TWO WEEKS IN APRIL…HASTA LUEGO OAXACA

            Adelina cleaned my newly redecorated apartment this morning while I went to the library to listen to Osho on my Bluetooth phone that broadcasts directly to my ears.  I’ve been watching the series on Netflix called the Wild Wild Country.  It is about Osho, the Guru from India that brought his following to a ranch he bought near Antelope Oregon back in the early 80’s.  My VA Doctor in Anthem, Arizona, used to hike in Sedona every weekend and support my efforts to eat healthy and change my lifestyle.  There was an Osho store and a following in Sedona that he enjoyed and recommended I listen to Osho’s CD on the Buddha and lifestyle.  I bought it but couldn’t hear the recording. The Guru’s voice was not in my hearing frequency.  Now I have an interest in hearing it after watching Wild Country so with my new hearing aides and Bluetooth assistance thought the library would be quiet enough that I could…and I did until people came into the room I was sitting in and started talking.  It is hard to find anyplace without noise just to concentrate.  

       I left and went to the Bakery for Salad, my mid meal to carry me over until this evening.

     I passed a fancy display of Oaxacan T Shirts and pullovers so stopped in.

I tried some on and bought one. 

I arrived at the Bakery and ordering my Salad and Home-made Ginger Ale.  I started reading more of Blue Highway…almost done…great book. An attractive lady came up to my table, kissed the lady across from me with a European greeting in Spanish, sat down and ordered the same salad. The other lady left and I remarked on how good the salad was that we were both eating.  Sophie from Antwerp Belgium concurred and we talked about Antwerp, her travels alone to South America for 3 months, exchanged emails, then as we were getting ready to leave…she gave me the European hug and kiss on the cheek.  I almost fell over trying to hug her back over the picnic table. What a lovely day.

       I headed home when another lady came up behind me and gave me a hug.  It was Halina with her partner Barbara who I thought had returned to Detroit last week.  I hardly got to see them this trip.  They said goodbye and were leaving in two days. 
      I tried on my shirt and realized it was too big on me so decided to return it this evening when I went out to eat at the Berliner.
       While passing through the Zocalo I saw Pattie, Darcy’s sister, having a beer with Chris who just returned from Phoenix.  I stopped to ask about Darcy as I hadn’t seen him and was worried.  She said that his illness was worse and they had to send him back to Canada but the hospital couldn’t do anything so he is at home with his Mom taking care of him.  So sad.  He was one of my first friends in Oaxaca. 
        I went to Berliner and as I was sitting down to dinner when Bill, my pool playing friend walked in with his wife and asked to join me.  I told him no as I wanted time to read my camera manual for the 5th time.  There was a concert tonight and I was determined to get some good photos. They sat at the table next to me while we all enjoyed Bratwurst and Potato Salad.  

       I was on the way out when Deke, my Manager at the condo was coming in.  We chatted a bit then I went to the Cathedral for the concert and photos.Easter Music
       I stopped at Importado to have a Mescal to wish Darcy good health and speedy recovery.    Then arrived to a very hot apartment with everyone outside trying to cool off.

Donde Darcy?


        I watched a movie called Into the Wild about a young man out of college that rejected the status quo and sat out to see the world.  He broke all contact with his family and friends burned his money and hitched around the states working odd jobs as he went until he made it to Alaska.  There he hiked into the wilderness to spend a winter holed up in an abandoned bus in the middle of beautiful no where.   Finally he missed his family and friends and decided he was as changed as he was going to be and in the spring set off to return but the snow runoff caused the river to be dangerous, so after a bungled attempt to cross the river, where he lost his backpack and almost his life,  he returned to the bus.  He survived eating roots but ate that potato root and discovered it causes paralysis of the digestive track and he couldn’t eat anything.  Unless he could get treatment…he would die.  He took a photo of himself , wrote in his diary...”Happiness is only real when it’s shared”  That was his big epiphany.    Now he’s on his death bed wrapped in his clothes.  

