Tuesday, March 20, 2018


         Joan arrived on Friday evening.  Saturday I took my suitcase for our trip to Mariposa to leave for our departure the following morning.  Teresa, the owner, greeted me enthusiastically , offered me coffee and invited me to visit anytime.  She used to be my landlady at my first apartment in Oaxaca.  Usi, her right hand man who has been working with her for over 7-8 years, also greeted me.  He was my best first friend in Oaxaca before he married then built a house for his parents and wife to live.  It was a nice reunion.  Joan and I left to meet two other couples she met in Chacala where she stays every winter.
      It was their first time in Oaxaca and I had recommended Biznaga for dinner.  They all had Mescalritas and I gave them some sites to see.  All were from Washington State and here for two weeks..  We had a good meal and returned home.
     The next morning I met Joan and we taxied to our collectivo departure point and was on the way to Mazunte by 11am.  We arrived after 6 1/2 hours of Sierra Madre switchbacks that caused your stomach to churn.  We stopped in San Jose de , the home of psychedelic mushrooms for a light lunch  and coffee. 

Then we were nauseous the rest of the trip but arrived around 6 pm at our Posada on the ocean.

     It was hot.  We ate at the Sombrero , an open air restaurant near the beach, then retired to the sound of the surf which kept us company the rest of our stay.
      Breakfast at the Posada then off to explore a bit and plan our next few days. 
We decided just to sit and watch the surf, visit the Turtle sanctuary, Zipolete, and eat in different restaurants. Tonight was to be an Italian place that was closed when we arrived with no sign other than "Open"?  So we went to our 2nd choice and the same.  Both were touted to be the best restaurants in Mazunte.  We stopped into another on the main street that was OK then retired.  I spent most of that day washing wine out of my clothes.  I packed two boxes of wine, one broke and spread a liter of red wine on everything in my suitcase forcing me to throw out two shirts and a pair of undershorts.  I may throw out more when I return.  I forgot my belt so had to walk around holding up my shorts.  I will manage.

    Today I awoke to a high tide and crashing waves, nature at it's best.  We stopped for coffee at a business that the Italian man Alejandro owned. He owned the other restaurant that was closed last night. He was cooking Pizza!  I wanted to ask him why he advertised he was open and was closed with no sign out!  Joan didn't tell me until after that he was the guy from Italy.

    We took a taxi to Zipolite to have breakfast at a highly recommended place that was also closed when we arrived.  We had breakfast at the Nude Hotel on the beach then looked for Boomer's bar.  I stopped where I stayed 2 years ago when I visited Zipolite last.  Daniel Wiener, the owner remembered me and knew Ron Williams the owner of Boomers.  He told me he is only open at night, keeps a cot there and spends the night, then has breakfast next door on the beach...then returns home to Port Angel to his family.  
        It was hot so I visited Sativa, another place that I liked and considered staying at.  She showed me the room which was fine but I thought it was on a roof top terrace where I could sun myself while enjoying the view but only room for a chair. It was hot so we returned for the afternoon and will try to catch a sunset and a decent restaurant to eat at.

    We returned to Sidhartha for a wine then on  to La Cuisine.  We knew they were open tonight and had Electronic Folk music at 8 pm. 

Our dinner was fantastic but Joan wanted to return while I wanted to hear this "Electronic Folk"..mine was always acoustic.  I stayed and she left.  I tried to get my waitress to order a Mescal and get the bill and finally when to the bathroom that was blocked by a Walker.  Finally the man came out I went in and came out but when I returned another was in my seat.  I went to the waitress and she directed me to a table in front of the stage and brought me a Mescal.  The music started and I was enthralled so started taping in on my camera then ordered another Mescal to hear more of Vana Mazi
    A couple near by smiled like they knew me.  Finally Dave came over and invited me to join Debby.  They heard our conversation about travel and just sold everything including their transportation and took an early retirement to travel.  First trip was SE Asia.  Now they lived above the restaurant at Posada Ziga and have been noticing me in my underwear and camera.  I took Dave's offer for another Mescal...that's 3 ..over my limit.  I took advantage of the break and introduced myself to the entertainer...I bought his 3 albums...gave him my card and introduced myself .  He was very interested in  Scott Jeffords in Arizona and I assured him that I suspected Scott would be interested in him. I gave Dave my Servas card and email then bid him and his ?? significant other Debby,  Goodbye, Paid the bill then stopped for Sorbet on the way home.  It is 10:20 and I am finishing a j and to bed.
Surf from my Balcony
      Such a nice morning.  Shower and then a nice breakfast in the restaurant while watching naked women frolic in the surf.  What more?  Dave and Debby were just finishing their breakfast and returning to  LA before heading out for Guatemala for travel adventure.  I am headed for the Turtle Sanctuary.

