090206 Viernes Zamora, Michoacan

Arrived here last evening from Melaque, via Manzanillo, Colimas and Mazamitla.  With help from a friendly cab driver I checked into Hotel Ana Isabel, Vicente Guerrero #108 Ple., Col Centro, C.P. 59600

This morning I set out a little after 7 in search of coffee and breakfast, and perhaps an internet connection, so I carried my briefcase with my computer inside.  Everything locked up tight.  The sun not yet being up above the buildings, it was very cold.  People — the few walking about — wore coats as heavy as we would wear in Seattle.  On the huge, beautiful town square no business was yet open except the farmacia, and there were a few people gathered in front of the government building, waiting.  I saw one homeless woman asleep in a shop doorway atop some cardboard boxes.  She was old, with grey hair, huddled beneath some rags and papers.  The policia were arriving in small pickup trucks, and being dropped at intersections to direct traffic during the morning rush.  Men were sweeping and women mopping everywhere as students and business people moved along, earnest but polite, making their way to the day’s occupations.  After an hour or so of walking the area I discovered a network of alleyways where groceries were being (I thought) delivered.  It took me a while to realize that it was a huge public market area and the groceries were being picked up more than delivered, although both transactions as well as countless other types were in process all around me.  At the center of these alleys was a large public building housing vendors of pollos, pescas, pan, papas, and most every kind of meat and vegetable imaginable.  And some beyond imagination.  Eventually I found a shop occupying about twenty square feet of space, where a friendly woman sold me a styrofoam cup of instant coffee and a cookie for eleven pesos.  It took another half hour to find my way back out of the alleyways and into the town square, where I regained my orientation and walked back to the hotel.  It has been my fortune to ride across the farmlands of Colimas, where corn, sorghum (or cane) grows in well tended fields and to cross through small mountains much like the Ozarks, piney woods and small towns, and finally to observe the city of Zamora waking for a day of business.

And so I spent the day traveling to Paracho and back to Zamora.  True to reputation, Paracho is home to several men who build guitars, and some of the guitars are fine instruments.  Most are not.  In Paracho I bought for three pesos the largest and sweetest tangerine of my life, and treated myself to a bowl of chicken soup Mexican style.  And then I decided to leave for the coast, to return to Melaque to meet a friend of Raul Sanchez, from New York City.  I’ll give this possibly an extra day and then on to LaManzanilla (or not) on my way to a few final days in Puerto Valarta, for some more sunshine.  This journey has been not so much fun as my previous visits here.  I miss Bonnie and Tuie and my apartment and my friends.  The ocean and the sun and La Manzanilla have nevertheless been quite kind, I will surely return.  For now, as I ride toward Colima on a large night bus (autobus) I listen to Sarah Hagen’s recording of classical piano music.  The gentle beauty of her performance belies her young age, and reminds me how privileged I am to count myself among her friends.  She is only one of the gifts Bonnie has given me.  The night finally brings me to Colima and a questionable room in an unthinkable hotel.  No aqua caliente.


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