Wednesday Morning Music and Sunshine

It seems as the days slowly swing by, my mornings focus themselves on doing little or nothing. Which is about what I always do. I read a little on this expat forum site I belong to.

I also look curiously at the amount of instant coffee left because I blogged about it yesterday I think. My daughter called me yesterday I think it was. I am not good with days. We talked for a long time about her life and mine. About her being glad to see me again and not being sad that I am leaving again. She understands me. She laughed because I told her not to tell her mom. She gets that too. We will meet in a week and a day for a late lunch and I’ll buy her a bbq lunch and a beer. Then the next day I disappear. That rhymes!

I have thought of going this time and written in Day One about it a bit. I’m not good with prognosticating over music and sunshine but this feels like a step to not be retaken. I don’t really want back to the US. Ever. I left before and have doodled around the last year between Mexico and loving it. Houston and hating it. Now it feels like this step is meant to take me to a new place or an old place or some place. It matters not new or old. What matters is the going.

Then the morning music spins around to Jackson Browne. He always touches the chord of my soul. Wednesday morning has right now. I have this little plan for today. I will take my laundry the last time to the friendly lavanderia. Maybe I will stop at Tony’s for the last time and get tacos. Or I could go have some eggs for breakfast today. So many possibilities with this Wednesday.

Other things?

Well, there really are not any this Wednesday. I have fresh fruit and even some donuts so my second coffee will include pastries and a banana. Ain’t life grand? I’m sure I will do something today like take a nice walk, maybe stop and get some food for dinner. I have been eating cheap in the room for dinners. I’m a regular at WalMart and keep an appreciative eye on their prepared food aisles. Perhaps today I will do a cheap Chinese restaurant later for dinner I know. It is buffet style so I usually get two plates of food.

There you have it. A Wednesday spent in the room. Now the AC going because I like AC. Merida is quiet. Peaceful like always in my neighborhood until the dogs get going because this guy rides by on a bike with his dog running by him. Now though, it is a Wednesday morning in the Yucatan. My last one.

Perhaps that is the main thing. My last Wednesday in Merida and Mexico. I would say forever because I am not coming back to Mexico. I’m done here. Just for you… A nice little sunset from Mexico.

Just like my time here. I’m heading to yet another Edge.

instant coffee hopes and other rationales

I’m down to 6 days left and I’m hoping the instant coffee remaining in the big jar is sufficient since I don’t wanna buy more to just leave it behind. I buy these big jars which has meant no shopping for coffee for longer periods of time. I have not done a study or attempted to measure it out by the number of spoons left in the jar compared to what I use.

Other things I accept I will buy more of like fruit. Also basic dinner items I like. Cans of chili come to mind. I also get these chocolate chip muffins. I enjoy one in the mornings along with banana. Seems I need to shop today and then I will run out of muffins again in 4 days. From tomorrow. When I have 5 days left.

Well. I may have to visit a panaderia here and buy a fresh pastry.

Life’s tough when the days count down and I don’t want to miss out on the foods I like. Then there’s the coffee. It will be a close thing.

Asking for your positive vibes, coffee wishes and pastry dreams.

I am gonna walk over the mall for coffee and a torta. It is easy to sit there and watch people. Yesterday the nice people at the coffee shop gave me a coffee mug. I was walking away when I heard the barista calling my name. Came back and got a nice coffee mug from them.I have been a regular there for months.

Then I went to eat some meal at this one restaurant I like and the lady asked my name, told me hers, gave me extra helpings of food. Perhaps I look hungry when I go there. Hahaha. I really like all the food court restaurants there but the two places on the end and the one that sells Yucatan foods rule. The prices are nice too. A big meal with rice, veggies, salad, meat, salsa and a drink is about $4.50.

Now my time winds down though. We will have a pizza thing this weekend here at the Airbnb. We just do Dominos because we all like the Mexican pizza they have. I will miss some of the local variations on food and snacks. Cheetos flavors are wild here. Same with potato chips like Ruffles. I remember in Hanoi they had this bbq beef flavored potato chip. That was always rather strange.

It is always nice to end a little post with a picture. Yell out to my buddy TMO and make sure he has a wonderful day today. Here’s the picture I chose just for you today.

The beautiful traditional dress of a lovely Vietnamese woman by Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi Vietnam. Love the colors and the smile!

I’ll be back in Vietnam in December. Talk about coffee! Most of all friends there that I have not seen in over a year.

Sunday Mornings in Sunshine

Hola! Its a beautiful and warm Sunday morning in the Yucatan. The weather pattern has been lately to have simply beautiful mornings and then rain comes in the afternoons and ends at night. I guess perfect for the walking I love to do. Today though is Sunday so a disturbance in the force and not just the dogs barking when the guy rides down the street with his dog loose for exercise. It is a community response on the mornings to tell that dog to leave immediately. This is not his place. Anyways back to my Sunday since the canines have finished. This is almost my last Sunday here in Merida. Another week to go with really naught to get done between now and then.

The room coffee tempts with another sip. I bought donuts at WalMart the other day and more bananas and some really nice yellow apples. I think the donuts are tempting the force right now.