    It was interesting and pretty well done ...like a turtle zoo.  Never saw anything like that and I forgot my camera.  I had to return home because of the heat and no available bottled water in the facility.  I thought that rather thoughtless.  Nice afternoon breeze in the room...now time for Pizza? Happy Hour and dinner.

      Mazunte wasn't as hot as I thought.  Humid though, so I did stay in during the afternoon.  I listened to the crashing of the surf all four days.  Very pleasant.  Especially the Nubile Nymphs that played in the surf every morning while I had my breakfast overlooking the beach! Our return was a little nicer than our trip to Mazunte.

     I told Adelina, my maid, not to clean since I was gone four days and moving when I returned.  She went over to empty the trash and saw that I had packed almost everything into boxes so moved it to the new place.  When I returned Deke, the Manager had said he would help with the furniture (my desk,tv stand, tv, end table etc. ) I started moving that evening and Adelina helped with my clothes closet, dresser,etc.  I finally had to tell her to stop.  I was tired from the trip back and moving.  The next day she and I finished moving everything and I gave her 400 pesos...she was happy. 

        I showered then left to get something to eat.  I fixed coffee in the morning but never finished it or ate all day long. I dropped off the wine soaked clothes at the laundry.  They had sent me home the last time with baby socks from another persons laundry.   When I showed him he laughed, took them and gave me a flannel shirt he had given them.  
        I treated myself at Tres Bistro to another Grilled Salmon dinner.  Saul jokingly brought a tray of chocolates over when I finished.  I told him just put it in the Take Out container with the Salmon I couldn't finish.  He came back with 8 chocolates.  I ordered a Carlos I brandy to sip while I enjoyed two of them then put the rest in the bag to enjoy tomorrow. It started to rain so I went to the Taxi stand but the thunder and lightening had everyone taking taxis and none were available.  I walked home in the rain.

        The next day...I was happy but now had to unpack all the boxes, go back and get my oriental shades, special bulbs I bought, toilet seat, etc.  Left my new bathroom faucet but took the shower head I bought. Finally was getting things completed and spent my first night in the place.   I decided to move my double bed into the other room and swap everything.  I still have to take down all the photos I hung and get new ones for the bedroom.   I like this place.

     I think Deke might have rented the place to the guy who rented my former place.  He has a roomate so they thought between the two of them they could each have their own room.  Not sure if they decided yet.  I gave another dresser to Deke to put in the other room so they would each have there own storage.  Anyway...Happy St Patricks Day.  I go to a nice dinner party tonight.  It is put on by Hagar, an Israel Chef that is very good.  This is my third time eating her food. Just as I was ready to leave...I got a notice from my companion that she was worked out...too tired ...bad day.  I didn't want to go alone and didn't know whether she called and cancelled our reservations and got no response when I asked her?  I stayed home.

Today Joan and I meet for dinner at Tres Bistro...then her last day lunch at Biznaga.

       We bid goodbye after stopping for a Pizza to go for her dinner and plane ride tomorrow. Joan, being the generous spirit she is, brought me Organic Peanut Butter and shared 1/4 of her Pizza for me to sample tonight.  Until our next encounter.  Safe trip.

Saturday, March 10, 2018


This week I had dinner with Annalisa.  We were to have Japanese food but after she arrived
she asked if I would go to Asada Vasco instead.  We were in Colonial Reforma in the North of Oaxaca so enjoyed a long walk in a different neighborhood until reaching the restaurant for one of their Lamb Specialties.  Lamb Shank off the bone with Vegetables and of course some Wine.  It was very nice.

Yesterday I stopped at Belanc Bakery for an English Muffin before winning my Dominos Game at the library. While leaving the library, one of the vendors that sell custom bracelets with your name on it....showed me one that said FUCK TRUMP. Then I walked Bob, our "leader" downtown where I stopped for a Sandwich at El Jardin before returning home.  While finishing my muffin, a lady sat across from me and was eating the Rye Cereal I sometimes order.  I commented that it was one of my favorites and she remarked she has been coming to the Bakery for 5 years now every winter when she visits Oaxaca.  When I asked where she was from she said Plymouth, Mass, where I opened my first restaurant and turned out lived only a block from her home.  She returns in the summer but has since bought another house in West Palm Beach and rents that on Air B n B for the winter while she comes to Oaxaca.  Small world.

When I got home I was playing on the computer and watching a video of people from all over the world when I noticed Wernher Krutein in the credits as the Producer.  I wrote him to see if he was the son of Manfred and Eva, SERVAS friends I knew from long ago and I am sure have since passed away.  Manfred worked for the CIA on a 7 year covert operation to resurrect a Russian Nuclear submarine from 3 miles below the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Hawaii in the 70's.  He acknowledged he was the son and sent photos of the ship with his family from back them.  I wrote him back my story of our SERVAS visits to his parents home in Irvine and their visit to me in Phoenix.  Lots of coincidences.

