Monday, November 7, 2016

Made Me Smile

Gotta love those California cowboys!
I’ll break up the next couple of blogs into categories of Made Me Smile, We’re Not In The USA!, How People Work Here, Survival Of The Fittest, and Yucky Bad Stuff

Made Me Smile;

I’ll start with what I’m doing right now… writing from my latest office. The top of this hotel has an enormous palapa built over the roof. The view from here is stunning, plus it always has a fresh breeze. My office is in a little nook at the edge of this terrace. The cleaning lady says she’s going to make a sign for my table that says, “La Oficina de Heidi.”

Our Spanish teacher has become our friend. Javi (have-ee) is absolutely adorable with a cheeky grin and a sassy sense of humor. She loves Pepe (Joe), but she doesn’t let him get away with senseless chatter :) In the past he’s been able to say whatever came to his mind and get away with because he’s so cute. Not with Javi. 

She invited us to her new home three days after she’d moved in. She purchased it for the purpose of renting out the top floor to Airbnb customers as a full Bed-and-Breakfast. Her mother and sister from Chile are here helping her get settled in. It was a beautiful catered dinner party with about fifteen of us there. It is located two blocks from La Punta, the best surfing spot. I’m sure she will be very successful. They loved the bottle of California wine I brought from Sobon Vineyard. After much deliberation we all decided on Palmas' B&B... Laid Back Luxury by Javi.

Javi has a membership at a beach club called Villasol. She can go there with as many people as she wants to invite. We went for class one day and fell in love with it. The next time she left us there to enjoy it for the rest of the day. It’s on Bacocho Beach. They have a large pool with a lot of comfortable loungers, unlike the beach’s chairs made of wood. I ordered a hamburger, and rolled my eyes in ecstasy as I ate it… grilled to perfection, smothered in blue-cheese… I’m drooling again. But I guess the thing that makes me smile is the irony of travel. I can’t wait to explore new places and relish every moment, even the bad times, as part of the grand experience. However I feel an enveloping sense of American comfort when I visit immaculate luxurious places like Villasol. I think everyone who travels away from their home country feels this way when they step into a place familiar to home, even if they choose to live elsewhere.

Our neighborhood, La Rinconada, is mostly pedestrian. Rush hour is if there are three cars or motorcycles in sight on the main road. I wanted to take a picture of more than one car on the main road for this blog, but I gave up. I can see more runners than cars. One lady runs every single day. Javi pointed her out to us and said they call her the “Forrest Gump of Puerto Escondido.”

We miss the last hotel for the comradery. La Barca is the main hotel for the Oasis Surf and Language School, so it’s always full of students from everywhere. We loved our room, but since we only took two weeks of classes we moved to this hotel (Quinta Carrizalillo). This place has an air-conditioner :) Every Thursday night they have a surf coaching class over at La Barca with snacks and last week it even included an arm-wrestling competition! It started with the champ of the group. He proceeded to throw-down the strongest kid with no apparent effort, and then he left the table for the amateurs. Everyone took turns, even the girls, until Joe decided to do it. The first guy comically pushed everyone out of the way to be the one to wrestle Joe. It was a fair struggle for at least 60 seconds, until he put Joe down. Then they switched arms and it took longer for the young guy to win. The next day he asked Joe if he was sore. The kid was clearly disappointed when Joe said, “Nope.”

The birds here are numerous and noisy. AND they start their singing early. The first time I heard them I thought Who’s the jerk whistling at six in the morning, right outside my window? I finally figured it out. It’s a black bird (looks like a crow) that has a human-like whistle. Everywhere you go is the chatter and song of thousands of birds. They also have a huge population of dogs here. Apparently the owner of the local supermarket adopts every dog. The dog at La Barca (I already posted a photo of him) is named Treno (Thunder). His bark reminds me of the 101 Dalmations movie. He isn’t the friendliest dog. He puts up with all of the guests, but not with joy. A couple of weeks ago, when we were coming home, he was outside in the street. He barked so loud and wagged his tail so hard when he saw us, I thought he was going to fall over. If I could put words in his mouth he was saying, “Oh my gosh, I’m so glad you’re here! I got locked out of the house somehow!” After that he was our best buddy. He especially liked the forehead massage I’d give him.

I can’t leave out the turtles. They have a turtle release program here on Bacocho Beach. It’s free to observe and 50 pesos to release your own little baby turtle. Joe coughed up the pesos for me. They gave a mini lecture and then we lined up to get our baby turtle. We all walk over to a roped off area to simultaneously release our babies. I named mine Isabelle in the hopes that it would be inspired to run fast and have cross-country endurance like my friend, Isabelle. I said, “Your name is Isabelle.” She looked directly at me. We bonded… I think :) 
Anyway she was fast but not good with directions. She kept going sideways towards me. Finally she looked straight at me for a moment, then walked into the surf. The last I saw of her was her little flipper waving goodbye. Pretty cool.

I love watching the little tiny kids learn the skills for surfing. They look so small on the boards, even the little boards. Most of the time the parents just let them go out in the water and figure it out by themselves. These kids are the beach people, not the country people. Those parents load up their kids with water wings and a life vest and then they hold onto them with an iron fist.


  1. Its been wonderfull sharing time and teaching spanish to you and Pepe.

  2. Thanks Javi, we enjoyed our time with you very much. We're looking forward to a long friendship :)