Monday, May 7, 2012

Street Smarts

As we walk about this town we realize you have gotta keep your wits about you! Danger lurks everywhere . . . not the people, they are sweet beyond belief, but the sidewalks for example have holes in them. Some holes are big enough for a foot, others are big enough for a person. Three inch pipes stick out of the sidewalks in a seemingly random manner. Windows with beautiful ironwork stick out over the sidewalk above the heads of the locals, but not above our heads . . . it's more like eye-level for us. You also need to step over the occasional inert form of a sleeping drunkard.

If you survive long enough to get to El Centro, then you have to watch out for the ever present little old ladies and old men who beg. Have you ever seen Shrek II, the one with Puss-n-boots? He would look at his prey with big soft brown eyes until their defenses dropped and then he would attack! Take them by surprise. Well these little tiny old cutie-pies do the same thing. They gaze up at you with their hands out with big brown eyes pleading . . . all day long. Thank goodness I’ve seen Puss-n-boots at work J   Also when someone says ‘buen precio’, meaning good price, it isn’t a good price. A tall scruffy looking young man works the crowd pretending to be selling an ugly ratty old doll, but he’s actually selling drugs. Joe was looking the other direction one day and he made lewd gestures towards me. By the look on my face he realized his mistake and made a quick escape.

We were looking for the Mercato de Artesanas the other day and stumbled across a different type of artesian. Joe alerted me to the ladies lined up against the wall by the motel, and nervously ushered me to the next street.

Our room has drain covers in the sink and the shower . . . don’t remove those covers unless you want cockroaches visiting at night. Speaking of bugs, there is a sound here that I couldn’t identify at first. It sounded like a Muslim call to prayer, or an air-raid siren. Since no one was ducking for cover or kneeling towards Mecca, I searched for another answer. It is a beetle!

There is an odd system of parking here (odd to an American). Most streets are one way and you can parallel park on the left side. If the parking is all taken and you think your errand is short, you can park in the lane next to the parked cars (the fast lane). During busy times of the day the fast lane will be full of parked cars and the inner cars can’t get out. However the quick stop cars really do come and go quickly, but it’s still odd to me. By-the-way, don’t trust the pedestrian crosswalk signals, they may prompt you to cross during a green light for four lanes of traffic . . . you’ve gotta keep your wits about you! And another thing . . . everyone here talks about taking a Suburban for group taxis or tours. I’ve seen two Suburbans since I’ve been here and one is sitting on the side of the road with weeds growing around the tires. It took me three weeks to figure that out that Suburban is Spanglish for a van, so now I don’t stress about finding the “Suburban”.

Well my time’s up and I’ve got to get ready to head back into town to meet friends for dinner. I’ll try to write one more time before we leave.

Hasta luego, Heidi and Pepe


  1. Great adventures, I look forward to your return! You are both and Peace to you both. Dan

    1. Just seeing these comments for the first time! Crazy huh? Thx Dan

  2. Heidi and Joe, Thanks so much for sharing your adventure with me. What an experience. Looking forward to hearing all about it when you return.

    Pat Blank

    1. Just seeing these comments for the first time! thanks for letting me share with you :)