Sunday, September 14, 2008

Another one bites the dust...

And so it comes about that I too have fallen victim to the inevitable Mexican ear infection.  I awoke to a throbbing ear "headache", with the occasional "someone is stabbing me with a needle" pain.  After Eric had his recheck at the doctor this morning, we decided that I would be diagnosed similarly, and we bought a spare set of his antibiotics and ear drops for me.  Unfortunately, later that afternoon, ear aching persistently causing me to whine incessantly, I visited the doctor.  Surprise, surprise - I should take the same drugs as Eric!  Good thing I had already started them this morning.

Welcome to the circle of love Jen...


After one stomach-wrenching lurch, the plane landed in PV. I was finally here and after the events from the last couple days (quitting a toxic job to try working on my own...from Mexico for the next couple weeks), I was feeling pretty good. I stepped through the sliding "exit" doors, tinted white, to be received by a throng of taxi drivers and tourist officials, clamoring for my business, any business. "You want a taxi-I give you good price" "Where you going, pretty lady" "You need a bodyguard, senorita?"

I smiled, No gracias. Pienso que estoy bien.

Creo que si. Buenos suerte y buenos tardes, senorita.

I wait for the bus and practiced chatting in Spanish with the man who guessed I was headed to Sayulita and very formally wished me a "most magnificent time", in carefully practiced English. As we sped past crumbling bulidings, new construction and pickup trucks full of dusty laborers, I practiced talking to the woman who sat down next me after I smiled to her and carefully said, Este asiento esta abierto." I practiced talking to the man with a portly Corona-belly, who reclined in a lawn chair in the middle of the road, halfway up the steep hill I'd trudged up, searching for the Casa Suenos Del Mar. He pointed up further up the road to a woman who spoke English. Together we pieced together some direction that involved me descending and climbing up another hill. There I practiced talking to a man who pointed me in the right direction, all in Spanish. Again and again I stop, confused by the nameless streets that force me to trade palabras with people of all sorts. Perspiration drips from my forehead by the time I arrive at the house where my friends are staying. Hot, sleep deprived, lost -- but happy. I made a lot of mistakes, but I revelled in the beauty of a language shared, even if it takes a couple (or 14) tries to get it right. The simplicity of shared smiles amongst strangers, as we fumbled to put words into sentences that could be understood and passed around.

Somewhere in my head, tumbles the words of that one poem I learned in 10th grade. Now I can only remember the first couple lines in Spanish, en el muro calor, paloma de cemento, sin embargo, tan vivido... The last couple lines I could only paraphrase, "Isn't it time we started thinking that just being alive demands something of us, big things maybe, or perhaps some simple thing would be enough...words for one thing, household words well worn with warmth."

Jen makes two plates of delicious nachos, piled high with manchego and guacamole (made from perfect avocados purchased for $.20 that morning). Mechanical fans swirl, mariachi blares from a passing car, we talk about nothing in particular as the sun sets and tiny, tan geckos end their day by scaling the ceiling above us to congregate, within the terracota light shade, near the warmth.

That big package from the store.. Jose's Fed up Too

You might think we are joking as to the culinary delight known as our tasteless crackers, but we are not. To prove our point further, we present you Jose, our starving Sayulita begger dog, who now refuses them also. He'll take them in his mouth and just stare at us with a look in his eye which says "Really? This is the best you can do?". Sometimes he breaks them up a bit, but in the end very little gets eaten by our canine pal, so we really have to start digging into your suggestions.

We were in the grocery store again today and I still spied an alarmingly large supply of the giant cracker bags, so someone, somewhere, must find these palatable.

PS. We actually found out a few days ago that Jose's real name is Max. Apparently he followed some of the renters on the ground floor to a village a few miles away. Upon arrival the locals of that village knew Jose/Max and that he was from Sayulita. We still prefer calling him Jose, perhaps for the same reason the villagers prefer calling him Max, he just seems more exotic with a foreign name.