Today I read, play, walk, and relax. Sunday, tomorrow...is Dim Sum Dinner at a private home with 14 of us attending.  Should be interesting. I emailed Helen to see if she wanted to join me to eat but declined after we set a date for Tuesday lunch at Tres Bistro.  I took a taxi to Biznaga and had a great Kebob of Shrimp, Tuna , Salmon,Tomatoes , Mushrooms, and spring Onions served with a Sweet Potato sauce with lime and Rice. 
On the way back home I looked for a vendor that sold Fuck Trump bracelets.  Instead I encountered a Great Trumpet player accompanied by a fantastic Banjo player.  I gave them all the change I had before topping off the evening with a "Carlos One" Brandy at Importando. The aftermath of another Wedding...

So I felt the world in my face on the way home...and I embraced it. I can't do that in my car in Snottsdale.  When I arrived I looked for a movie on Netflix and came across the Danish Woman...10 minutes in a friend ask this famous artist couple how they met and the wife explained how they encountered each other and then she kissed him and she felt as though she was kissing herself.  I'm reading Blue Highways by William Least Heat-Moon.  Written BG  before google or computers...what a different world.  He actually quotes people that changed the world....what will Trump's quote be...I GOT A BUTTON THAT WORKS...OR MAYBE IT'S PUTIN THAT WILL RUIN THE BEAUTY OF OUR EXISTENCE. Our memories will be our legacy...that is it.  Nothing more. 

I received an invite from Laury, the Irish lady from Boston area that I met last week, to meet her boyfriend at the Bakery this morning.  They had visited my place to see the location after I sent some photos.  She is returning next year and as always looking for something more permanent to return to.  They arrived shortly after me and we ordered some coffee and breakfast.  Her boyfriend was from Naucet Beach area I believe he said.  It was his first time in Oaxaca and already was enjoying himself.  We had a nice visit then I went to play pool with the "boys" and they went to celebrate their last night in town until next year.  She had mentioned a review by Calvin Trillin about "The Land of the Seven Moles".  I googled it for you and up came "Photos from the Land of the Seven Moles".  This is what inspired her to come to Oaxaca....Rick Bayless , the Chef from Chicago that is on the Food Network featuring Mexican food , inspired me.

Helen and I met at Tres Bistro to try out their new Comida del dia.  Menu of the day Special...it was good but TerraNova is better.  We said our goodbyes since Joan is arriving Saturday and will spend her first 4 days with me in Mazute visiting seafood restaurants and I hope to get some sun.  I return the day Helen and Ginny depart. I'll see Helen again in September when I return to Western New York for our reunion. That evening I encountered her and Ginny at the MOST BORING LECTURE EVER.  After we stopped at Luna y Sol restaurant where Emilio and Pauline just finished the Grand Opening last Friday of the newly remodeled 4 year old restaurant in this location.

Nice dinner and talked to both Pauline and Emilio the owners.  

      Well today I bussed it to Colonia Reforma and had lunch at Sachi Ta Japanese hole in the wall, visited La Teca but didn't even see a menu, then stocked up on wine and took a taxi home.

       Today, Virginia, my neighbor who will be leaving soon, invited me over to see the apartment I will be moving into five days from tomorrow.  I know I'm really going to like it. Nice refrigerator, lots of light and a bit larger than mine.  The only drawback I see is having to turn on the hot water heater for 10 minutes every morning before showering then remember to turn it off.  She poured me a nice Mescal and we drank to both our moves.  She will move across town into a place but only pay for the season each year rather than the whole year.  Save some money.  I may do the same but we shall see after next year.

       I attended my last lecture at the library for this season.  It was given by a Professor and graduate of Cornell University who was on sabbatical in Oaxaca and was the foremost authority on the Monarch Butterfly.  This was the was a lecture should be and what we expect when we pay to attend one.  He was outstanding and the story of the Butterfly and its 2000 miles migration every year from Canada, Florida, California, New York and all over the US to the same place every year that it has never been is amazing as are the Monarchs themselves.   Helen was there so we went to Biznaga for dinner then Importado for after dinner drink before saying our FINAL goodbyes and took a cab home.

I have been booking my rooms, flights and making plans for before and after my UK tour in June when a Russian double agent who had got asylum in England after a spy swap with Russia years ago, was murdered in Salisbury where my tour starts. He and his daughter died from nerve gas poison but no one knows how or who did it.  Right now over 100 British Agents have taken over the investigation in Salisbury.  My SERVAS friend Ruth in London sent me this report on the Spy's death.
       Today I meet Joan, who flew in late last night, at Mariposa where she is staying and we will have dinner at Biznaga early this evening.  Tomorrow I'll meet her at the hotel and we will taxi to a Collectivo in the morning for 4 days in Mazunte on the Pacific Ocean.