Ajijic Day 14 and 15

Jan 2, 2020 Thursday 10:05 am. Cold and rainy. Rained all night and into the morning. Sound of the rain like gravel on an old tin roof.  Had breakfast with Buddha at Gosha’s. Scrambled eggs, black beans, toast, fruit, and coffee.  Walked home in the rain. Went out later with Buddha to a bar near the Malecon called the Traditional. Had a Corona and listened to some music. Later we walked up to the square and sat on a bench and watched the people walk by. It was a little cold so we walked back home. I finished reading my Raymond Chandler book and watched a movie on my tablet. Went to bed at 11:00 pm and up at 6:00 am, dreams of Anna filling my head.

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January 3, 2020. Meeting Linda Schaefer in Chapala. Linda is a person who I have been Facebook friends with for over 10 years, but whom I’ve never met in person. By sheer coincidence I learned she was traveling to Mexico and staying with friends in Guadalajara. We decided to meet up in Chapala.

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Me and Linda Schaefer

There have been many coincidences surrounding my friendship with Linda. She is friends of friends on Facebook: Firoze Shakir of India, Anthony and Crystal Posey of New Orleans, who are originally from Kentucky. Linda lives in Ada, Oklahoma where I used to live at one time. Oh, the irony abounds.

Linda is a renowned photographer, a published author, and a subject matter expert on Mother Teresa, who she knew personally. I was excited to meet her for the first time in person for sure.

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I took the bus to Chapala and we met at a restaurant on the Malecon.

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Lake Chapala

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Tulasi Zimmer

 

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I had a wonderful afternoon with Linda and her friends. It was a beautiful day, lots of sunshine and warmth. I took a lot of pictures. I stayed until after nightfall, but hurried back to Ajijic because I wanted to say goodbye to Anna at La Tia and I knew she got off work at 8:00. This was the last chance I had to see her before I left town. I made it just in time.

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Ajijic Day 9 &10

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“Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid.”

-Raymond Chandler,  The Fine Art of Murder

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Lunch at the Lake Chapala Lake Society. Had the empandas and a Corona. The Lake Chapala Society is one of the world’ largest expat societies, helping expats from all over the world to integrate into the Mexican Community Lakeside. It is located in the beautiful gardens in the midst if Ajijic. The Lake Chapala Society  offers a variety of cultural, humanitarian and wellness programs. I returned this beautiful spot over and over again during my stay in Ajijic.

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Lotus Flower

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Koi Pond at Lake Chapala Society

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Lush Gardens at the Lake Chapala Society

Dinner at El Torito. New place that just opened up. Had the Steak Tacos and a glass of red wine.  Had a night cap next door at El Bar Co. Jim Beam and soda. Not every place had whiskey, but El Bar Co. did. The next day (Sunday) had breakfast with the Breakfast club a Dona’s.  Open Mic tonight at Perry’s Pizza.

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The Umbrella Academy at Perry’s Pizza

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Open Mic at Perry’s Pizza

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Buddha signed up to do a couple of songs

Buddha signed up to do a couple of songs. We were there til six. Got a ride home from the keyboard player. I was walking  back to my place from the drop off point in the growing twilight. As I was walking I was approached by a cute little Mexican girl who looked to be about 19. She had just left a little neighborhood grocery and was carrying a small bag.  She had multiple  tattoos, and was wearing a crop top top, ragged cutoffs, and lots of chains and bracelets.  She started speaking to me rapidly in Spanish but I didn’t understand her. “No habla Espanol.” I said.

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We stopped in a darkened doorway and she got very close to me and said very slowly, as she pointed her finger first at me then back at herself, “You give me 20 pesos for the food.” I said, ” I don’t have 20 pesos.” She smiled and said OK and continued to walk down the street, her hips swaying as she navigated the cobblestones. I walked back to my place which was about a block away.  I couldn’t help but think of all the possibilities fate had just thrown my way. If she would take 20 pesos for the food, what would she do for 100 pesos? At another time in my life I might have decided to find out. Tonight, however, I let discretion be the better part of valor. But, it was a while before I stopped thinking about her and finally drifted off to sleep.

