Friday, November 08, 2013

NOT Enough..............Bench Time!


When I moved down here twelve years ago, my goal was to spend as much time being a bench warmer in the jardin as possible.  I did get to do that for a while, several times a week.  The conversations were delightful.
The question I asked, usually was "How did you come to San Miguel?"

I  waited with anticipation for the saga that was always forthcoming.  I loved the one by the man, who has become a friend, who was on the bus, got off and has never left!

Or the woman that read about San Miguel, packed her car, never having even been to Mexico and drove down and is still here!

To me, it's like hearing "The Grapes of Wrath" over and over.  I never tire of meeting the people and hearing the stories.

Well, it seems lately - like for the last six months or so - I don't get to the bench near enough times a week. IF I'm lucky maybe twice.

The Monday Morning Koffee Klatch group meets at 11AM and that cuts into my bench time, darn.

It's kinda hard to be two places at once, even though I often try.  Usually at 11:45 when the bells ring, I stand up and scurry to the bench for at least 45 minutes.  Not long enough.

Lately it seems that my Friday time is usurped by some insignificant chore that I need to get done, darn.

However today I was DETERMINED to get there.  I set the alarm for a relatively early time, 7AM.  I was up and out of the house by 9:15AM.  I dashed to centro to get as many chores out of the way as possible so I could be on the bench by 11AM.  I was. 

The sun was shining.  A soft breeze was blowing.  Not many people around.  Two dogs lying in the sun (now they have the RIGHT idea).  The Mexican woman who sells flowers walked by and spoke and smiled.  Then a couple of acquaintances arrived for shoe shines.  I just let it all wash over me.
The people, the sun, the breeze and eventually, the church bells.

The sense of contentment when I can sit and observe life in Mexico is a wondrous thing.

I never take it for granted.  I need to do it more often.

Want to join me?  It's a simple pleasure with great rewards.
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15 comments:

calypso said...

Funny that! I feel the same way about the Pacific Ocean which is three short blocks from the casa.

We see it every morning from that distance, but seldom take the time to walk those three blocks and sit and watch the waves and the people for a spell.

Thanks for the reminder ;-)

Babs said...

How interesting to get this message from you Calypso. Before reading it I was laying in bed thinking about coming down your way in January. The question is, since I don't want to drive that far, can I exist down there without a car? For a month?

Steve Cotton said...

I have been on the move so much lately that I seldom just sit and enjoy what is going on around me. It is a marvelous morning for me to grab a book and go sit out by the laguna. Thanks for the suggestion.

angelinem said...

We will be in the Cancun area in a few weeks, and never having been in that part of Mexico before, my mind whirls with all the day trips I want to take....and then I read your post. I need to make myself spend some time just sitting in a jardin people watching and letting Mexico get back into my bones. And if I'm lucky, I will have a few good conversations with anyone who might sit with me.
Thanks!

Babs said...

Steve, may I make a suggestion? Don't take a book but just sit and observe. It's so amazing the things we miss when we are busy doing something else. I always say doing nothing is doing something.

Babs said...

Angelinem - Have a great trip. I was so shocked at the size of Cancun when I was there last February. I didn't feel as though I was in Mexico but rather in Florida, perhaps Miami. Disconcerting.

BTW, you posted on a previous post. I mistook your name for a friend of mine named Anghelen. If you read my comment, I'm sure it left you shaking your head thinking I had lost my mind. That is always a possibility, ha.........

gringosuelto said...

Hola Barbara,

What a great post. I like the idea of just sitting around and meeting people, hearing their stories, and watching life in El Centro. I think we've lost a lot of that in the USA where the mall has replaced the public square. And a mall isn't a particularly good place to just hang out. Besides, everyone's so busy rushing around, they don't have the time to just observe the world.

As for Puerto Escondido, I can help you with your question to John C. F and I spent a week there without a car, and did just fine. We rented a house near Playa Carizalillo, which is a bit out of the way. We'd often have to walk a couple blocks before getting a taxi, but then (spring 2008), you could get just about anywhere for a 20-peso taxi ride. Since we were in a house, we bought groceries and cooked in addition to eating out, so it wasn't like staying in a hotel with a restaurant. So yes, you can do fine in Puerto without a car, provided you aren't going to stay on the northern side and then spend all your time at La Punta. Downtown, the Adoquín, is quite walkable.

Saludos,

Kim G
Boston, MA
Where we think you should check out tomzap.com for good Pto Escondido info too.

Babs said...

Thanks Kim for your comments. I agree, about the lack of places for people to congregate in nature to meet and greet. I can't imagine talking to strangers in a park in Houston! Sadly.
Thanks also for the info on PE. I'll check into it! I didn't think I would need a car but wanted to check.........Don't know WHERE I'll end up for January, but won't be here that's for sure!

wesley mouch said...

Babs
My family is considering relocating to SMA. A big consideration for us is the fact that we have a 12 year old daughter. Is there education in english available from anyone in SMA? Many thanks

Babs said...

Wesley, there are several bilingual private schools in San Miguel. A friend of mine's granddaughter, who is 12 recently moved here and she is attending Victoria's school in Col. Guadalupe.
In addition, my grandchildren attend the International Baccalaureate School here. Both schools teach in English and Spanish.
Besides, you'll be amazed how fast children learn Spanish. My grandchildren were fluent in a few months!

Christine said...

Say,I was in Veracruz years ago and there were trees in their Jardin, just like the ones you show in the S.M. Jardin in your picture. In Veracruz the trees were filled with magpies (a VERY messy bird, if you know what I mean) and no one could sit under the trees as new comers soon learned. Is that true in this Jardin?

Babs said...

Luckily not Christine. We used to have birds and the city learned that if you cut the center leaves out of the tree, for some reason, the birds wouldn't land. So we sit in peace and tranquility!
Keen observation on your part!

lauriec said...

Ah, lovely post, Babs. We just returned from SMA and are missing the Jardin. It's been interesting explaining to folks back here in NC why we go to Mexico and to SMA in particular- no it's. to a resort and yes it's safe... Those conversations... Maybe this post and photo will help explain

Laurie
Chapel Hill

lauriec said...
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Babs said...

Hi Laurie. I get the same comments about living here.......it's hard to explain the sense of peace and contentment that comes from being here in Mexico. Actually I really don't want everyone to come here! We had enough of that for Day of the Dead! Glad you enjoy it as well.
Chapel Hill is a lovely place as well.