Just another average sunset in paradise!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Weighting for results

My last couple of weeks in Aticama several friends told me how healthy and thin I looked.  There are two words for thin in Spanish: delgado means thin and flaco means skinny.  Everyone said I was "delgado" which made me feel good about my weight.   I had no idea how much I weighed but I had started tucking my shirt in for the first time in several years which made me realize that I had lost my "gut" even though it was small to begin with.

When I stepped on the scale at the doctor's office I was really surprised to find that I weighed only 175 pounds which is about what I weighed in high school and the lowest I have weighed since.  After checking 3 sites on the internet I discovered that at 6'1", 175 lbs was the ideal weight for my age.  My brother told me that my weight would increase now that I am at his house and eating well again.  I told him that I eat well in Aticama and I think I do.  My normal daily dining schedule includes four meals a day but they are smaller than what I have consumed in the past.  Well, partial results are in: After one week of great food at Rick's I have gained 6 pounds and now have the responsibility to exercise so my weight gain will be distributed over my body and not create another "gut".  

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Grass is always greener

When I am at the house in Aticama I often think about things that I thought I missed from my life in the U.S. : air conditioning; television; internet; shopping and fast food.  Now that I am at my brother's home in Bakersfield, CA I find that I miss Aticama.  Boy am I hard to please!

It only took me about an hour to remember that even with a couple hundred TV channels available, there is really nothing I want to watch.  I have trouble sleeping in the air conditioned bedroom and it is playing havoc with my sinuses.  When I arrived here last week and crashed into bed, it was the first real bed I had slept in in 15 months.  When I sit down at the fastest internet connection I have used in years, all I do is check email and, when motivated, post to my blog.  The access to shopping is great but I have found that I miss walking down the hill and shopping at the small tiendas.  The fast food is okay but it doesn't compare to the meals I cook; I think I may be a little bit lazy.

Please don't misunderstand me, I am happy whether I am in Aticama or Bakersfield as there are things I love about both places.  I really enjoy the company of my brother and his family but I also enjoy the solitude of the house on the hill.  I now understand the philosophy of the "snow birds" who split their time between homes in the north and paradise in the south.  I think I will make a trip north each year part of my future planning!

This is me at my brother's house in Bakersfield.  Still in "short pants" weather as Tioga George likes to call it.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Bus ride from hell

A week ago I decided to visit the U S and take care of a small medical procedure that I have been putting off for a few months.  Although my medical problem should not affect my mental faculties, apparently it did as I made the decision to take a bus from San Blas to Tijuana.

There were two reasons that caused me to decide on the bus: The first was the cost which was only $65.; the second reason was that I could start the trip the next day at 10:00 a.m.  I didn't fully appreciate how tough 30 hours on a bus would be.

We started right on time in San Blas with 6 passengers; stopped 45 minutes later in Villa Hildalgo to pick up another 18 passengers; stopped in two additional small towns for 15 more passengers; and, our last 3 passengers boarded in Mazatlan.  Now there were 41 passengers on a 42 passenger bus.  I was the only gringo and also the only person with two seats all to myself.  I picked the row of seats that abut the outside of the restroom and therefore do not fully recline.

There were three toddlers on the bus and somehow all three were within one row of my location.  Did you know that screams and crying sound the same in all languages?  I figured that they would wear themselves out but they developed a system of trading of their screaming timelines.  The screaming was not the worst part of the ride!

The trip is just over 2000 kilometers in length and we experienced 15 drug checkpoints along the way or one checkpoint every 70 miles.  The checkpoints varied in length of delay from only 10 minutes to over 2 hours.  At the short stops a soldier or cop would just get on and walk down the aisle looking at each passenger.  Several of the stops involved a total search with all passengers required to leave the bus with their carry-on luggage.  Then all of the luggage, ice chests and boxes from the storage compartments was removed and sent through an xray machine.  The actual inspection for the longest stop took only about 45 minutes but the wait in line while they checked the buses that arrived before us was over an hour and a half.

After 36 hours we finally arrived at the final stop in TJ; another hour and I was across the border.  My brother was waiting for me and we drove straight through to Bakersfield.  All in all, the total travel time was 40 hours!  Guess who is flying on the return trip!