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Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico Day 8

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Breakfast at Emilia”s

Friday. Breakfast at Emilia’s. Had the Linda Omelette. I just love the way they serve black beans instead of potatoes. I’m reading Hemingway’s Nick Adams stories. I always bring Hemingway with me when I travel. He writes the kind of stories I like to read and the kind of stories I like to write. If you want to learn how to write read Hemingway.

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On the Malecon

Walked with Buddha to the Malecon. He played his guitar. A couple of Mexican boys kept coming up to us on their bicycles to listen to him play. Then they would ride off again making big circles and come back again and stare at Buddha with a hangdog look as if to say, “What are you doin’ here, man?”

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Living room of the Airbnb where I stayed hosted by Luis and Norma

Norma’s husband died today. She works for my host, Luis. It is very sad. Norma is a fine woman and a hard worker. Now her life will change dramatically. It is a sad reminder that tragedy can strike anywhere and anytime. Life can come to an abrupt end without warning.

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The Victoria Hotel

Later in the day I went to a Happy Hour with Buddha at the Victoria Hotel. All they served was beer and Margaritas. I had had my fill of beer already and I didn’t want a  margarita. The bartender, a young ginger in a red t-shirt, tried to fix me a martini. It was awful. It was undrinkable. So, I sent it back. I drank nothing right then, but socialized a bit with the crowd at our table. There were a couple of parties going on tonight but I passed on both. Instead I walked back to the Malecon and took some pictures of the sunset.

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Sunset on the Malecon

Later, I was walking back to my place and I stopped in a little bar called La Tia. It had a Mexican flag and an American flag draped either side of the entrance. Music was pouring out so I hustled there inside.

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There was a gentleman sitting on a bar stool in the middle of the bar. There was a couple sitting at a table towards the back. I went in and sat a couple stools down from the guy at the bar.

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Anna: “Do you want to play a game Benn?”

A cute little Mexican bartender flashed me her pearly whites. “What would you like to drink?” She asked in perfect English.

“I’ll have a Corona.”

She got me my beer and set down in front of me and went back to her perch. She was talking to the other guy but he turned to me and included me in the conversation. Turns out he was from Oregon and was meeting his girlfriend later. He was drinking beer and had a shot of tequila sitting beside his bottle of beer.

We all got acquainted and had a nice conversation. The girl’s name was Anna and I was becoming quite taken with her. I snapped a few surreptitious pictures of her.

“Do you want to play a game, Benn?” she asked.

“Sure. What is it?”

“It’s called 21. You roll the dice. There are three winners. One who calls the shot. One who pays, and one who drinks the shot. Do you want to play”?

“Sure, let’s play.”

So we each took a turn in rolling six or seven dice out onto the bar from a leather cup. Each time Anna counted the tops of the dice. I won the  first roll so I called the shot.

“What shot do you want?” she asked pointing to the bottles of tequila behind the bar.

“What are you drinking?”

She pointed to a bottle.

“OK. That’s the one I want.”

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Interior of La Tia

She poured out a shot and set it on the bar in front of us. We rolled some more. First the guy from Oregon, then Anna. At the end of the game the Oregon guy drank and paid for the shot I called. We all laughed and he left. So now I had Anna all to myself. We talked a little more and I told her about a New Year’s Eve Party I was going to at Perry’s Pizza. She said she had been there before and that the food was good. I asked if she had plans for New Year’s Eve. She said no. I asked If she would like to come with me to the party as my guest. She said she would.  Hallelujah! Now we are talking! So we exchanged telephone numbers and became friends on Facebook so we could use messenger and sure enough she showed up at the party and we had a great time!

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She’s a beautiful girl and I went back to bar several more times to see her.

 

 

Ajijic Day 5

Garden Party

I went to a garden party at Kevin’s. All the best people were there, including a past trade minister from Canada. I started off with a shot of tequila and a beer chaser. Moved on to eggnog which was heavy with rum, then finished off with a couple of glasses of Merlot.

“Doesn’t all that mixing bother you?” asked Alain?

“Never mix never worry,” I quoted Honey from Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.

“Oh! I remember that movie!” Gushed Alain.

“Well, so far so good,” I said.

Happy New Year from Ajijic!

Today is New Year’s Day so I interrupt my narrative to wish all my WordPress friends and followers, HAPPY NEW YEAR!

And I’ll post a few of my favorite pictures from Ajijic.

Happy New Year from Benn and Anna

Celebrating New Year’s Eve with fires in in the street.

