I have to process and think about.  But then there were also points of view by Joy that have been somewhat twisted over the years.  But it’s all good and the facts of the past really don’t matter in the grand scheme of things.

We stopped for lunch at an English Pub and BBQ (nice mix).  Had some pork ribs (no flu) which were very good.  Then we hit a pharmacy so I could pick up some hydrocortozone cream that’s 2 1/2 times as strong as I can buy in the states.  They then dropped me off at the bus station for the trip back to Guadalajara.

Joy seems very happy here.  She’s been here about 8 years now and with her counseling practice, most all the gringos know her.  She writes an article in the local newspaper and is somewhat a notoriety.  This is good for the ego and helps her feel like she matters and has importance in the lives of others.  This is a good thing.  I sometimes feel like I don’t have impact in others lives and know that when I feel I do, that it is a satisfying feeling.  I don’t think the Ex-Pat lifestyle would be for me though.  But I’m glad it’s working for her.

Had to wait about 30 minutes for the next bus so had some more quiet time.  The bus trip was pleasant and uneventful.  When I got back to the Old Bus Station in Guadalajara I decided to go  for a walk instead of heading directly back to Tlaquapaque.  Had a nice conversation with a guy on the street whose English was worse than my Spanish.  Was fun.  Not a lot of information passed since neither of us could really ask or say what we wanted to, but both tried hard and you could just tell that it was simply out of interest and being friendly.  I think we parted with “Obama, me gusto”!

I then caught a bus back to Tlaquapaque, had a nice Frezzer Fresa at the San Pedro Cafe.  Talked with a couple of young gals who work in a bank (but banks will now be closed) who asked if they could “use my fire”.  So I lit their cigarettes for them, told them it was a “lighter” and we talked about pig flu for a bit.  They left, I finished up and came back to la casa for a nice shower to rinse Guadalajara off of me.  Guadalajara isn’t a bad place.  But it’s a big city with lots of buses.  Hence when you have a layer of sweat (always) and walk through the streets, Guadalajara just kind of sticks to you.  Was good to feel refreshed and sit back and watch the lightning and thunder show….

Things I learned today:

  • Memory can be deceptive (or missing) and is sometimes adjusted to match our feelings
  • I would not want to move to a foreign country and bring my lifestyle with me
  • People are people no matter what ethnicity they are, what language they speak nor where they happen to be living.  There are good and bad among us and I need to simply trust my intuition and move through life’s encounters.

All and all, a pretty good day.

2009 Guadalajara, Daily Ramblings, travel