Saturday, March 30, 2019


      Joan is arriving this evening so I'm going to treat myself with a trip to Los Ramblas at the Pachote Market before it gets to hot. Had a nice Shrimp Burrito and visit with Selma.
Got a Shrimp Cocktail to take home in case Joan is hungry when she arrives.

      Hector came up to alert me that Joanie was here so I found her out in the street with the driver retrieving her bag.  Alisandro the owner of my complex had the door open for us and we managed to get comfortable once she settled into her room.  It was nice to see her again.
        Joan and I went out to meet Helen, Ginny, Halina, and Barbara at the Bakery for Happy Hour and then we were going to see the landlord of Kurt and Lynn's place that we had met the Sunday night at their going away Happy Hour.  We were all excited to hear this fantastic Guitar player.  

       We arrived to find the Bakery was closed for cleaning.  I emailed Helen to let her know and that we would be returning to the roof top near the Prada where we were to meet.   Then Helen replied to say they had been there and left for Jardin for Happy Hour but never said anything to us so we could have joined them???  I figured they would meet us at Prada for the 8 pm concert when they finished.  We sat on the roof so I could watch the entrance of the Prada so I would know when they arrived.  They didn't show or call or anything. No more plans with them.

         The next day, I ran errands, played dominoes, took a break at Boulenc Bakery where I met Maurice from Gilbert Arizona.  He was in his early sixties and was a traveler like me.  Like me, he fell for Oaxaca when he first visited and now he planning to spend more time here.  He sold his business and retired this year.  He used to eat at my restaurant too!! We exchanged emails and phone numbers and I returned home.    
         That night I got a note from Ginny saying she was sorry but tried????  We were all supposed to go to Teotitlan the next day when Samuel our driver picked us up.  So I let her know we would give them a ride...thinking maybe she or Helen would explain what happened...but didn't. 
             I dropped the food and clothes off at the Casita and gave the 3 ladies a tour of the Casita and the complex it was located at just a couple blocks from the center.  We had Samuel drive us to Terra Antigua where we all had a nice lunch.  

     Someone that was visiting the restaurant or worked there took us back into the center of town where Ginny and Helen bid goodbye and Joan and I hopped a Moto Taxi and returned to settle in to the Casita for the next few days. I will stick with friends that are honest, sincere and up front with me.

         Bob and Jose stopped over to welcome us and caution us about the toilet someone used on our arrival but failed to fix the flush handle.  Water is precious out here...and expensive.  

       The next day we took a walk to the market to find a place to have lunch or breakfast.  We went to Conhuita's where I had been on my last visit.  The bill for both of us was 70 pesos.  We had stopped at the market so had a couple things we needed but most of the market was closed at that time. 

      We returned home and settled in early .
        Sunday was St Patrick's Day but you wouldn't know it here.  Joan had left for church at 8 am.   I left after coffee and shower to meet her in the court yard of the church at 9 pm but when I arrived the crowd was standing room only and many were in the yard listening to the priest say the Mass over loud speakers. 

 I wandered around taking photos and stopped in the market for a sweet roll while waited. 

I noticed a crowd coming into the market and realized the Mass was over.  It was almost 10 am.  We wandered around and nibbled on things, bought some watermelon, more Tamales, a Mango, and then I returned home while Joan shopped some more.  She held some couple's baby in the church while they went to communion and was riding in the clouds.
      Everyone of the Zapotec's were so friendly, inviting, polite, and helpful.  The only resistance came from people avoiding there photograph.  I wanted to catch them shopping and used my telephoto but it was hard to find a place to shoot that was not crowded.  If I asked then they would pose or say no.  I remember Leif taking photos in Riga or Estonia when he would just stick the camera right in there face sometimes.  I can't do that...yet.

    Joan had went for a walk the night before and met Adrian, a man who taught children Zapotec, teaches some students English, volunteers at the Teotitlan Cultural Center, is a weaver and a painter.  Adrian introduced her to associates at the Center before she came back home.  Today she came back from the market and walked by Adrian's home next door to us.  He was weaving and invited her in to meet his neighbor that had stopped by.  She told him about me so he invited us over so he could meet me.  I was reading when Susan (I think) invited us to a going away dinner party tonight for Art who has been staying here quite a while.  I made some Guacamole and Joan some Quinoa to bring to add to Steak, Baked Potato and Caesar Salad.  We dropped it off on the way to Adrian's for a quick visit.

