Thursday, March 05, 2015
query me this
"How is it that you ended up here?"
My Air Force chum Dennis asked the question in the neutral tone we were taught by our mothers to mask any lingering sub-text. By nature, he is polite enough that the rule may not apply to him because there was no hint of inflection on that last word.
I call it The Question. Even people who like the area are often surprised that I actually like living in an environment as primitive as Navidad Bay. They forget I started my life in Powers.
There is no real way to avoid defensiveness in answering. So, I use an old teaching method by hauling out the visual aids. And that is where this area is at its finest.
As I mentioned yesterday, one of the joys of visitors is getting to see my neighborhood through their eyes. That is what we did yesterday.
I take everyone to La Manzanilla. Not just because it is beautiful -- which it is. But because that is where I started this quest to live in Mexico.
We drove over the mountains for two primary reasons. To see the area-famous crocodiles. And to indulge in the delights of Lora Loka's chicken enchilada bake.
These trips are always good reminders why I ended up living where I did. Or, at least, why I did not end up living somewhere else.
The house of many stairs (candidate number one -- please sign in), that drew me there in the first place, is still for sale. I suspect it has now reached the point where no further reductions are in the offing.
The view from the hill is still stunning -- the major draw to La Manzanilla. But the risks of ejido property are just as enduring. It was the ejido problem (and its attendant title issues) that drove me from that hill.
After the thrill of the view, the crocodiles were a major letdown. Mainly, because they were not there.
I knew the laguna had been opened recently to reduce the water buildup. What I did not know about was the sidewalk construction underway near the main area where the crocodiles congregate. Both had cleared the laguna of crocodiles as efficiently as a PETA raid on a Gucci outlet. Instead, Dennis had to rely on some antiquated Mexpatriate commentaries.
Without a Captain Hook-eater in sight, we took a walk along one of Mexico's most pleasant Pacific beaches. Beaches that were almost deserted but for a few locals and a man casting his net for bait.
Even with the absence of crocodiles, I knew Lora's enchiladas could resurrect the day. I suspect they could resurrect the dead.
But we will never know. She is gone for the week and the substitute cook was not up to the task.
That is just as well. Asking a substitute to fill in for the master is a recipe for -- well, I don't what. But it is not a recipe for chicken enchilada bake, I know that.
Even without the crocodiles and enchiladas, a visit to La Manzanilla is never a failure. It almost feels as if I am returning to a home I once had. The fact that it has a really good delicatessen is another reason to return before too long.
Even if I am not answering The Question for visitors.