The flight from Phoenix went well except for the $25 fee to check my bag.  American Airlines had allowed one free checked bag if you were going to Mexico.  No Mas.  So I checked one and carried the other along with a Messenger Bag aboard the flight.  No fun lugging all this stuff while waiting but when I boarded, the Steward that checked my boarding pass noted my height and issued me another boarding pass along with the one I had.  He did this while talking to another in Spanish who was also boarding.  I saw it but wasn’t sure what it meant since no explanation was given. 
             I sat in my assigned seat according to the first boarding pass…then looked at the new seat he gave me and realized this was not a full plane so he gave me the Exit Row with full leg room.  I jumped up and moved, listened to the Flight Attendant explain what I had to do if the plane crashed then we rose into the sky with one very happy passenger.
           I arrived in Mexico City but had to change over to Interjet Air that was a partner of American.  A new boarding pass was required as was me lugging my baggage two miles to check in at Interjet. The computer didn’t recognize my ticket so I had to go to the counter where a very nice attentive Ticket Reservationist  issued me a Boarding Pass but said I had to watch the departures to discover the departure Gate when posted.

          Great I walked another 2 miles to gate 27 with two rest stops in between to relieve my cramped legs.  I was hour and a half early so sat in front of the desk and started reading when after about an hour I realized the flight number on the screen changed.  I approached the desk and showed them my ticket and asked why the change when he pointed out there was no flight to Oaxaca from this gate.  The flight number now referred to Bogota, Columbia.  My flight disappeared on all screens.  There were others that fell prey to the same deception so we formed a co-op and pooled our resources. Richard spoke good Spanish and checked his American Airlines web site hoping to get info, the lady was from Mexico so she went to Interjet Desk to inquire and I sought out the Information Desk.  We were all told gate 21 so we left with me trailing way behind.  No one was at 21 and was told 22 so went back to be told 23…where I was told 24…and there we all were told the plane was delayed out of Chicago and would be an hour and a half late.  It was.
          Then we were told to board. Richard had came from Santa Fe New Mexico and left with me on his connecting flight in Phoenix.  Both of us had bags bound for Oaxaca and were worried about transferring them to this delayed flight.  When I arrived in Oaxaca I was anxious to get to my Condo so ran right out to book an Authorized Taxi  before the line started but when I returned to the baggage area I wasn’t allowed in even after I presented them with my ticket AND my baggage claim.  I had to wait until LAST.  When I saw Richard coming with his bags I asked him to talk to Security to let me in…he said I left the baggage area which I was not supposed to do and had to wait like a criminal. The baggage attendant brought me the last bag to be claimed…mine.  
         I just make the last Taxi and as usual I was the first to be let off since I was closest to the airport.  Deke, my manager was waiting along with Hector and Lucia, the owners.  Hector brought a Propane Gas Tank in and lit my water heater and stove to make sure it was OK. The maid, Adelina had fresh flowers arranged for me along with a bunch of bananas.  I spent three hours unpacking and taking my “stuff” out of storage before I retired.

        Saturday was New Year’s Eve and was very busy everywhere.

 The bus dropped me at my ATM and I got enough to pay my rent then stopped for a haircut before walking to the Zocalo where I ran into my beer drinking friend Darcy who introduced me to Ron from West Virginia.

 Ron was 74  and has been traveling to a different country every year since he retired, looking for a place to live or at least spend every winter.  He had been to 
Columbia last year, Peru, Ecuador, Panama, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica before that. He finally arrived in Oaxaca after numerous recommendations and was on his way to Puerto Escondido next week to check out the beach scene. Very nice man that fishes and hunts a lot from his cabin in West Virginia in the spring and fall.  
         Darcy and I caught up with the news since we last saw each other.  His waitress got Zika virus along with a number of people in Oaxaca.  He got new dentures on his last visit to his Mom’s in Canada for FREE. Some benefits of Canadian Health Insurance are good. 
       Took some photos of the Zocalo Nativity Scenes.

Donkey is Real but not sure he knows the Statues are Not?

  I stopped at Cambouche for a Burrito then another place for take out Roasted Chicken to have some food at the condo.   I returned home as it was getting dark and could hear the start of the rockets shooting off.  Last year I saw them from the roof but it was disappointing and without someone to share it…I watched 2 Black Mirror episodes and Goliath.    A few Mescal and Campari with a little smoke put me to bed around 11 pm.  Fireworks lulled me to sleep.

      I settled the rent with Deke, the condo Manager.  He told me my maid and her daughter got the Zika virus.  He had the beginning of the flu that I just got over.  He said my upstairs apartment would be ready to move into Friday.  I had thought I may have to wait until April so was very happy.  I talked to the present tenants and found out they furnished the place and were taking most of their stuff to the new location.  Deke said the landlord would move my furniture there or buy new if I didn’t mind waiting.  They were leaving the beds and a dining room table so I told him I would wait for the new furniture.  
       Darcy had told me a bike shop was selling the very same electric bike I just bought from Denmark . I went to the shop but they were closed so will try again tomorrow. New Years Day and most everything was closed and the street were empty, but not the Zocalo.

New Year’s Eve Buses …must have had lots of nice parties?

I walked back to the Zocalo and noticed the Ice Skating Rink that was empty yesterday (except for the bleachers) was starting to fill up with timid skaters.

Music Rink but no brave souls
Everyone waiting to see someone on the ice.
Today they tried…most are sticking to the sidelines…like I used to.

I found Darcy just finishing his New Year’s Day Filet Mignon with Beer of course.  I bought him a beer then crossed over to Tres Bistro for my New Year’s Grilled Salmon and Wine dinner.

So hungry I ate most before remembering to take a picture.

 I saw Saul and a few people I knew then stopped to buy a foot stool, Kleenex, wine, tonic and lemonade.  I had visited the Organic Market, after looking for the bike store, and bought some homemade, no sugar, yogurt so eat with my granola tomorrow.  Exhausted, I took a taxi home to watch some more Black Mirror and Goliath on Netflix and Amazon before bed.

    It was Monday and the library reopened to I visited to pay my annual membership and sign up for some lectures and tours.

Bill, a friend, was volunteer Host at the door welcoming a couple from France.  He oriented them around then invited me to his 75th birthday blow out Big party with a band, food and drink!  Had to wait until April but my name was now on the list of invitations. He told me the bike shop I was looking for was in Colonial Reforma…the Northern section of Oaxaca. I saw some friends then walked to Biznaga for late Lunch. 

Chicken Vegetable Rice Soup with Stuff

Spinach Fruit Salad
Different View

This is a Wired Tree with live Branches woven in.

    I stopped at the Main Market on my way home and bought some Beets, Ginger, Tangerines and Limes. I noticed a Tech Phone store and stopped to see if they had a cable to charge my phone with.  I left it home but ordered one on Amazon to be delivered in a couple days but bought the one they had so I could charge my phone now.  I’ll have two cables but two is better than none. 
     I started a new series called Hell on Wheels that Anita recommended to me. We go to movies a lot and watch Netflix.  The first episode was great.

    Today I stayed in a while then left for lunch at Cambouche

Cactus Onion and Tomato Soup
Chicken Breast Stuffed with Spinach

I stopped at my favorite Cafe for Coffee

Husband and Wife Baristas …don’t see this at Starbucks..great coffee.

and on to the library for a lecture about Street Art of Oaxaca.  I love to see new murals go up and have made some canvas photos to hang of them in my Scottsdale condo. Unfortunately my Camera battery went dead but I did get two pictures.  One of the many beautiful Murals

…and because of a new law that no Graffiti Art can go on Historical Buildings..it was painted over but someone did leave a sad comment.

Notice the Tears

Today I stayed at home trying to communicate with my tenants, neighbor, and Century Link to fix my internet connection.  Work still in Progress.  Now I’m off to meet Richard, my Oaxacan friend that just arrived from Ashville S.C.  We will catch up on our summer adventures and have dinner at Tres Bistro.  

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