3 min read
17 Dec

Sitting in my screened-in living room while the TV screen is endlessly circling in the middle of an interesting movie I was trying to watch (the wifi signal isn’t strong here), I looked out onto the lights around the pool and said to myself, “What a wonderful life I am living!  I enjoy every moment – how lucky can I be?” 

I feel like I am living in a dream-like microcosm from which I peep out at the rest of the world that seems to be going crazy!   I read world news on my computer several hours every morning to keep myself aware of what is going on everywhere, but the reports of the upside-downness out there doesn’t affect me except to make me shake my head in disbelief at what is happening.  I feel like a spectator at some sort of macabre game. 

This ‘microcosm’ idea probably sounds crazy to you but I don’t know how else to explain it. Considering the apparent lack of common sense anywhere today, it’s probably a very good place to be for my mental health!    

One of the ladies in Eureka tried to organize a Christmas Dinner for ten, but not enough people were available to participate so the plan fell apart.  I was okay with the prospect of Christmas Dinner alone because that's how Don and I spent many of them over our years in Mexico.  It simply seemed like another beautiful day in Paradise.  But by 2:00 that afternoon, I not only had an invitation to Christmas Dinner with friends but I’m also invited to a Christmas Eve get-together with another group of friends.  Now I better get busy baking carrot cakes (gluten free, of course) as my contribution to the events.   

I went to the Saturday market in Santiago and picked up most of the ingredients I need.  I had a disaster with a new banana bread recipe I tried last week, so fingers crossed for a better result this time. 

The week has been full – starting with the first Sunday beach day, which entails renting an umbrella and chairs for the day, taking a lunch and drinks and hanging out with friends – a wonderful way to spend a Sunday.   To top the day off, I bought a new beach dress from the vendor pushing her wheeled dress shop across the sand.  So cool to be able to shop for clothes on the beach in your bathing suit. 

Water aerobics every Monday and Wednesday mornings have begun and I’m in.  The instructor reminds me of a drill sergeant - she puts you through your paces and your heart races as you puff trying to keep up.  I found out you can work up a sweat in the water! 

My meeting with Oasis for the orphanage Gala was fruitful – Katie and Diego generously donated two dinners with wine at both their establishments – Oasis Beach Club in Club Santiago and OM at Las Hadas Marina.  

Speaking of Las Hadas - does anyone remember the movie “10”?  The famous scene of Bo Derek, walking out of the ocean dripping wet, white t-shirt now see-through, clinging to her unfettered breasts?  It was very risqué back then and it was filmed at Las Hadas.  Memories! 

Walking to the village of Miramar at 6 pm with 4 friends this week was an exciting adventure.  As we neared the gates leaving Club Santiago, we heard music coming behind us.  We turned and watched a tiny parade of girls dressed in red costumes followed by an old car with huge loud speakers strapped to the roof blasting music.  We had no idea where they came from, but we knew it had to do with the celebration of the Virgin of Guadaloupe, the patron saint of Mexico. 

We took videos, then continued across the highway to the village of Miramar where we planned to have dinner at a new restaurant called Crazy Wings.  We were surprised at how tiny the restaurant is.  It contains 2 small tables and 4 chairs and a TV on the wall.  The restaurant had great reviews on our local Facebook page but where were five of us sit when there was already a couple taking up one of the tables and two of the chairs?   That mystery was quickly solved as the owner came onto the sidewalk where there was one other small table flanked on each side by wooden benches.  He flipped one of the benches and it turned into a picnic table with two benches.  Voila – seating for us all.  Dinner had mixed reviews from us but next time ordering sauce on the side would be the way to go. 

Walking at night with my friends was a new experience for me and one that turned out to be magical. After dark, the sleepy little village was transformed. Twinkling Christmas lights adorned all the little shops that you hardly knew were there in daylight. The streets became filled with happy, smiling people, and, as if by magic, street vendors set up tables around the town square to sell their wares. I learned that the village has a great butcher, a wonderful fish monger, a fruit and vegetable shop, a hair dresser, manicurist, pharmacy and a full gym and the best tacos to be had anywhere. I can walk to everything I need right there in the village without having to take a cab to a supermercado (supermarket) into town. And I am able to support the small local business owners. 

Just as an aside, have you ever played a game called Mexican Train? I did once, a number of years ago. Then, I had the chance to play again this week. You use domino type tiles to build your train track, with the objective to get rid of the twelve tiles you pick, but that’s not easy when your train gets stalled or derailed. There is a strategy to the game, but its not meant to be serious, although there is always a sense of competition. It is a lot of fun, with lots of opportunity for conversation and laughter. I look forward to more pleasant evenings with Mexican Train. 

It has been a great week – busy almost every day with exercise, swimming, lunches, beach walks, dinners, games – when I get a ‘dull moment I savour the time to chill out, recharge my batteries and look excitedly to what is to come - which is often a surprise! 

I am a happy camper in my microcosm!

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