Tuesday, August 18, 2015
my day with leo
"We chatted as if it had not been twenty years since we last got together."
I see similar lines in blogs when old friends, long separated, have reunions. I suppose I could say the same of the last three days with Leo. But our conversations bear the mark of someone leaving a room and returning immediately to take up the conversation in mid-sentence.
It is a great feeling. Knowing someone that well, it is as if we had not been separated for hundreds of miles these past thirty-some years. Of course, we had the occasional visit. But Leo and Theresa were in Scottsdale; I was in Oregon.
So, what do two old friends do when one friend is visiting for the first real trip to Mexico (a week in Cancun does not count)? It turns out we do what we would each be doing at our own homes.
Yesterday was an example. I treated Leo to huevos rancheros at my favorite secret hideaway. Because the salsa is made from serranos, it is not to everyone's (especially, gringos') taste.
Leo loved them. It also gave me an opportunity to show off my nominal Spanish by chatting up the proprietress.
Then it was off to pick up the laundry I forgot to retrieve on Saturday when we went out for dinner. The large packet was almost too bulky for me to carry. The cost of 144 pesos ($8.84) was not.
Leo was impressed. Not with my strength, but the reasonable cost of laundry (including sheets and towels) for a full week.
Even though I was not expecting a letter, magazine, or package, I took Leo to the post office to introduce him to Saul, the boss of our local post office. Saul recognized Leo as the benefactor of the two float toys that were delivered across the post office desk.
No trip to town would be complete without showing a visitor the house on the beach I rented for the first eight months I lived in Mexico -- and the house on the laguna, where I had almost six years of crocodile adventures. Leo prefers my current house. So do I.
Because we had no provisions for breakfast, I took Leo to Hawaii (the grocery, not the islands) to meet Alex and his staff. Alex is one of those Mexican entrepreneurs who has found his niche market -- selling merchandise to northern tourists and expatriates, while simultaneously developing a strong middle class Mexican trade. Leo and I found everything we needed -- and more.
Then it was an afternoon of reading in the pool before we headed to Magnolia's for my traditional Monday night dinner. And Alex (the chef; not the grocer Alex) outdid herself again -- with the type of meals diners cannot find without traveling hundreds of miles. Leo was thoroughly impressed.
But the star attraction for everyone who visits me were the crocodiles of La Manzanilla. Unfortunately, they are now confined behind fences to restrain them from trundling through the streets in search of a meal. Even in jail, they can be intimidating.
All in all, it was a thoroughly relaxed, 100% tourist day. It is always fun to show off my home town.