Paving the road to nowhere, one word at a time.

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Location: Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico

American born, living in Mexico since 1992.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

From Here To Popotla

It seems like forever ago that we moved into this house, that we had rearranged the layout the best that we could to accommodate the way that we wanted to live here. I wanted this place to be the last place that we lived before building a house in Popotla; I pictured a bumpy and exciting transition from the noisy and crowded Infonavit into the loving and serene arms of the sparsely populated bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Even a couple of weeks ago from the temporary marital pitfall in room number three of the Hotel Colonial, I imagined that from here to Popotla was linear and certain, that by riding on time's back we would find ourselves directly from here to there at some point.

I didn't count on having to make a pit stop along the way.

The owner of this cold cement dwelling wants to sell it, and we don't want to buy it. Rocio has found two possible alternatives; one is another crappy, cold cement dwelling in this same colonia, and the other is a nicer place down the hill near Boulevard Diaz Ordaz. The nicer place even has an office, a larger office than the one I built here. There are drawbacks. We would have to purchase a clothes dryer, there is no room in the back to hang a clothes line. The precious view of Cerro Colorado would be gone. Anna would have to take a cab or a calafia to school. And so on.

The advantages are numerous. There would be one less taxi or calafia to take, reducing our commute by twenty minutes. That house is warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. There is access to DSL nearby. Best of all, our television reception would be awful!

* * * *

Rocio just hung up the phone with the landlord of the house down the hill. We will know for sure on Monday, but we are planning to move next Saturday. How’s that for some fast progress?

And they say that everything moves slowly in Mexico.

* * * *

When you get a phone line in Mexico, you own that line, you have the option of taking it with you wherever you go. So long as there is a telephone pole nearby, for a small transfer fee, the line can be carried from one place to another, figuratively speaking. We have two phone lines, or I should say, we own two telephone lines, and they'll need to be transferred down the hill. Figuratively speaking.

Rocio is currently on the telephone with the folks from Telnor, an obese and tyrannical organization that practically rules the entire communications network of Northern Mexico. Overhearing her conversation is much like watching an expert kayaker deftly navigate some dangerous series of rapids, it is a thing a beauty and grace, power and cunning, style and approach. Rocio takes no prisoners in any business negotiation, but she has an exacting amount of patience that I lack entirely. She is dangerously formidable in any situation involving bargaining.

I am glad that she's on my side.

In exchange for two or three weeks without a telephone line, we will have at least 256 kbps of speed on up to six computers down the hill. Not that we need six computers, but still. If we have to make a pit stop, this isn't a bad place to do it. And yet another plus: We'll be within two minutes walk to the best bakery in all of Tijuana, Panaderia Santa Cruz. They bake four times daily. If you wanted to spend five dollars in there, you'd have to make two trips just to get the goods home.

A lot of bread for, well, not a lot of bread.

* * * *

In a flash, Rocio just took Anna and Sharon and left for the Clinica, Clinica 27, her sister Elizabeth has just undergone emergency surgery. Elizabeth is fine, she will be released tomorrow and spend the next few days here, we have no stairs for her to navigate. Rocio will stay down there at the Clinica with Elizabeth tonight, and Anna and Sharon have gone to spend the night with Rocio's mother, and I am alone here and at a complete loss as to why we have not one single saltine cracker in the house. I have a can full of cheez-whiz and not one fucking cracker to spew it onto.

Elizabeth's surgery was performed in order to remove a large and bleeding ovarian cyst. I have a feeling that they removed one whole side of her plumbing, just call it a Mexican hunch. I'll find out tomorrow, when I find out what happened to all of the crackers.

Sometimes Anna, when confronted by some seemingly insurmountable obstacle, grins sheepishly and mockingly says, "But it's not fair!"

Oh, yes it is, Anna. It's always fair.

From here to Popotla it is bound to be journey filled with detours and potholes, no one ever promised that any of this would be even remotely something considered as easy.

But it will always be fair. That is how life has been designed, after all.

After all.


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