Saturday, June 25, 2005

Life at a slower pace

You know how some words in another language work so much better than your own? Right now I’m stuck on “intregar”. I don’t know the translation but I know how I use it and I know how it is used. It means something like “give over” or “hand in” or something. We buy our drinking water in garrafones. They are about 5gal (19 litre) water containers. You buy the rafon and then whenever you need more water, return the rafon and simply pay for the liquid. In Baja, you take your rafon to the water purification store and they’ll fill it up or you can go to a super or an abbarote and simply exchange for a full one and pay only the water charge. Here on the mainland you find that different areas have different brands of water. It is almost impossible to find a brand of water that is universal to the country, so you can’t exchange your rafon for the brand the store carries. You have to buy the liquid and then pour from the store’s rafon to yours. Right now we have Crystal and Electropura brand garrafones.

 Yesterday I intreged (Spanglish) my garrafon and got the other groceries and at the checkout said I wanted one rafon of Ciel. That’s all they sell. The clerk told me that I should have received a boleto when I intreged my rafon. So, leaving the groceries with the bagboy, I headed outside, back in and to the paqueteria where I was told that I needed to buy both a garrafon and the water as they don’t sell Electropura. Telling her that I was simply going to pour the liquid from their Ciel containter to my Electropura didn’t help. So back I schlep to the cashier, buy the garrafon and liquid, back outside to the entrance and to the paqueteria to collect the rafon, then back to the cashier where the Ciel is sold, pour the Ciel into my Electropura rafon and back to the paqueteria to collect my 54 peso deposit on the Ciel garrafon. And that was for only 5 gallons.  Sometimes I really miss Baja…

The kids are growing like weeds. Ellen is growing out of her pants that fit her 6 months ago, both Jesse and Pike not only find that their pant waists don’t close but the shoes that fit them 6 months ago are too small. They’ve been in sandals since February and haven’t needed shoes until we hit the cool of the mountains. The mountains are so much cooler than the Yucatan and from what we hear, the Pacific and Gulf coasts. I’d completely forgotten about the humidity until Jamie reminded me the other day - there is simply no humidity here. It is amazing not to be sticky and wet All Day Long.

Sissy’s hair is getting long and curly, Ellen’s stays about the same and Jesse’s is getting nice and long. Pike likes his very short and if I don’t cut it quickly enough, he and his brother LOVE to cut their own bangs. Drives Jamie absolutely insane as the cut is anything but straight, but as far as I’m concerned, it is THEIR hair. Everyone here takes Pike and Jesse for girls; Pike has an earring and Jesse has long hair. Never mind HOW they’re dressed, earring=girl and Jesse’s long blond hair=girl. I am always asked numerous times, as if they think I don’t understand or am making a mistake, if I’m SURE they’re boys. Yup. Changed their diapers for years. Absolutely positive. Course, that’s not what I say.

I’m becoming taken for someone from Spain. I’m thinking it is my Argentine accent because everyone recognizes the kids as gueras (blond/blue eyed) and as such, foreigners, but my Spanish throws them off. I’m called a guera in markets even though my hair is not blond but quite brown. It must be the 3 little true gueras that accompany me. I always point out my morenita, Sissy but her hair is getting very sun-streaked and is almost turning blond on the top. The kids are about as brown as the kids here due to the sun they took in the Yucatan. That’s another giveaway; no true guera would be so brown here.

The girls have been in a huge drawing phase; mostly horses, but some depictions of stuff they’ve seen in museums. Right now, Ellen is drawing bones covered with dirt (which she saw at Teotihuacan). Pike LOVES to draw pyramids and asks us to take specific pictures of specific pyramids so he can make a drawing from it later. Makes all the markers on bodies, walls and cushions worth it. Well, almost.

All the photos are from the drive to Guanajuato and of the town itself. Simply amazing!

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