This town has been full of so many good surprises. The beauty and color of the buildings. Little callejons that slowly weave their way up the hills of this town, raising your heart rate from the exertion of walking up them, but then rewarding you at the top with breathtaking views of the city. Friendly people who always make sure we know which stop to get off at when we ride the bus and which way to walk to get to where we’re going. Always smiling as we stumble along with our Spanish, but so incredibly tickled to have gringos speaking it with them. Sharing little pieces of their life, their culture, or their food as a way of welcoming us into this community, albeit for only a short time.
6 weeks seems like a long time, but what we’re starting to realize is that we’re just settling into the rhythm of life here, right as we’re getting ready to say goodbye and move on.
When we first get to a new place, we are too preoccupied with making sure we know where we are, where we are going, or at least have an escape strategy back to the apartment if it all goes horribly wrong and we’re hopelessly lost.
But it is when you finally settle into the rhythm of a place that you start to see all the small, seemingly insignificant but monumentally important, things that make up the true nature of a place.
Every morning, we wake to the early morning call of the gas man…”Oooyyyp!” as he wanders in our barrio, calling to see if anyone needs to replace their propane tank. We breakfast and then head down the hill into the center of town, carrying our garbage with us like any other local. The streets here are too steep and too narrow for regular trash pickup, so everyone carries their trash to dumpsters located around town.
We pass by a lot of the same people everyday and, where we used to pretend not to see each other (or maybe shyly nod), now we smile and greet each other like any other neighbors would. “Buenos Dias! Que Tal?”
Standing in line at our favorite fresh chicken tienda no longer creates the sensation it once did. Now the ladies smile approvingly. I guess my plan of always choosing a place based on the length of the line has paid off once again.
We will miss sitting in our favorite cafe in the mornings, sipping coffee on their terrace, (which is really just a small bridge between two buildings that provides excellent people watching) and discussing our life, or the future, or how funny that that lady can’t walk in those platform heels on these ancient cobblestones. And we’ll miss sitting on a bench in the Jardin (the main plaza), watching as all the city passes by to the music of a dozen different mariachi bands.
But most of all, I think we will miss the cute lady who runs our favorite produce stand, and her proud smile when she sees us walking up. And the sly glance she always gives the guy at the produce stand across the way…as if to say, “They’re mine, you know.”
And just like that, we’re gone.
We’re busy working on a brand new look for the blog and you’ll notice it is in a bit of a transition as we’ve switched hosts and are slowly rebuilding on the new platform. But we should have her all polished up here shortly, and will be able to give you an even better experience going forward, with better access to more and larger photos and even more features and functionality. So stay tuned!