Saturday, October 20, 2018

My Butcher Is A Vegetarian

One of the people I wanted to see when I returned to Tehuacan was Phil the Butcher. When I lived here in 2016 I would wander down to his shop on a Saturday afternoon. We would share a beer and sit for hours just hanging out with him and his buddies. The first time I saw him when I returned he looked different. He was fit, thin and looked incredibly healthy. I never inquired about it until today.

I went into his shop just to buy a few things for dinner and for what ever reason told him I have not been eating to much meat in the last couple of months. It has not been for any other reason except that I delve into beans and rice twice a day now. Not great for the people around me but good for my health. He gave me a huge Cheshire cat grin and excitedly told me that he has not eaten meat in over a year. Seriously, my butcher is a vegetarian!  He mentioned that he has stopped drinking and has been exercising because he had a health scare. Now I bring him coffee and we talk fruit, vegetables and healthy lifestyles. I am living in a Mexican twilight zone.

Anyways, time has slipped by and I have let my writing slip as well. I kept giving myself the excuse that there was nothing to write about. We know that there are stories around us every day. It is just our ability to uncover them that is the secret. I also gave myself the excuse that I was coming off a 6 month tour of SE Asia and then sipping pints in England and Wales. Again its the same lame reason I have not explored much since I have returned.

We are now half way through the semester and my hunt for a permanent place to live is on going. This semester has been challenging at times. I am teaching and I am also learning the processes and procedures of the Teaching Supervisory role. Sprinkle 3 hours of Spanish lessons every week on top of that little bundle of fun and you will understand my desire for a bit of weekend fun, which naturally starts on Thursdays.

As for an apartment it can be a battle. This is a working class Mexican town and what is acceptable to some is downright horrible to others, including me. Don't misunderstand me, there are great places to live here, it's finding them that is the mystery This is not China where good apartments are abundant. It will work out, it always does.

I have not traveled around anywhere since I arrived on August 14th. I have had no desire to get on a bus however there is a 4 day weekend coming up for Dia de las Muertos, the Day of the Dead. This is one of the most important holidays in Mexico. It is also something we could all learn from. Honoring your families heritage with celebration.  That being said I was offered the opportunity to climb Pico De Orizaba the same weekend and needless to say that caught my attention. Orizaba is the 3rd highest mountain in North America after Denali and McKinley, rising a majestic 5600 metres. If I do climb, it will be the highest elevation I have reached. It is ranked 2nd on the "easy to climb scale" for non technical climbing. There is a long list of climbable 6000 metre peaks. Time for a new challenge.

I need new clothes! That realization came to me recently when I put on one of my favorite travel shirts, a blue Columbia. It is in many of my photos over the past 8 years. This old friend has been with me the entire time. That being said I have had most of the same clothes for the past 2 years since I left for China. There has been the odd purchase here an there but I am ready for a clothing make over...well as much as simple living allows for a makeover. Hello Canada, Hello Value Village.

That being said, Yes, I am heading back to Canada, December 15th to the 31st. My old friend Ken Parker will pick me up at the Buffalo airport which will result with me being face first into a huge plate of hot chicken wings before you can say "where is the bathroom".

My return flight leaves on the 31st. Yes it's New Years Eve but the fares are cheap and I will be in Mexico City in the early afternoon. New Years Eve in Mexico City sounds like it might be a bit of a good tequila induced time. The Bills play the Dolphins on Sunday the 30th so my sister Kelly, nephew Nick and his baby mama Katie are heading to the game for a bit of shenanigans. They will drop me off at an airport hotel after the game eliminating any unnecessary border crossings. I will get some sleep and enjoy what I am sure is a huge buffet breakfast in the morning.Toss in  a free shuttle to the airport and I will be basking in the warm glow of Mexico in no time.

Not exactly sure how long I will stay in Tehuacan, but it will be at least another year. I have a job offer back in Bangladesh starting in September of 2019. Who knows, maybe another trip to Asia is in the cards before I take a more serious look at my long term options in Mexico. Oh and lets not forget that small 6 month trip to Africa that I am planning for 2020.

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