A Quick Update

In 2010, we moved back to the small town in Colorado that I never stopped missing while we lived in Mexico. Now I sometimes miss Mexico, but I wouldn't travel as freely as we did when we were there, camping out in remote areas and so forth.

Mexico today is in a period of change, and in many ways it is more dangerous now. That said, I have plenty of American friends who still live there very happily, just taking a few more precautions than they did in the past.

Just to say!


Visit Expedia…

Expedia is my favorite place to book airfare, and they handle hotels, car rentals, cruises, etc. I like the organization of the site for figuring out what flights I want. Click on the suitcase to take a look.

I was very pleased to win an award for this blog! Even better for you: click through for lists of all sorts of award-winning travel blogs.

Tripbase Blog Awards 2009

Tripbase Blog Awards 2009

March 30, 2005. — Yesterday evening Kelly and I walked across the small Mexican town where we have rented a house, to appear at the door of a Mexican family we know. The invitation was for supper, and we’d been told to come at seven. “Mexican style or American style?” I had asked when we were invited. “American,” I was told, so we showed up around seven. “Mexican style” would have likely been more like eight or later. Kelly had been invited to bring his digital saxophone along, and so he had it.

We entered past a bit of construction and a car to a sparkling clean and comfortable house with a lot of art on the walls, where we sat in the living room and visited. Besides the husband and wife and their young daughter, there were two of the wife’s brothers — visiting from another part of Mexico for Semana Santa — and a cousin on the husband’s side. Later another foreign woman joined the group, and as Kelly commented, it was quite the international salon.(I’m not listing their names because I didn’t think to get their okay, and besides it doesn’t matter to the story.)

Kelly accepted an offer of a small tequila, and got one that wasn’t so small. He nursed it for hours, while I had a delicious soft drink of grapefruit flavor and a few sips of his tequila. The others had beer or soft drinks. We munched on crackers with a tuna spread on top of them and little slices of sausage which we speared with toothpicks. These were in a delicious sauce of lime juice, onions, and tiny dabs of hot peppers.

Conversation ranged over many topics. None of the family are really fluent in English but often when Kelly or I didn’t know a Spanish word, we said the word in English and the father often knew the word. We’ve found our conversations with Mexicans helped along because so many of them can understand more English than they can speak. Our host listed off several words that he has trouble with the subtleties of pronouncing: bear, beer, bird, beard. Everyone (but me) thought it was pretty funny that I can’t roll my rr’s and thus can’t really even say my own name, Rosana, quite right! A single r at the beginning of a word gets a little bit of rolling. I got asked to say “ferrocarrill” which provided more amusement.

After some time, Kelly was invited to pull out his saxophone. The cousin is a musician as well, and he had set up a keyboard and brought his guitar. He said he hadn’t done a lot of improvising, that in the club where he plays it’s usually the more popular, commercial tunes that he does. But he and Kelly started improvising together, as that is how Kelly plays, and they immediately sounded like they had played together many times. We sat spellbound (at least I was, and the others sure seemed to be) for an hour or so as they played in a variety of styles. Our host asked Kelly to start with a jazz tune, and he began with “Summertime” which morphed into pure improv.

When the cousin moved from keyboard to a non-electrified guitar, I quietly suggested to Kelly in English that he unplug the sax for a softer sound. Our host thought I might be suggesting that Kelly stop playing and he objected. My favorite part of the music was what followed.

Eventually the cousin did a few solo pieces where he sang, and then our host sang “Perfidia” with the lyrics in Spanish. I sang along softly in English, glad that nobody seemed to notice I was doing it.

It was about 10:30 by now, and I was beginning to wonder if we should say our thank you’s and go home. But then our host said in Spanish, “We invited you for supper, and so now please come into the dining room.” His wife and her brothers were putting plates of pasta and meat in a subtly spicy sauce on the table. Conversation was lively and it was past midnight when the gathering ended.

Kelly and I walked home across the quiet streets of our town, enjoying being able to walk down the middle of streets with absolutely no traffic. Well, we did see one car being parked, but nobody else was about. Houses here and there still had lights on, but it was a very quiet town. People had told us it was safe to walk the streets at any hour here, and we did feel safe in our fifteen-minute walk.

A great evening! Oh, and the reason there are no photos is that we forgot to take the camera and for once the shoe was on the other foot: the wife was videoing segments of the evening.

I think that any foreigners in Mexico who made some effort (no matter how basic) to speak Spanish and to meet people would find themselves invited to events like this. Of course, the longer you stay in one place, the more you develop a network of friends, but even travelers experience the wonderful Mexican hospitality and warmth. At one point last night our host asked me to say something about my impressions of Mexicans, and I said that I thought they knew how to enjoy life more than other North Americans. It’s one of the main things I love about Mexico!

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