Sunday, April 26, 2009

plugging in and on

Saturday was connection day.

The woman who owns the house that I will be watching this summer is a long-time resident of Villa Obregon. She knows almost everyone.

The trick is downloading her knowledge into a utilitarian form for me. Today was a major day for passing along information.

My brother had shoulder surgery just before we left on this trip. He needed to have a prescription refilled. In this instance, that meant a trip to the doctor.

The trip served a double purpose. Not only did Darrel get his prescription, I got to meet my new doctor.

But I am not the only being who requires medical care. There is the faithful Professor Jiggs. We were unable to meet the English-speaking veterinarian today, but I know where his office is.

Jiggs did very well on the trip, but his back left leg is barely supporting him. The slippery tile floors feel good to him when he lies down, but he struggles to get back up.

I also learned where the best pharmacies are located -- and, at another location, the best source of news around town.

Before anyone else says it, I will. I need to learn Spanish. English is not spoken or understood by many people in this village. And I will have plenty of opportunities to practice what I learn -- daily. Just to survive.

We also took a trip to a new Bodega Aurrera. The expatriate community is wild about the place. To my Costco-oriented eyes, it was a bit of a disappointment. I suspect I know which camp I will pit my tent in after six months of living here.

I have missed all of the hubbub over the swine flu. The only evidence of any concern I have seen was a bagger at Bodega Aurrera. He was wearing an ineffectual face mask. Of course, considering the high prices at the store, it may have only been part of his professional kit.

Jiggs and I are settling in well. We will bid adiey to the homeowner in one more day.

Then we are on our own in this great advnture.


Felipe said...

Lissen, bub, if you´re gonna write it more than once, get it right: Bodega Aurrerá. Okay, sure, you can´t do the accent mark, so I´ll give you a pass on that part.

Most people there don´t speak English? Is this a surprise? When you move to San Miguel, this will be less of a problem.

Reminds me of when my mother, sister and I were riding in a taxi out of the Guajalajara airport some years back. It was their first visit to Mexico. As we hit the highway, my sister looked around and asked: "Are most people here Mexican?"

I am not making this up.

Steve Cotton said...

Felipe -- I knew your editor's eye would catch the error. I thought about it as I was resting after I hit the publish button. But I thought I would have plenty of time to correct the spelling before anyone read it -- forgetting about your ealy morning habits. I hope the finger is better.

Islagringo said...

You are right that BA is one of the lesser known and lesser frequented stores. The quality (at least in Cancun) is bad and cleanliness even worse. But we expats beam with endless joy at any little thing that reminds of us grocery choices! I have been to Melaque and know that the grocery store choices there are slim. Happy shopping!

p.s. Have you been to the pozole only restaurant run by a woman's co-op just off the square yet? Delicious.

Steve Cotton said...

Islandgringo -- When I was stationed in Greece, I would drive two hours to visit a BX the size of a corner dime store. We thought it was great. I will probably think the same of the Bodega Aurrera before long. There is always Shopping Heaven in Puerto Vallarta.

Anonymous said...

you are already having an adventure! it sounds great to me. all seems to be going very well. sorry to hear about the professor having some probs. perhaps meds and a few more days of relaxing after that long trip will have him feeling better.

it's gorgoesou here today. going to the SAM with a friend who is visiting from e'burg. but first, a walk on the centennial trail.

take care steve,

Steve Cotton said...

Teresa -- After your comment on Felipe's blog, I will not ask about the attire of the day for yor hike.

American Mommy in Mexico said...

Felipe's comment about his sister is just hilarious and unbelievable. Wow.

Cynthia Johnson and Mike Nickell said...

I'd suggest some well-placed area rugs for Prof. Jiggs. If you can train him to lay down on the rugs, he'll have some traction to help raise himself up. Sitka had the same problem on tile in Mexico and even here on wood.

comitan said...

Good luck learning Spanish. We found too often our visitors wanted to practice their English.

BajaDove the other side of Comitan

Steve Cotton said...

AMM -- I agree. And told in an inimitable Felipe-style.

Cynthia -- I tried to convince Jiggs to lie down on a throw rug. He simply pushed it out of the way. Like Sitka, he likes the feel of the cool tile on his belly. I even tried slipping it under him when he was trying to get up. He rolled off of it. But I will keep trying -- even though I know which being will prevail.

glorv1 said...

I hope Jiggs feels better soon. He too has to get used to a place he has never seen before. Everything is different for him, especially the scents. To him this is not home, especially when you are not around. He probably could even start hyperventilating from fear of being left alone. I know, I know, I worry too much. But it is true. Chorizo would start hyperventilating if we were gone too long. I remember it well.
Well glad to hear that soon you'll be on your own. Seems like you are adapting easily. Take care and my best to Professor Jiggs.

Theresa in Mèrida said...

Maybe you can get the Prof some booties to provide traction. Seriously they make dog sandals and boots to protect their feet.We put Mr Dog's food and water on a non-skid mat so that it doesn't slip around on him.
Remember the notebook? It is your friend, I often ask people to write things down for me, especially addresses and names of things. What I often think that they are saying and what they think they are saying is not always the same when I see it written down.
Felipe's sister asking about the Mexicans cracked me up, it didn't surprise me at all. Not everyone is a world traveler.
There is probably more but I can't think of it now.

Felipe said...

Alas, the yarn about my sister is true. In later years, she denied saying it, but I was right there and heard it with my own ears.

And, of course, during the one-week visit, she spoke to everyone in English. That I did not have to get dentures later because of the tooth-grinding I did during that visit is a miracle.

That was in 2000, and she hasn´t been back to Mexico since. However, she´s giving some light thought now to moving to San Miguel. Of course, everybody there speaks English, so no problem.

And most people in SMA are not Mexican. Are they?

Steve Cotton said...

Gloria -- He had a terrible day today. But that will be for a post.

Theresa -- Until tomorrow afternoon, I am working out of a suitcase. I need to dig out my dorky pen/pad on a lanyard. It will be my constant companion. As for the dog booties, I will take a look. They may help him on the sand. If you see a befuddled American looking like some sort of computer geek walking with a dog in Birkenstocks, you will know it is me.

Felipe -- Siblings always deny that our best stories never happened. I heard a similar denial at dinner tonight. It may make a great post.

Anonymous said...

Hola Steve,

¡Por fin! Tomas en serio tu necesidad de aprender español. Me sorprendería mucho si encontraras mucha gente que habla inglés allá en Melaque. Cómo dice "Felipe," en San Miguel de Allende, si hablan mucho inglés. Allá? Cómo le gusta decir mi amigo "F," posible, pero no probable.

Deberías encontrar una guapa Mexicana especial y ella puede enseñarte español. Hasta entonces, tendrás que estudiar.

Buena suerte con tu aventura Mexicana.

Kim G
Boston, Ma
A donde se oye más portugués que español.

Steve Cotton said...

Kim -- Study I must. I have the Keenan book you recommended, but I am still at the greeting level. Perhaops, you are correct. Romance is always a good incentive to learn communication skills.