Saturday, January 30, 2010

la mesa reborn

I am starting to settle into a Mexican cycle.

Seven weeks ago, I broke my own DIY record, literally, by shattering the glass top for my new computer table: deconstructing la mesa de computadora

My landlady, Christine, suggested a great solution: hire a local handyman, Fernando, to replace the glass top with a wood one.  Several of you made the same suggestion.  About the wood, that is.  I don't think you know Fernando. 

I called him that day and we made an appointment for him to stop by the morning I was heading to Oregon for my two (then three, then four) week trip.  And he showed up exactly on time -- speaking perfect English.  (He is one of the Returnees from construction work in The States.)

He took a look at the table remnants and worked out a replacement in his head.  He was ready to fix it right then.  But I was on my way to the airport.

Of course, this is where four weeks of stalling comes in.  But I was in Oregon, so, I was really not slacking.

Where the slacking came in was the last two weeks.  I just kept putting off calling Fernando.  Christine finally shamed me into calling him -- and he showed right up with his tools and materials.

He was not quite finished when I left for my concert in Manzanillo.  I thought the project would sit partially done.  But when I returned, there was my table.  Probably better than the original.

When I stacked all of my computer material on it, I felt as if I was once again slipping into the cockpit of an Air Force fighter.

And that reminded me: Mexico is a target rich environment for we bloggers.  I am strapped in and ready to go.


Michael Dickson said...

One of the beauties of Mexico is, of course, that you can get virtually anything done quickly, well, and for what appears to be quite cheaply.

Be aware, however, that when a local speaks English to you, that means you´re paying more than you should. This is not always true, but it almost is. It´s another motivation to learn Spanish.

When they speak English, it almost invariably means they´ve spent time over the border (usually without papers, tsk, tsk.), and that skews their sense of price.

So, when is this three months of exploration of other parts of Mexico going to begin? I can hear the airliner to Oregon warming its engines on the nearby tarmac at this very moment.

Calypso said...

Great looking work station amigo - I like that chair - although I wonder how comfortable it is?

loulou bateau said...

I LOVE that desk - it's wonderful!

Anonymous said...

Well, of course, the table is now more sturdy than when you bought it. It was probably made in China, and the glass you broke probably contained lead, cadmium, and glycol anti-freeze. I wouldn't be licking the paint anytime soon either.

I'm glad your cyber "cockpit" is fully arranged for your digital assault on the land of your dreams.

I have to admit your metaphor, describing your entry into your new culture, strikes me as somewhat contradictory.

Instead, may I suggest that you think of your desk as the driver's seat in a 1951 Packard Clipper, all polished up and ready to go into town and out to the country, the trunk filled with picnic basket and Pendleton blanket?


Anonymous said...

It looks like Fernando made you a great workable desk.


Joe S. said...

Hey Steve what's that hanging from yours pants loop in the blog wars pic? Seriously, keys, compass, watch, bottle opener, bike lock, a Mason's secret sign?? Is it a Mextile necessity?

Unknown said...

Looks to me like a bottle opener. So as to impress his lady friend, he can produce a bottle and voila! open it for her on the spot.

Howard said...


Steve Cotton said...

Felipe -- There is no doubt that Fernando charges more than most locals -- for two reasons. First, as you correctly note, he speaks English. Second, he is extremely talented at what he does.

As soon as I get rid of this head cold, I am starting my adventures in the highlands. You will soon hear from me.

Calypso -- Comfortable enough.

Loulou -- It works. It looks good.

ANM -- You know me too well to suspect that I would travel as a Nostalgic.

Mom -- He did indeed.

Joe -- It is a watch-compass-thermometer-flashlight. A retirement gift from a friend at work. I would tell you that it is my anti-kidnap GPS unit. But that would kill its purpose, wouldn't it?

Laurie -- Every bottle I have encountered here has a plastic top that an 8-year old could open.

Howard -- Drats! Another vowel movement. It should, of course, be DIY, and soon will be. As printed, the acronym has a somewhat salty spin to it.