        He started seeing his Mom, Dad, sister, all the friends he met on the trip to find himself…then died.  Hunters found him two weeks later.  True story…his sister went to Alaska and put his ashes in her Backpack and returned home with him for burial or whatever.  Remember Happiness is only real when it’s shared.
       Did good at pool Wednesday…Lunch with Zoe at a Seafood restaurant across from her house.  I had wanted to try it but never thought it special.  It wasn’t but had a nice Fillet of ?? Veracruz and enjoyed the atmosphere and Zoe’s conversation.
       
Tuna Steak with Avocado,Asparagus,Grilled Tomato and Pumpkin Seeds

       I slept late and just read, coffee, listened to music then visited Biznaga for a nice lunch. They use Walmart frozen Tuna Steaks…and they are a bit dry but look what they do to make up for it.  Now and then they feature fresh fish other than Salmon.

       Today, Resurrection Day (Good Fryday), gave me the day off…Pool Hall Closed…Hardware Closed…restaurants packed and my landlord had another Mass in Front of my condo…must be trying to bring me back into the fold. Then after three of four attempted calls to change my reservation with American Airlines (on hold for up to 45 minutes),the last attempt I got through in 15 minutes to discover it COST MORE TO CHANGE THE RESERVATION FROM THE SAME FLIGHT ON 8/23 TO 7/23 THAN TO JUST BUY ANOTHER TICKET.  SO I LOST $200 DOLLARS ON Resurrection Day and bought another ticket.
       

I did get to enjoy my TUNA Minstrel group while having an OK breakfast at Importador…I’m a big fan…of the TUNA.

       
Streets were empty…all in church home or center
 Now I discover my trip cancellation insurance only covers death. American Air cancelled my flight and booked another BUT I didn’t ask for that…I asked to change the dates and when they said it would cost more to change than to buy another so I agreed to buy another.  They did buy another BUT cancelled the one in August.  I may go back to visit relatives so I called back waited for them to call me…you can NEVER speak to anyone directly…recording gets all your info then switches you to another answering machine that requests you to hang up and they will call you when they are ready so now your working for them.  I did call , waited and then when my called was returned and I explained but she said the ticket was worthless because I cancelled it.  I didn’t cancel I asked to change the date and was told the change fees were more than the value of a new ticket so I bought a new ticket as suggested.  
       Then I got a notice if I had a problem with the ticket they cancelled to call and that is what I’m doing.  I want and paid for both tickets.  “But sir …if your not here to use the ticket it is worthless”.  I explained I may return to NYC in August to visit my family and would only have to buy a one way ticket there and could use my ticket that I paid for to return.  Duh! “Well I will have to get my supervisor to OK that”.  Then with out saying anything just put me on hold and never got back to me for 20 minutes.  I was in the middle of cooking when she first called back and the pot was boiling over now so I’m walking around with the phone in my ear for 20 minutes waiting like an idiot for her to get back.  I hung up and figured she would call back to confirm her supervisors approval….she didn’t. 
          I’ve been an American Airlines Frequent Flyer for over 30 years…have a flight booked to Dublin from Phoenix in June. One from Mexico City to Phoenix this month and hopefully have 2 booked from NYC to Phoenix in July and August???  I was planning on returning to Oaxaca, Mexico from Phoenix round trip like I did this year. I doubt I will be flying them anytime after I use these booked tickets…or ever again but they are only one of three choices! 
            Then I complained about my treatment.  Customer Service waived the change charge and gave me full credit for one year from booking to book another flight.  So, I got my money back  or credit…same.  BUT why do we have to fight for service that we pay for?
         Today I visited the Bakery again for Naranja y Kvass…fermented Beet juice and fresh OJ…along with Avocado Toast on their fantastic bread with Kim Chi…to die for well for 45$ about $2.50.  I left still hungry and decided to try the BBQ Beef Rib Special at Importado on the way home. 

