Wednesday, August 19, 2009

It's A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Apologies to Mister Rogers.

Today is one of those days that makes you happy to be in Mexico: I got up a 9 a.m. sharp. It's easy to be sharp when you wake up at 9. Had a cup of Oaxacan-grown coffee and a fresh mango with banana over oatmeal. Oh....and some fresh-squeezed OJ.

I went up to the library and had my two guys for a tutoring session. Their English is improving noticeably. It's a bit sad since this is our last week. Next week, UABJO (the local government university) starts up again, and Manuel will be back in class. He's a 5th-semester foreign language major. Miguel will go back to work at the primary school where he is an administrator. He's been studying in preparation for an English proficiency exam. I bet he'll pass it.

After our class, I stuck around to chat with a number of the expat regulars at the library. I still think of the library as the clubhouse of some wildly fun kids' summer camp.

Then I wandered over to my regular Wednesday massage place. "Beto" is my man. He's good. Really digs in for a deep sports massage. And at 200 pesos ($15 US), it's a little treat that I can indulge in every week. In fact I look forward to it. Gets the lymphatic fluid moving in your body.

I just got back to the apartment, and I had a Chinese stir-fry for lunch. Yesterday was cooking day. I do that. Buy a ton of fresh vegetables, a bit of meat (in this case beef) and just cook it all up. It's a tasty way to incorporate fresh veg into your diet. And it's all so gorgeous and fresh here! Tomatoes are actually RED and taste like....tomatoes! How novel! Eggplant, zucchini, garlic, onions, (yes, I DO make ratatouille), carrots, potatoes, green name it, it's here.

And now, dear readers, I'm writing you. After I finish, I'll do some sketching in preparation for my drawing class, which starts Sept. 1. And then the daily siesta. God, I love naps. It's truly one of the great pleasures of being retired. I always awake completely refreshed. They call it "beauty sleep," but in my case, it's not working. But I enjoy it, anyway.

When I get up, I'll have a glass of vino, a bite of supper, and head over to Teatro Juarez for a chamber music concert.

What's bad? It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood.