When I moved to Mexico, I had dreams of sitting at sidewalk cafés watching urban sophisticates strolling by on sunny afternoons.
You would think living on the Pacific coast would have given me plenty of opportunities -- with the exception of the urban sophisticates part.
Even though my small fishing village had one café and several restaurants that offered a view on the world, Melaque's offerings were not quite part of my original dream.
That is not a complaint.
There were always little telenovelas to watch on the sidewalks near the jardin.
Love-lorn teenagers. Lost tourists. Shabbily-dressed transvestites. Not to mention love-lorn teenage tourist transvestites. I never saw one. But a siting was certainly just as likely as seeing whales and dolphins in the bay.
But I never became a part of the local café society.
There are many reasons. And I do not come out well in any of them. So, we will skip over that part of this little tale.
However, just before I left, I became a customer at my local restaurant -- as regular as any Friends extra.
After I injured my foot, I could not travel very far. Fortunately, there was a very good restaurant (The Frog) just around the corner from my house -- right on the outer range border of my early crutch excursions.
I would take at least one meal a day there. At my usual table. Laptop at the ready. Foot propped on a chair. Holding court with each new customer. Until my laptop battery or the stream of customers ran dry.
Unfortunately, the last week I was in Melaque, I was the sole customer on more than one occasion.
The day I flew north, I stopped by to say good-bye. But all of the chairs and tables were gone. The kitchen bare. Not a soul there.
It was time for The Frog to hibernate. The restaurant closes for summer. Not enough customers to keep the income flowing.
But those tables and chairs will be there when I return in November. For another plate of Czech Pasta.