TAMALES?
         When I arrived Darcy was there with Canadian Steve..last I heard he was in Canada with his Mom and wasn’t lookin good.  That part was right but he was here now so I joined the group, split my Ribs and fries with them and chipped in a picture of beer.  Darcy wasn’t feeling well…his back was bothering him…symptom of Lung Cancer that my friend who had it said…it was like a sword was shoved in your back…he committed suicide that month.  In obvious pain and ready to take the bus…I gave him Taxi fare to get home.  It was good to see him but I felt helpless. He still has his good humor! 
     I sent him an email:  
       DARCY and DAVID, two friends, met in the IMPORTADOR every day to 

​drink Beer, watch the ​babes and discuss world problems.
One day ​DARCY didn’t show up. DAVID didn’t think much about it and figured maybe he had a cold or something . . . But after DARCY hadn’t shown up for a week or so, DAVID really got worried.
       However, since the only time they ever got together was at the
​ IMPORTADOR ​DAVID didn’t know where DARCY lived, so he was unable to find out what had happened to him.
​      Weeks had passed, and DAVID figured he had seen the last of 
DARCY so he stopped in and had a Mescal to his health and hoped he would return

​.

​          Then one day, ​DAVID approached IMPORTADOR and lo and behold!
—there sat DARCY  with his friend STEVE!
      ​DAVID was very excited and happy to see him and told him so. Then he said, “For crying out loud, DARCYwhat in the world happened to you?”
​        DARCY replied, “I have been in jail.”“Jail!” cried 
DAVID. “What in the world for?”
      “Well,” ​DARCY said, “you know MY PRETEND GIRLFRIEND, that cute little 

​BLACK HAIR waitress at the ​IMPORTADOR where WE HANG  OUT?”       “Yeah,” said 

​DAVID, “I remember her. What about her?”
“Well, the little gold-digging witch figured I was rich and she filed rape charges against me; and, at 65 years old, I was so proud that when I got into court, I pled ‘guilty’.”

        “The judge gave me 30 days for “perjury.”
       Today I sat at home and watched the Stock Market drop due to Trump’s tariffs and China’s retaliation.  Thanks Donald. 
        My new “stunning”physical therapist showed up at 3pm to give me a work out.  She know her stuff and presents herself well at , I think, 24 years of age.  She treated me better than most Doctors and asked a million questions about my medical history and my on going problem with my circulation and my immediate problem with my shoulder. After probing around to ascertain the location of the pain and the problem she applied ultra sound followed with a Tens Unit and electrical impulses.  Then she had me on all four doing a form of Yoga which was needed but a stretch for this old timer. 

          She followed that with recommended stretching exercises with those rubber bands followed by instructions and me doing a few.  She said the heart pumps the blood into the body but the calves of your legs pump it back toward the heart, so it is important to walk for that reason.   We scheduled another appointment in two days while I did the exercises morning and in the evening before bed. I was very pleased with her hour and a half house call for $16.  
         I set up my Bluetooth broadcast of Zydeco Music from Louisiana and set out with a spring in my step for dinner at Tres Bistro.  I sat by the window by myself and feasted on complimentary Tostadas and Croquettes while sipping my Cabernet and listening to my playlist while watching the world go by below with only my favorite music in my ears.  It was like a dream…except in a dream you wonder : How did I get here and where am I…that’s how you know it’s a dream. 

I knew how I got to Tres Bistro and that I was there enjoying one and a half hours of Fresh Dorado with Cilantro Sauce and Arrazo, Fresh Baked Cranberry Bread and Garlic Butter, Carmel Ice Cream on Chocolate Mousse, a complimentary Flute of Champagne with the best Chocolate Heart to accompany the last drop of my wine.  Yes I had to take half the Dorado home for Breakfast.




      I saw Alfredo the lone bartender, who makes the chocolate hearts and lives in my neighborhood, without any customers at his bar.  He recommended a primo Wild Mescal to end the evening…only a shot…and I floated all the way back to Adelina greeting me at the door.  

      I had bought a concrete drill bit before I went to Tres Bistro so I could properly hang some Canvas Photos I had and went downstairs to ask Hector for a drill in the morning.  There was a Swiss man from Bern there that married into the family 15 years ago and just arrived with his wife for two week vacation with the family.    We chatted a bit.  Very pleasant classy man…well he was from Switzerland.  Probably skied a lot and was buff in his late 40’s?  Hector granted my wish and I returned to let them all go out on the town for a reunion.  Another great night. I noticed new drapes in my old apartment and discovered Mark, the man from Canada, took the apartment for the year…and maybe more.
     
