Thursday, May 28, 2009

spread the fat

Taking a cue from Islagringo, I have decided to do what I can to help the local economy.

Melaque has never reaped the financial cream from the tourist trade. It could never pass for Cancun -- or even, Puerto Vallarta.

It is just one of those towns on the beach where inlanders drop in every now and then. In Britain, it would be Blackpool. In New Jersey, it would be pre-Trump Atlantic City. In Oregon, probably Seaside.

The tourist trade folks could make a peso here, but they would never gather enough Juarezes to pull an Alamo on Carlos Slim.

Like everywhere in turista Mexico, Melaque is ailing. The beaches and streets often look like something out of the Twilight Zone.

No tourists means that local merchants are hurting.

I do not have a lot of pesos to spread around, but I have decided I will eat at least one meal a day on the local economy. It is not much, but it is money I would not otherwise be spending.

I had a great hoisin chicken marinating in the refrigerator on Wednesday evening. Rather than cook it up, I had dinner at a new Japanese-Chinese restaurant in town.

And the place was just as advertised. I had a huge portion of shrimp-beef-chicken stir fry -- heavy on the vegetables, just as I like it. I have learned that the zucchini here is delicious, just as a number of you have said.

On the way back to the house, I noticed I had wandered into the neighborhood I saw on my first visit to Melaque a year ago. Back then, I knew the commercial center was supposed to be nearby. But everywhere I looked, I saw residences.

That got me to thinking about such cities as London and Paris. With the exception of the tropical ambience, Melaque must look very similar to both of those urban giants as they were growing up. Little residences crammed together on dusty, cobbled streets.

Why do some villages grow into giants while others remain urban dwarfs their entire lives?

I suspect I started down this philosophical path because today is the day I pick up Jiggs from the veterinarian in Manzanillo. Or, just as importantly, it is the day I discover the truth about Jiggs's tumor on his abdomen, and what we are going to do about it.

I am probably no better qualified to answer that question than I am to discuss why Melaque will always be a small village by the sea constantly concerned about where its next meal is going to come from.

So, I will do what I have done all my life. I will pray, and then I will make a decision and live with it -- knowing that a lot of you out there are pulling for both Jiggs and me.

Just as I am pulling for this little village I am learning to love.


Calypso said...

We recently were directed to a new Chinese restaurant in Coatepec that is also very good. Pleasantly surprised to see them appearing on the Mexican landscape.

"I am probably no better qualified to answer that question than I am to discuss why Melaque will...You are immanently qualified my friend - you live there and while your opinions may mature and even change at each step of the way your opinion counts - keep on keeping on...

Nest of luck with Jigg's report today.

Anonymous said...

My thoughts are with you today as you go see about Jiggs...I have been in your shoes in the recent is really hard...such innocence, love and trust from our 4 legged companions...Kathe

Islagringo said...

Thanks for the plug. I hope every tourist, and especially every expat, down here takes a cue from both of us.

BoBo's Mom said...

Whatever happens, it will be nice to bring Jiggs home. I bet home is not the same without him. Sending good thoughts your way.

Steve Cotton said...

Calypso -- Thanks. Yo can bet the opinions will keep flowing.

Kathe -- I am going to try to handle the day as a special time with a great friend.

Islandgringo -- It is a simple task -- and it is hedonistic, as well. How often can you combine the two?

BoBo's Mom -- You are correct. THere has been a big hole here without his presence. Jiggs has always lived life very broadly.

American Mommy in Mexico said...

We have grown VERY fond of our small seaside village as well. As we explore the cobblestone streets there are surpises tucked away here and there.

glorv1 said...