Sunset over Lake Chapala

Our Lady Of Guadalupe

Having fun on the Square

Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico Day 1

Drag Show

I left Louisville at 7:30 in the morning on a United Airlines flight connecting in Houston. It was a tight connection and I boarded almost immediately after arriving at the gate. We got in the air with no delay and arrived in Guadalajara on time at 3:30 pm. Off the plane we had to go through immigration and customs. There were long lines but it didn’t take long before I was in the main terminal looking for a taxi for the last leg of the journey to Ajijic.

It was about a fourty-five minute ride to Ajijic. By the time I got there and checked into my Airbnb my phone was blowing up by two of my friends who were already there.

“Where ya at, Kat?”

“What’s your exact address?”

“Can you come over now to Bruce’s on Victoria?”

We had plans for dinner as a seafood restaurant that night and then we were going to a “drag” show at the Spotlight Theater later.

So I got my shit together and headed over to Bruce’s house one block away on Victoria Street where my friend Buddha was staying. We got in Bruce’s car and drove to La Pacena for dinner. That was a whole other experience that I’ll tell you about later.

Anyway, after dinner we went to the drag show. Here are some of the pictures.

The show was hilarious and quite well performed. Topical humor, political humor, and a lot of Jewish Jokes. Oh…and the name of the show was, Oy ve Christmas! Performed by The Kinsey Sicks.

Caught Out in the Rain

So I went to the bus station to pick up my young friend Victoria who was travelling from Nashville back to Louisville. It was about  8:00  in the evening on a cool spring night. It wasn’t quite dark yet.

Since we were downtown we thought it would be a good idea to have drinks at the 21C Hotel bar.

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I drove the six blocks or so to the the hotel and parked out on the street. 21C was a favorite of ours. We really weren’t dressed for the place but in Louisville that didn’t really matter.

We entered through the restaurant and made our way to the bar and sat on a couch on the rear wall.

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“Just like being in our own living room,” I remarked.

“Yeah, but better because of the people watching,” she said.

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I ordered a Jack and soda and she had a Rum Coco. Something she had started drinking since she came back from Cuba a couple of months ago.

We had our drinks and some nice conversation about her latest trip to Missouri. She went there with her mother and grandmother to visit her uncle who was doing eleven years in the federal penitentiary in Springfield.

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We looked the menu over but we didn’t see anything we wanted to eat so we decide  to go the the Tavern in old Louisville to round out the night and get a late night snack.

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We finished our drinks and walked out through the bar to the restaurant exit out onto  the street. To our surprise it had started raining. It was really coming down and it was a cold rain. We ran the two blocks to car and got soaked. Once we were safely ensconced inside I was huffing and puffing from the exertion.

Victoria ventured, “I’ve never seen you run before.” And she let out a little laugh. 

“Well it is is pretty unusual,” I said. “It doesn’t happen very often.” And I laughed too.

I caught my breath and drove to the Tavern where we had more drinks and shared an order of wings.

On the way there I was put in mind of a song I like by Beth Hart: Caught Out in the Rain.

Here it is. Hope you enjoy it.

Single Black Female

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I was having breakfast in one of my favorite hamburger joints, Burger Boy, down on Burnett, when I looked up from the book I was reading and I noticed a single black female, short in stature, with long black hair and fake eyelashes sitting with her back to me at the lunch counter. She was wearing a black ball cap and a black leather jacket. The jacket had silver studs on the collar and along the half circle of each of the shoulders. She had on tight blue jeans and brown suede fringed moccasins that went half way up her well-shaped calves. There was a red leather purse with a gold chain sitting on the counter in front of her.

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She kept glancing at her cell phone as she patiently waited for her food too to arrive. She got it to go. When it came, she picked up the white plastic bag the waitress had placed before her and she stepped away from the counter.

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It was then that I witnessed the full effect of her great beauty as her face came into full view. She then made her way to the front door and departed. It was a moment.

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Star Date 20180616

Journal Entry

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2018 is turning out to be a pretty good year for films. Although the ones I most recently really liked were actually released in 2017 and are just now getting here: Let the Sunshine In and First Reformed (reviews to follow). After all, Louisville is just a lonely outpost at the edge of civilization. The British have a saying about being posted to such a station: Never drink before dark, but never go to bed quite sober either. Good advice.