      A long time acquaintance of  mine died last night. He is from Monroe, Louisiana and always had a good story to tell.  Intelligent, cordial, sincere,  classy, and an Opera Buff.  His last car was a Huge Red Cadillac Eldorado Convertible .  He had loved Operas all his life and knew everything about everyone.  I used to try and get a seat next to him but in a Opera I didn’t understand or like I would be forced to sit through it out of respect but if Chuck wasn’t there I would have left at intermission.  He will be be missed.  He was the collection taker during Mass at the Santa Domingo Cathedral…I job he was good at and suited for. He always tried to look his best depending on the occasion…casual, formal, business like, but always tasteful.  He enjoyed Canasta or Fandango as we called it.  It is a little different than Canasta but I never got the hang of it and quit after about 3 games..  Adios Amigo Chuck.

           I walked from a nice visit at the library…where Chuck’s caretaker visited and I wanted to ask him about how he felt but he was obviously saddened.  Young Mexican that went to like “caretakers” school and lived with Chuck…he made the best Guacamole to share at our card games when we were there.  So I walked to Tom’s place and found it but he hadn’t arrived yet and the workman was not going to let me in to wait.  Tom showed up and I got the tour…and think it’s going to be really nice.  We walked over to Merced Market next door to get some Tamales he likes.  I bought some and later shared with Adelina when I arrived home.  We or I broke down and visited the Meat Market with the great bacon I love.  I bought a pound and a couple artisan Tonic Water with some fresh tomatoes to take home. I took a cab.
     I arrived to discover China is going to levy 25% tariff  on us.  The nerve. Well Donald so far you owe me over $25,000. Not bad for a week’s work….or whatever you call it.
    That evening I ate a Chicken Mole Tamale of high quality and discover Ranker.com  that tells me I am way off with my likes/dislike in old and new media…like TV and Movies.  Got some good leads on future shows to watch.


    Today llse was coming to treat me for the 2nd time.  I asked if she could come early and do Adelina’s leg injury she suffered in a fall.  She agreed so the two of theme took over my spare room for an hour. Adelina just kept talking for the whole hour? I think she talks in her sleep.
     We tried some different exercises today and my arm is now feeling better.

TRAVEL:     To me, a road map is the printed lyrics to a siren’s song where highways and rivers are like stanzas, and the little circles indicating towns are notes-some sharp, a few off-key.  To begin a journey is to hunt for its turn, its melody, its harmonics, and to follow along from stanza to stanza is to hum a route from, say, Waxahachie to Marfa, Shamokin to Altoona. 

  
      I didn’t get much sleep and woke early to write my tenants and inform them that I wanted my house back and that if they  couldn’t find another place by August, they could have one more season.   
       llse arrived today at 11:30 for my therapy session.  Maybe our last this year.  My shoulder feels much better after 3 sessions.  She has a great touch and is very knowledgeable. She is professional.  On her card it says: My job is to lift the fallen, restore the broken, and heal the hurting.  I love Oaxaca.
    She came early because I was to meet Zoe at her house for a ride out to Yarterini and Lleglas Restaurant and Bar which Annalisa, the lady we will meet for lunch, recommended.
Zoe tried to get me to go one night when Eric was playing but I didn’t want to go out late to a loud bar.  Turns out it was recommended for a reason.  It opened a year ago and the owner had cooked in the US for 7 years or so and was a very professional restaurateur that reminded me of ME.  He knew what would work and how to make it work.  It was a small place that filled up really quickly with both Gringos and locals that appreciated his food and professional service.  The drinks were outstanding.  I had an Local Brewed Portermescal that was Porter Beer with Mescal flavors…outstanding as was my Shawarma sandwich that was excellent accompanied by a salad.  $3 Prices were way too low.  The total bill for us 3 with 2, maybe 3 Gin and Tonics, my beer, and a Mojito with my sandwich, Annalisa’s Wrap Sandwich and Zoe’s Buffalo Wings was $23 Tip included.

       Zoe dropped me off at the bus stop and I was home by 4.  Good day and “Buenos Noches”  
       Easter is over!  My daughter’s family in California sent me some nice photos.

I leave you with one week left to say good-byes , do laundry, empty refrigerator, etc.  Some updated photos of what my condo looks like now.


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