Thursday, July 19, 2012

…And Me Without My Camera

I imagine everyone has uttered the phrase “ well, you don’t see that every day!” when something unexpected happens. I don’t say that anymore because living here in Mexico I am likely to see just about anything, just about anywhere, at any given time.

Morelia is a large city, and like all large cities the sidewalks are usually crowded and the 4  to 6 lanes of traffic are bumper to bumper. There are shopping malls, car dealerships, restaurants, movie theatres and all the usual things you expect to see in a big city. What you don’t expect to see is a man, in full caballero regalia, riding his horse on the sidewalk. Yet there he was, people stepping aside to let him pass, and then carrying on without really taking much notice. I certainly noticed, and if I had had a camera I would have recorded it, if not for posterity, simply so that I would be believed when I recounted the tale.

Another day we were in the Centro Historico, downtown, in Morelia. We were in Plaza San Francisco, relaxing with a coffee, after visiting the Casa De Las Artesanias, an ex-convent which is now a beautiful gallery of Mexican art. Plaza San Francisco is a large plaza right in the middle of town about 2 blocks square, and is not a garden, as is often the case with Mexican  plazas. It is completely paved with a lovely fountain in the middle, and as we sat on the edge of the fountain we saw a goat enter the plaza. We watched as it crossed the plaza, oblivious to the people around it, and stopped at the crosswalk. When the light changed it crossed the street with the rest of the pedestrians and then disappeared around the corner. Again I had no camera.

On yet another cameraless day I was driving into Patzcuaro from Los Tanques to have lunch with a friend. I was approaching what I like to call Vendor Row, a stretch of road several blocks long lined with food kiosks, carts, trailers and tents. Now this area is considerably more rural than downtown Morelia, so I wasn’t overly surprised when I had to stop to let a cow cross in front of me. What did surprise me was the fact that it headed straight for the nearest taco stand. I guess the owner had stepped out for a minute and I just sat there, wishing I had a camera, and watched while the cow tasted all the condiments on a little shelf to one side.

Although there are problems here such as poverty, drug wars and political agendas, there is also a whimsical side to life here. Often, for me, it is in these things that I have just related, which are everyday occurrences for the average Mexican. Still, there is (almost) nothing the Mexicans like better than a good laugh and they have a sense of lighthearted frivolity that tends to rub off on the rest of us. I think it makes us old ex-pats inclined to be a little less inhibited and a little more inclined to play and have fun.

Table Dance

You can see it in the architecture, such as this free and easy house design in the picture below. You also can’t be too full of yourself with a 30 foot duck on your roof. (2nd picture below)

Architectural Design by Dr. Suess?


Every day I think I shed a little of the overtaxed grownup and the child in me rejoices when I wake each morning wondering what extraordinary thing I will see today. I am more likely to have a camera with me now as well.


  1. Shannon - I TRY to never leave home without it because inevitably that is when you see something that either makes you laugh or shake your head in disbelief.
    I like your comment about the whimsy of the Mexican spirit. I feel it and it does lighten my heart on a regular basis!

  2. Thank you, I'm glad you understand! It is very hard to actually put into words.

  3. Yes there are many, many sites to amuse. One of our favorites was the smallish truck being driven down an ordinary Mexican road with a full grown Elephant standing in the truck bed. There did not appear to be any extra straps or anything to particularly secure the Elephant.

  4. LOL, You just gotta love it! It's great!

  5. Shannon,

    I love the pictures of the house and the duck!


    1. Yes, it really is great fun living here, I wish you and Brian would come down and visit.

  6. Shannon, I love this post! I would love to have seen photos of all of those!

  7. Thanks Nancy, I wish I had photos of all of those!