Saturday, December 28, 2013

Now That I’m A Local Mazatlana

Now That I’m A Local Mazatlana 
                Several Montana friends have asked me to please, do not comment about the weather while I’m down in this sunny southern clime. That seems a reasonable request to me since you, my friends on the High Line, are currently experiencing the annual return of the Ice Age.

                It has long struck me that weather in Montana has a separate and distinct personality, unpredictable in moon, even schizophrenic, of which one does well to be wary.  Living up north, I was constantly on the look-out for its next meteorological move, almost afraid to open the door to see which mood was on my step.

                In comparison, weather here seems actually boring, every day the same. Don’t worry. Be happy. The sun shines. The breeze wafts tenderly off the ocean. When it rains, the sky falls, but fifteen minutes later the sidewalks are dry. What’s to comment? (Remind me of this when hurricane winds batter the city and/or in August when the mercury bubbles up to 116 degrees Fahrenheit.)

                Meanwhile I promise to keep my weather comments to a bare minimum. I have been told that I have a tendency to gloat, an ugly quality, especially from your best friend whom you love dearly. I argue that I don’t gloat. I eagerly share my experiences, that’s all.

                But, with respect, I will not mention that I check the Havre Daily forecast with a hint of glee. That would be rude of me.

                Now that I am practically a “local”, I feel competent to give advice about what to bring when you come visit. 

                Money, four cotton tops, four shorts, sandals and a pair of tennis shoes, underwear, a toothbrush and bathing suit. That about says it all. I presume you will wear one set of those items. That means the rest fits in a backpack with room to add a few small items which I ask of you since I cannot find them in Mazatlan. You will bring more, of course, probably lug a suitcase along, but it is unnecessary. You won’t wear more than those four cotton outfits. 

                If you want your phone to work, add Mexico to your current plan before you arrive. When you get here, unless you want a four thousand dollar bill, please hide the phone from yourself. 

                Lupe brought me a Mexican phone from Moviestar. Sounds exotic but it’s just another phone company.  He chose that one because they assured him they set the phone so everything would be in English: voice mail, instructions, those kinds of things. The actuality is that the phone allows me to speak into it in English. If I can get the call to go through.  Everything else is in Spanish: voice mail, voice instructions, the folded paper of instructions that came in the box, tips, promotions. I know enough to figure Moviestar is offering me special deals but not enough to use them.

                I would give you my number but you don’t want the charge per minute. Stick with email. Besides, if I heard my phone ring, I probably would not remember where I put it. Oh, just another minor detail—I have somehow brilliantly managed to lock out incoming calls. 

                Every block in the city provides opportunities to eat, such as the little breakfast and lunch place on the corner a few feet from my apartment door. Yesterday I explored beyond my block, in search of a lavenderia. I found one just two blocks away, along with at least eight more eating establishments of various sizes. And a place to get my hair and nails beautified. 

                Between the laundry and my hair cut, a man named Rudy stopped me. “I remember you. You were at the Luna Palace last year.” I had purchased a raw opal from him. A good memory is as a polished jewel. It is flattering to be remembered. 

                Just last week on the beach Roger asked me, “Where is your ring?” Roger had sold me a ring set with a Mexican agate two or three years ago. Oh, sweet Roger.”

                Shortly before Evelyn flew back to Harlem, the one in New York City, she and I were having a Coca-Cola at my corner comida. A man from Edmonton whith whom we’d had a long conversation just the day before walked by without recognizing either of us.

                “He didn’t remember us from yesterday,” said Evelyn.

                “Yeah, to them we all look alike.”

Sondra Ashton
HDN: Looking out my back door
December 5, 2013

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