November 13, 2010

* Domestic Matters ..

 I thought you might find it interesting to see a little more of 'the hood'.  From time to time as opportunity presents itself, I will take photos so you can get a little feel for where I live. Many Mexicans are very shy about having their photographs taken by a stranger.  I know many of you will say, better her than me.  I couldn't do it.  Personally, I am in love.  As I have said before, it's not for everyone.

As I walk down the street in the morning to do my daily rounds, not one person passes me without a smile and a greeting.  Most people in the neighbourhood know each other.  I find people are happy here.  They certainly don't have the big houses, the cottage at the lake, and the yacht.  They have enough to buy good food.  Huge bags of fresh vegetables, beans, rice, lentils, and a good piece of meat from the carnicero.  I would say most people in this area have a car.  Their houses are basic and sturdy.  Children attend school.  Houses are single family dwellings which would have a courtyard and outside space within their walls.  That means trees, plants, and in all likelyhood some fresh fruit within their walls.  On most streets here there is someone who sells fresh fruit and juice.  In the morning you can stroll a block and have a huge glass of orange juice for a few pesos.  Large containers of fresh, peeled, cut up fruit awaits you.  You can buy four tamales and a hot drink for breakfast for under a dollar.  Last week I walked over to a friends, past the man who has a stand in front of his house.  I bought a large container of watermelon.  A huge container of jamica (a vegetable perhaps related to turnip.  Milder, crisper and whiter flesh).  Fresh peeled oranges on sticks.  Everything was sprinkled with fresh squeezed lime while I watched and sprinkled with as much chili as I could cope with.  This is street food lunch for two.  Altogether it was about .75 cents.

This morning I took some photos of the tienda I shop at for my daily needs.  They have absolutely everything you could ask for in the basic department and it's about three houses down the street from where I live.  It is run by a family.  They work hard.  The shop opens at 7:00 am and closes at 9:00 pm.  Sometimes there is a lineup out the door.  If the shop is closed and your desperately in need something, just knock on the door and they will open it for you.  They live in the back and upstairs.  This morning I asked for permission to take some photographs.  Senora looked shocked and giggled.  Probably the first time that has happened.

I've been to the shop three times today.  This morning to shop for dinner, as I had company today.  This afternoon to purchase a huge bottle of coke for 'my men'.  And, later this afternoon while I was preparing for dinner and realized I needed ONE egg.  Here's some photos.

Just so you get an idea of location, this photo was taken as I was walking home from the butcher.  The white house you can see a little of on the far right of the photo is mine.  The family owns this building.  In their private quarters there is a nice courtyard, and on the roof at the back there is a terrace which has about the same view I would have.
Senora and some of her customers, all giggling because a crazy gringo wants to take photos of what to them is a very ordinary place.  I keep forgetting Senora's name.  Her husband's name is Danny.  They have three daughters, two of whom are still in school.  The older daughter works with them in the tienda, constantly restocking shelves and keeping things tidy.  On the counter lies some the food I am buying.  You can see the huge container of raw honey.  Oh My!  It's delicious.  I have a little in my tea.
Everything I need for daily living is here.  At the back I can purchase paper, scribblers, tissue paper, pens and pencils.  There is beer in the fridge.  Today I purchased one egg.  I have seen people buy one cookie, one cigarette, one piece of ham or a single scoop of dog food.  The vegetables and fruit are fresh.  Shampoo, soap, paper goods, hand lotion and bottled water are there somewhere.  It's amazing what I can find and discover. 
Their oldest daughter on the left restocks and tidies the shelves, while a customer shops beside her.
This is an integral part of my world.  I love it.  It's intimate.  Hope you enjoyed the little tour.

"I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well."  ~ Diane Ackerman

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