I love this place

Mexico never ceases to amaze me. I don’t have to travel very far to see or experience something new. And the people here are just waiting for you to smile and greet them so that they get the opportunity to show you their gracious hospitality.

The day started as usual. After breakfast and checking the news on the internet I took to the rooftop where I engaged in some quality hammock time. I am halfway into book two of a four part historical fiction series entitled, ‘Aztec Autumn’ by Gary Jennings and enjoying it immensely.

I like to catch an hour or so every morning of some early morning rays and do a little light reading. It’s a great way to start the day. And the Aztec series has really been bringing home some of the historical awe reminding me of what an incredible place I am privileged to be living in.

At 11:00 I put on my cargo shorts, pulled a white pocket-t over my head, stabbed my feet into my favorite pair of sandals and walked down to the blvd. where I caught the local chicken bus for the 7 km. ride down to Jiquilpan to meet with my lawyer at noon.

He’s actually not my lawyer but is the guy who represents the local ISP that wants to hire me and for that I need a temporary residents visa with the right to work. This is cool. I actually kicked this process off about a year ago when I got my old language school’s owner to introduce me the owner of the ISP.

I proposed to him that they hire me on a part-time basis and all I really wanted in exchange was for him to promote me for a work visa and hence have a more viable legal status here.

So a month ago Victor (the owner’s son) finally offered me a job and today the slow bureaucratic wheels finally began to turn.

It was a great meeting. The lawyer called in his wife to bridge the interpretation gaps and we finally have what we perceive as the bigger picture understood involving mostly 3 trips to the state capital to meet and deliver paperwork to immigration. And we agreed upon some short term next steps. All good moves and I have to say I really liked these two people.

Note: I’ll discuss all the process and progress in some future posts to help any of you out there who want to make the same sort of precipitous leap into the unknown jaws of the great jaguar (that’s Aztec imagery folks).

After my meeting I walked around Jiquilpan’s beautiful plaza (Jiquilpan is one of Mexico’s just 83 designated Pueblos Magicos) before wandering into the Mercado for some delicious tripe tacos. The plate was heaped with charred cooked onion, slices of pickled cucumber, and a big fat grilled jalapeno pepper.

A woman sitting a couple of chairs away saw me slather on the salsa and at some point in our conversation she invited me to her house to try her habanero mango salsa which she sells out of her front yard restaurant.

I followed her around the Mercado where she picked up a bunch of restaurant food supplies before boarding a bus to catch a ride back out to her neighborhood.

I like Mexican bus travel. The countryside in these parts is quite beautiful in a benign neglect sort of way. It’s an acquired taste maybe. I like how bougainvillea can dress up even the shabbiest of rundown adobe walls.

So to end this tale. I ended up buying something like 3 liters of three different kinds of salsa from this lady. I got 2 liters of the habanero mango salsa (sweet, but smoking hot), a liter of some kind of unidentifiable salsa that was made with red onions, lime juice, and another almost equally hot chili pepper. And she threw in a a plastic baggie that was just pureed chili arbol. Pure chili arbol in such a concentrated form is pretty damned hot too.

PS – Right at this exact moment a mariachi funeral procession is making its way down my street. Lots of people following the hearse. There are mournful horns and guitars and singing men. That’s true tradition Mexican style.

The distant strains of music reminds me to look at my watch and see that it is almost time for a tequila.

Viva Mexico.

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