Saturday, January 13, 2007

Loreto as Usual

The night before Allison started back at Colegio Calafia I had to endure her whimpering and declarations that I was the meanest mother in the world. All the way to school she cried and true to her pronouncements I did feel like the meanest mother. I was sending her back to that inferior Mexican village school that looks like a penal institution even more so since they built a new solid wall around it. But once I settled her in with the assurances of all her English speaking friends that they would look out for her I felt confidant that her attitude would improve. I believe that one more winter here will help her grow fluent with Spanish and then we can say we accomplished something. When I picked her up in at the school day's end she was racing around the playground laughing with friends and not eager to leave. What relief to me that I held my ground and made her go to school.

Meanwhile I am taking care of matters concerning our house. I found the municipal office where I paid my property taxes for the year, which were,(are you ready?) $136 dollars. I actually felt good about paying that. Next I have to pay the trust on the Fidecomisio, schedule pest control (la cucaracha!), order some repairs, and wax all the woodwork. Nothing much has changed in the six months we've been away. Workers are busy putting up houses in Loreto Bay. There's constant noise from the construction and always lots of laughter and hollering. I'll take that as reassurance that they are content on the job. I rented a tiny car to get us to and from home to the town of Loreto where Allie's school sits on the same dirt street. It's a stick shift and I haven't mastered the agility necessary to get it over the numerous speed bumps smoothly. Better I just blow right over them and "Watch your head!" I do enjoy the looseness of Mexico when it comes to driving. Here I think nothing of driving wrong way on a one-way when it makes the trip shorter. And a stop sign here is an exercise in pretense. Everyone rolls right through, except the stop by Allie's school where the policia stand guard. The dirt street to the school is always hosed down with water to keep down the dust and you have to respect that.
The bruised bananas at the grocery store sit under a cloud of fruit flies as usual. I said hello to the vultures picking away at dead tabby cat in the street and wondered why they hadn't found the bloated cow that's been on the side of the highway since I got here last Sunday.

I can pretend it's a resort we live in but it's a long way from becoming one. Our casa is very elegant and the views of the mountains and the sea are rivaled only by the night time display of brilliant stars in a deep dark sky. I admit the wonder that accompanies a new experience has waned since I'm now a returning veteran. I feel like I'm picking up where we left off. What am I looking to learn this time? I'm guessing it will be about strengthening friendships here and working harder to learn the language. Without the language you can't say you know a place or a people. I want to be able to have a deep conversation with a Mexican and hear what they have to say about their world and see how it compares to what I say about their world. Until I do that I am only guessing. I might find out they really don't like us and wish we would take our gringo butts back home to our smooth streets and pristine grocery stores where the fruit comes sanitized and polished and Animal Control removes road kill before rigor mortis sets in. Oh yeah, and back to our high American taxes. $136 dollars! So what's a few dead bloating cows in the road when it means your taxes are next to nothing?

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