Saturday, February 13, 2010

Feliz Dia del Amor y la Amistad

The immortal Pedro Infante and I are wishing you all a happy Valentine's Day, al estilo mexicano...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

bien empapado

We have had a very crazy week down here in humanity's cultural patrimony or the cultural patrimony of humanity, or something. We moved into our apartment at the beginning of last week. It is the second floor of a newly renovated house in a very nice neighborhood in the centro. There's a beautiful church out the front door, a view of La Bufa, and a little plazuela a block away that hosts vendors of elotes (steamed ears of corn, slathered in crema with chile) and classic Mexican hamburguesas.

So, we were feeling like we could finally unpack and relax after a month of living out of boxes/suitcases. The thing is, the day after we moved in, it started to rain. Not a nice friendly light rain, but as they say in New Mexico, a serious male rain. Then, it got cold again. Life in Zacatecas, like most of Mexico, is pretty much open-air. Few houses have heat or insulation, and most feature various gaping holes to the outside. When it get cold, you've got to get your hands on space heaters and blankets. Lots of blankets. Being a self-respecting gringo from the frigid North country, I did not really think 40 degree weather and rain was much of a threat. But, after sitting in it for about 24 hours, I was forced to reconsider.

It was at about this time that the roof started to leak. Over the bed. Thus began a couple of days moving furniture and buckets around to avoid/catch the multiplying incursions of water. Basically, water stains appeared all over the ceiling, and it was difficult to tell when one would begin to drip. Our solitary space heater was working so hard we eventually converted it into an arc-welder, melting an outlet and causing much excitement for A. and D.

Then the hot water went out. This was basically the last bit of consolation we had left. Much cursing and gnashing of teeth ensued, but this is a family blog, so I'll skip that. I suppose the low point was when I was up on the roof around midnight trying to clear the standing water when I realized that wet snow was accumulating. On second thought, it wasn't really a low point. It was actually quite beautiful watch snow fall on La Bufa and the city below. It seemed so absurd that I had to laugh. But, still. It was cold.

I really shouldn't be complaining, in light of what they've been going through in the Valley of Mexico. Eventually, the clouds cleared, the drips slowed. The sun came out. Our landlady (La Licenciada) swung into action, delivering heaters and sealing the roof, which was for some reason left unsealed after construction (I found inventive ways to curse those responsible). As D. said, we were basically living in a terrarium with sweating walls and ceiling. But, we began to get settled. Spirits lifted. Internet arrived. Order was restored.

Now, the sun is out and the sky is blue. All is squared away here at Casa Boehm Jackson, or rather, Jackson Boehm. Yesterday, Baba arrived on a red-eye and is probably already exhausted. Dress-up, princesses, witches, and what-not are the order of the day. Right now A. and her Baba are having ballet lessons in the living room (A. is the teacher). Poor Baba. It is very nice to have our first official visitor (I think Daddy was more of a fellow traveler). You should all plan on paying a visit. No rain clouds or drip buckets, guaranteed.