Saturday, January 24, 2015

closing the loop

Yesterday was supposed to be a travel day.  But, like so many of our days over the past month, it did not quite turn out that way.  To our profit.

Instead of loading everything into the truck, we decided to take a walk through Ajijic village -- and on to the malecon along the lake.  As I mentioned yesterday in my essay and in the accompanying comments, I was pleasantly surprised with the physical layout of the villages along the lake.  Especially, Ajijic.

The village has a lot of what I would expect from my readings.

A village plaza -- with a certain flair that says "there be Gringos here."  That is it at the top of this essay.

Or this bit of sculptural charm added to the side of a lake-front building.  I am still a bit baffled by the presence of a manatee on a Lake Chapala frieze.

Or the short malecon itself that could just have easily been in San Diego -- and there is nothing wrong with that.

But the village had sights I would not have anticipated.  If the place is a Gringo Ghetto -- as some of its detractors claim -- why would there be a skateboard park in the midst of the lake walkway?

How would you otherwise account for the number of decaying buildings along the highway that stretches around the lake?  The place does not have the neurotic air that things are out of place and must be fixed that one associates with northern expatriates.

Instead, I found a place for which the word "charming" is particularly designed.  What I did not discover is how the social fabric of the community works.  My experience in Melaque and San Miguel de Allende is that whenever a group of expatriates gather together, some rather odd anthropological faults appear in the social structure.  But I cannot comment on what I have not experienced.

I once considered spending the winters in Melaque and summers in Ajijic (or Guadalajara).  That notion was spiked when I decided to buy a house in Barra de Navidad.  But Ajijic is certainly a place I would consider for a sojourn of one or two weeks.

When the three of us gathered ourselves together, we headed down the mountain through Jocotepec (worthy of another visit) to Colima for lunch, and on to Barra de Navidad to put another sun to bed.

There was something kinetically disorganized about the mixture of clouds and light last night.  It could have been a late Braque.  Or the current state of my mind.

I must confess I feel a bit let down to be back at the house.  Getting up each morning with very little idea of where we would be going has been exhilarating.  As well as a little exhausting.

Over the next few days I hope to add some additional thoughts and photographs about the trip. 

At some point (very soon), I will sadly say good-bye to Dan and Patty, who have proven to be boon traveling companions.  There are not many people who you can spend a month with in the tight cab of a pickup.  But we did.  And we are all the better for it.

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