I will be glad when Jiggs gets home. It's where he belongs I know I'm stepping over the line a little, but that is who I am and sometimes I tend to over speak, if you will. The way I see it, Jiggs has lived a great life with you and loves you dearly as you he, and it is all he really knows. How to say this.....If in fact he does need that operation and has it, will he live the rest of his life trying to recuperate, and not have a normal life? Or is there someway he can come home and if there is to be some pain, could he not have pain killers so that he can live as normal a life as possible until his time comes and go to his resting place at home instead of in a vets office? I am almost tempted not to post this comment, but it's my thoughts Steve and how I feel. I'm sure you will make your decision and I respect whatever decision you make. I hope my comment hasn't disturbed you in any way. I love Jiggs as do all your followers. Actually I miss him not being home. Take care Steve.

Babs said...

Aaah, my friend, wait til the secon week of January - you won't be able to "stir them with a stick" there will be so many Canadians there. Lines for the restaurants, etc. You're there in the season when no one elseis there - enjoy!

1st Mate said...

Steve - good for you, supporting the local economy! This is just a slow time for Melaque, all the tourists are gone, and there may not be a weekend holiday that might bring Mexican tourists for a while. It's probably slow in Barra, too. I always feel for businesspeople when sales get slow, being the owner of a seasonal business too, and now in the leanest time of year. I have savings to draw on, but they don't. At least Melaque doesn't have, as Guaymas does, McDonald's, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Dairy Queen, Dominoe's, etc. all within a block of each other. Ugh!

Steve Cotton said...

AMM -- I think that is a good metaphor for life, as well. Surprises await us at every turn -- if we would only look for them.

Gloria -- You did not overstep any line. Your thoughts are very similar to mine. before I will allow Jiggs to undergo any extraordinary treatment, the veterinarian will have to persuade me that the cost to Jiggs will not outweigh the benefit to Jiggs. This is about my dog, not about me.

Babs said...

Umm, what part of the name of the restauarant is emphasized? I laughed out loud at the name - my bad!

Constantino said...

I hope Jiggs likes his shorter hair and that will give him a better outlook now that his fever has subsided.
So now you are eating out once a day....pretty soon you will have exhausted your variety and will settle down on a few, next thing they will know when you come in the door what you want.....settling down, one plate at a time.

Anonymous said...

Buena Suerte to you and especially Jiggs today. I think it was a great idea to get his Tropical haircut. In his picture, I'd swear that he's smiling.


Steve Cotton said...

Babs -- I welcome the return of the snowbirds -- and their cash. This place lives off of hedonism. Mild hedonism, but it provides vacation pleasure. As for the name of the restaurant, I leave that to my loyal readers.

1st Mate -- Helping the local economy is simple. Eating out is not inexpensive, but, most often, the food is good. When I head south to Manzanillo, I am always shocked at the number of fast food places. I am even more shocked how tempted I am to stop -- simply for the convenience. Those 32 pounds I just lost would quickly find me again if I started taking that path.

Constantino -- My chief concern about eating out is that I do not start regaining the weight I lost so recently. Expecially, since I would like to drop 25 more pounds. Most Mexican food is not conducive to shedding pounds. Thanks for the kind wishes concerning Jiggs. I am about to start driving south to Manzanillo to consult with the veterinarian.

Francisco -- The joy of owning a golden retriever is that they smile at everthing -- including adversity.

Anonymous said...

Wishing Jiggs all the best bud. It is nice to know he made it to Mexico with you at all though, and is enjoying his and your retirement, which I know you had worried about before your move.

Steve Cotton said...

Thanks, Gary. I was reviewing some of my planning posts and noticed how often I thought Jiggs would not live this long. I am happy for every extra day I have him with me.

Anonymous said...

I agree so much with what has already been posted about wishing you and Jiggs the best. All of your blogging friends will be waiting in anticipation to hear how the vet visit goes today. Welcome Home, Professor Jiggs!

Steve Cotton said...

Anonymous -- Thank you very much. I am already building my anticipation.

Howard said...

"Why do some remain small villages?"

See Jane Jacobs.

Steve Cotton said...

Howard -- Even Adam Smith understood the answer.

Steve Cotton said...

Howard -- Or Edward Banfield.