       Adrian was my age, 73.  He used to deal in supplying authentic Zapotec rugs from his village to merchants in the states.  Learned art and English in Santa Barbara, California. He calls his weaving...Exercise. I watched him move his arms and hands like lightening while coordinating his foot pedals and his mind with the different colors and patterns. Amazing.
He invited us in to an almost empty room, except for a table with a couple chairs he pulled out and sat in the middle so we sat facing each other.  We had a nice conversation with a very special person.  We excused ourselves to return to the dinner I was to cook.

        Susan had arranged a going away dinner party for Art, a New Hampshire born native New Englander that now lived North of Maine.  I cooked the steaks and chicken on an outdoor grill.  They came out great.  I brought some Guacamole that I put together at the last minute and we helped ourselves to Caesar Salad, Baked Potatoes, hummus, Wine and had a wonderful meal.  Susan is from West Virginia where she bought and ran a restaurant and 8 bedroom B and B for years before selling and hitting the road.  

         The next evening we were all relaxing when Jose pulled up with Bob in a pickup truck loaded with Canadian High School students that were here in Teotitlan to build two houses in two weeks.  It is a project similar to Habitat for Humanity and they pay there own way as volunteers while the community chips in for the necessary materials to complete the task. Two "Leaders" from the school frame the house and the students finish the insulation, drywall, etc.  Last year they built two homes in Oaxaca but Jose and Bob, who supply them with sandwiches and lunch during the days they work, convinced them that Teotitlan needed help more than Oaxaca.  They had never been to Mexico and were really enjoying meeting the people of the village and staying with them while they completed their work.
                                              LOTS OF RAIN TODAY...SO NICE

       I finished my book after 3 years.  Lots of reading time gives me a different perspective.
Today we met at the Cafe Vid for coffee at 11 am. 

 We were going to see the Cultural Center but Joan ducked into a shop to look at clothes and I told her to meet me there.  Then I saw the museum so ducked in there to take some photos...then bought a ticket and took longer.

When I arrived at the Center I didn't see her and everything looked closed so I left. 

         During all that I saw a 4 wheel drive sports vehicle pull up and a man with an Arizona t-shirt and his wife along with 2 young adults got out.   The man was a retired Botanist that taught at University of Arizona in Tuscon where they still kept a house.  She was a Botanist at Yale University where they lived in Connecticut.  They come out to Mexico usually once a year to collect plant samples in the Mountains for about 2 weeks before returning.  The younger adults were there translators.  Very nice people.  I saw them again on my way home shopping for textiles in a nice store that had some pillows I had been looking for.   I stopped in and bought one then returned home.
Today I leave for my home in Oaxaca and the Ballet tonight .  I will meet Richard and Mauricio after at the Praga for drinks and more of the great guitarist.    
                                                                                NICE NEW BUS
       I got off close to home but walked to Pachote Market to get some Ramen Noodles from a Korean Place next to Los Ramblas which is closed on Wednesday so I don't have to feel like a traitor who jumped ship.  Well the Korean place was closed also so I had a casserole of Vegetables with Eggs that was very good...Fresh OJ, Hot Chocolate and a Sweet roll ...$3.50.

I returned home, unpacked, got organized and was at the Theater at 5:45 where I picked up my ticket at Will-Call and took my seat.

The performance by the BOLSHOI BALLET DE BIELORRUSIA was stellar but I was tired so when the break came, I left for Praga to get something to eat and meet Maurice and Richard.

I got a table for us and ordered some Pasta Alfredo with Broccoli and Chicken when they showed up.

I left at the end of the first set and Richard and I agreed to meet tomorrow at Dominoes.
The Oaxacan Nightly Bike run was just starting.  They do this 3 nights a week.

        It was a pleasant surprise to find Milt there with Richard and the table set to play.  Just as we started another lady showed up who was visiting and familiar with Mexican Train Dominoes.  She was very pleasant and the game went very well with me winning 10 out of 13 games to complete the tournament with an outstanding victory.
     The next day I met Richard at Liverpool Hall where he got even with me by beating me every game except one.  I did feel better about regaining my sight and stroke but still have a long ways to go.  It was a fun morning.  I left for the Bakery to get some coffee for my neighbor and have lunch.
      I returned home and napped then played poker on my computer.


