In which I surprise myself

I’ve been running around the past couple of days getting paperwork straight for banking and an FM3 visa (sort of a temporary/permanent residency).  Yesterday around 4:30 I was in a cab heading towards home.  My amiable driver pulled up next to a Mexican woman, perhaps in her early 30’s, who was carrying a huge yellow ceramic planter in the shape of a turtle that looked like it weighed at least 20 lbs.  I understood when he asked her if she needed a taxi and told her he was going to take me home first.  And I understood the confusion she experienced looking between the driver and me, wondering if it would be o.k.?  After carrying crops as a kid, toting trays in a hundred restaurants, and lugging 30 lbs. of photography equipment on my shoulder as a commercial photographer before things went digital, I have super-sympathy for anyone carrying weight.  “No problema!” I assured the woman. The planter went in the trunk.

The three of us began the usual conversation, which for the driver was redux: “It’s hot.  Where is the rain?” Then I asked the woman what the words for “that looks heavy” are in Spanish?  I had to mime most of my question because she spoke no English at all, but she patiently watched while pondering what I was getting to and provided the word. She asked me for the word in English and rolled it around in her mouth. Then, pointing at doors and people on the street, she offered me more Spanish.  I love it when people give me these impromtu lessons, but I know I’ll be lucky if I retain one useful word because I’m old and my brain is now swiss cheese!

In a few minutes we made a right onto the street where the Belle Artes  is located and saw a relatively large contingent of soldiers in camo and holding machine guns guarding the entrance and the rest of the block.  The young woman asked the driver why they were there?  She looked worried.  “Federales?” I asked her.  “Si,” she whispered.  Our driver assured her everything was o.k. and said there was some kind of event taking place.  He said the word ‘politicos’ in his sentence and I said, in my typical Manglish, “Si, politicos y Hollywood, pero no por nos.”  The three of us burst out laughing.

Within two seconds a gringa tried to turn her S.U.V. into us and down the wrong way into the arms of the federales.  Our driver cheerfully shouted and motioned to her that it was it was a one-way street, while my companion and I giggled that she had no idea where she was going in more ways than one.  Then we saw the transit police truck right behind her.  The three of us roared.

I’ve told friends that a big reason that I want to learn Spanish is to be able to understand the jokes. Yet here I am in a cab with no English spoken, laughing together at the absurdities of life.  The three of us parted as if we were old friends, with all the wonderful civilities this unknown language uses to embellish daily life.

And I understood every word.

3 thoughts on “In which I surprise myself

  1. Peggy Green says:

    Well I’d started to comment but it disappeared before my eyes so I’m hoping I accidentally posted it. It’s time for our before the dark play in the yard.

    How’s that Phone coming?

    I am sure I’ll do better on the weekend but glad you seem to be enjoying the ride. Are you seeing Clint much?

    I’m going to look and see if my partial post posted but fear not I wasn’t taken ill at the computer nor kidnapped by gypsys.

  2. Peggy Green says:

    It’s funny, I have the same experience when in the South end!

    Well, you are the talk of the hood. Several people, strangers mostly, have asked me about you. They’d heard that one of us had moved to Mexico and obviously it was not me.

    Amy is home from her year in Hoosier land and is having a cook out on the 30th where I’m sure all dogs will run wild. This morning on our walk we ran into her taking Zel for a walk and though the kids see her almost every day she’s rarely on a leash so it was a bark fest. Finally our Romeo A. Mini Schnauzer realized it was Zelda and went all mushy.Foosie kept her bark on and on and on. They are sometimes nearly perfect on their double leash. Othe times NOT SO MUCH, like this morning.

    Well, I’ll be here it is. These damn modern electric things. Give me a butter knife and potato everytime.

    Lickies from the Foos
    Huggies from the Ashman
    And from me…bye y’all

    • jaxinmexico says:


      FYI, whatever you write on my blog can (and will) be seen by any stranger who stumbles on it.

      I’ve been RUNNING around, so haven’t figured out the phone yet. I’ve got it on my calender for Monday, but who knows?

      I put pix of Asher & Foosie (in her snow queen head dress) on my sideboard. Today Delores, who cleans for me (yay!) and Juan, who does odd jobs for me (yay!) were both here and I showed them the kids. I was all mushy ….

      sigh …

      Is the blog giving you a good idea of what I’m up to?

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