     Friday I was back at Distilado for Happy Hour where I met a man taking photos like me..the food the decor, etc.  I inquired if he was in the Hospitality Industry...Sous Chef from Charleston S.C. who I suspect is getting ready to go rogue and open his own restaurant.  He only had four more days and I return to Teotitlan tomorrow so didn't offer to show him around.

I stopped for a "last call" in the Zocalo and bought Nut Candy Bars from Selma and her Son who had been selling them there for 20 years!!!



        I called Samuel to take me back but he was off on Saturday so called Louis who was there in 5 minutes and dropped me at the Casita entrance.  Joan was out hiking with Carlos who she met and arranged for a tour of nearby villages.  She said she had a date that evening with Adrian who was taking her to dinner.  Susan said she had some extra Shrimp Curry but I already went to Omar's for Tacos and brought home a sandwich for dinner.

   Sunday, Joan attended church and the market while I finished reading D H Lawrence's Mornings in Mexico that he wrote while staying in Oaxaca in 1925.  Susan had me over for a Puerto Rican dish she made with rice and Avocado and Fruit was great.  

   Monday Carlos picked us up at noon and returned us to Oaxaca.  That evening Joan took me to Mixeta for a wonderful meal then we stopped at the Zocalo for a Tequila before retiring early.  

    Joan was all packed and ready to go when Samuel pulled up at 11:00 to take her to the airport and on to Seattle then Alaska.  I was in the shower thinking she left at 11:30 but yelled goodbye.  I met Richard at the Pool Hall for some pool.  I brought a bottle of wine that his friend Alice left for me to share with Richard.  We took it to Quinque while we dined on late lunch.  It was great.

                                                     SALAD WAS GREAT

    Wednesday I dropped the laundry off at 11 am, stopped at a Medical Supply nearby for an inflatable donut to sit on while nursing my newly acquired condition.  The bus dropped me at the bank where I cashed in a ripped in half 500 peso note that Joan gave me then met Mike, a friend from LA that I met 2 1/2 years ago when he moved here.  He now is on the executive board of the Oaxacan Learning Center as a full time volunteer and has since got a year round place in Colonial Reforma.  I might end up there when I sell my Scottsdale Condo, get permanent residency and make this my "Home base" to travel from. It was nice to see him.  
     As I was leaving the Library I saw Bill my computer guru and friend who was just starting a game of Fandango.  He tried to teach me two years ago but I just had a hard time grasping it, so I passed.  There was Peter leaving the library and Oaxaca on Monday to return to the Berkshires for the summer.  We may see each other this summer.  
     I finally got a haircut then stopped at the Organic store to buy some Kale and yogurt.  They have expanded their line of vegetables and added Chicken, Chorizo, lots of new things.  I bought a chicken too.  As I was waiting for the bus, a man with no arms came walking at a brisk pace down the walk.  As he passed he cheerily greeted me with Buenos Tardes.  I hope I'm that cheerful when I'm so handicapped!  Made me feel good.
     My laundry was ready for pick-up so I paid then walked next door and bought stuffing for my new pillow I bought in Teotitlan then returned home and put the Chicken in the oven. It was so tender and flavorful...fresh I cut up some pieces, added tomato, avocado and mango.  Then prepared a sauce with creamy yogurt, mango, fresh coconut and coconut water blended and poured over the top.

Just another day in Oaxaca....Dominoes tomorrow! Can't wait. What was your day like?

     Well I arrived at the Library...all pumped up to take another victory home....but instead got trounced badly by Richard and Madeline, a new player but one who has played considerably in the years since coming to Oaxaca.  Madeline and I went for lunch at Los Ramblas del Mar and had a great meal with wonderful conversation.  Lived in Manhattan, visits her sister in Maine and has NO home base as of now.

      The day has finally arrived where I get to tour Tom's completed newly purchased and remodeled home.  We celebrate with a good Sour Mash Whiskey then a dinner at Mexita's again. 

We took separate taxis home with 1/2 Pizza each for a late snack.

Today Tom graciously offered to do a shopping run to Home Depot, Sam's Club, Walmart, and Soriano where I managed to complete most of my shopping list.  It is now the end of the Month and my last blog in Oaxaca.