Today though is Starbucks Sunday for me so I shall venture forth later in the day to have my grilled cheese and cold brew and sit and people watch for some hours. It is a mile walk so the morning sunshine and warm breezes make the perfect companion. Then perhaps a walk afterwards on my way back.

I think I will wait a bit to add more and write when I am at Starbucks later. See you then!

Starbucks is now

Fast forward to early afternoon. Sitting in Starbucks after a grilled cheese and slowing it all down with my grande cold brew. Surreptitiously watching people. The pretty woman sitting at the long table. Woman with a child enjoying her time. Singles sitting around perhaps also surreptitiously watching others watching them. There’s no hurry in a Starbucks Sunday. No second place clamoring for attention. Just a nice slow take.

Today brings me to my last week in Mexico. In about 10 days I see my old friend Sean and then my daughter. Everything compressed into much less time. Simply not wanting anything to do with California or the US. Sorry US. A week from Friday I head out. Long flights. Books loaded on my new kindle. Steps only planned. Twelve hours here. Five there. Then back to 🇰🇭 to do what it is I do. But also waiting perhaps impatiently just a bit for 🇻🇳. Because Hanoi always captures me. Photos and friends and food and places. To hold all in these old hands.

It’s Starbucks Sunday in Merida Mexico but the world spins around and moments await.

Chocolate Chip Muffin, banana and room coffee

In the mornings, the favored things are those. For whatever reason, I have this thing for the WalMart bakery chocolate chip muffins. No butter, not heated. Just the regulars. Most often there is music. I like some of the music collections on Apple Music and the service just works for me. So I queue up some stuff I like. Softer in the mornings. No specific artist. Just whatever comes up next is good. Then a bite of muffin and sometimes this black cat comes to my door. I think she asks a question but I don’t understand and I don’t leave food because the airbnb owner has enough cats already. Yet the cat is vocal and sometimes stares at me with those green and blue eyes. Perhaps searching an answer deep within my soul to her soul. I don’t comprehend the feeling but I get the desire.

I also think on having a week or so left in Mexico. Think back on the years in Vietnam and leaving there on a July evening and flying to Narita Japan. Looking out the window and watching this life slip away. Not knowing then when I would find it again. It took a year and I have something of answer. Well, not a true answer because I don’t deal in them. I don’t really know the things besides a next thing. In a week and days I leave behind the WalMart and its wonderful chocolate chip muffins and Wendy that always helps me at the checkout and speaks English. I try to always go through her aisle.

I always wonder why people need things in their lives. I don’t understand minimalists who then buy analog stuff like typewriters that then need ribbons and paper and pens and pencils and erasers and perhaps cleaning and maintenance. It is like the same thing with most things it occurs to me between bites of the muffin and sips of the coffee. Most things require yet other things to make them function. We buy in to not only the thing but take all the other things. I wrote on cars and RVs and trailers before. They all suck the soul from people over the course of time because they require attention. I am best suited having absolutely nothing really. Besides these chocolate chip muffins and my morning banana. When they are gone, they’re gone.

Not like cars and boats and trailers and RVs.

I’ll just go back to my muffin. Oh… It is gone now. The morning room coffee remains and Merida out the back door. The sky has this purple tint now and clouds scud the slanted opening of my door. This airbnb goes away too. Enjoyed but limited. This country fades away in a week. A delightful taste of the Edge that has prepared me for more of the meal.

Friday Morning blog time

It is another one of those beautiful mornings Merida seems graced with. Sun shining and warm breezes gently rock the plants in the backyard. A cat talks perhaps impatiently. I find more words it seems in the mornings to write of the day and even the day before. I got the nicest haircut from the shop. I will miss them a lot. Debbie does the best facials ever! Nice massage too. It just just a wonder place with Daniel bringing up his skill and fun times. Conversation runs rampant in both Spanish and English since Daniel is from the US.

Then I got to get out walking after the rain in the afternoons which is another constant now. We get rains and thunder boomers from about 2 to 7pm every day. Rainy season. The rest of the days are beautiful. Last night I ventured out to flowers it seems.

It is just the little scene stealers I enjoy the most in my neighborhood. Sometimes a riot of shapes and colors.

It is always for me the daily scenes of a life spent wandering aimlessly the Diaz Ordaz and beyond neighborhoods or districts.

This Friday is best spent with the room coffee this morning, some music and enjoying the moments of Merida. It is also good to bring to you a Friday with no notions or ideas. Just take it and run.

I do.

Monday Morning and two weeks

I woke up this morning realizing that only 14 days to go. It amazes me I managed to stay put in Mexico for a year just about. I arrived here in September last year in Puerto Vallarta. Spent three months there and then found Merida for the first time. I determined to return after getting a new tourist card good for 180 days at a stretch. So I did a visa run or whatever to Houston. I don’t care to ever go back to Houston. Strange and sad place.

So this morning with the room coffee, music and the beautiful Merida morning streaming in the open back door, I can sit and decide to put some words next to each other.

One thing which has been a constant in the years of going is having nothing. If it won’t fit in a 65 liter travel duffel it will not go. Cars, land, RVs, trailers, even people. It also means I have no debt. The land of nothing is pretty easy. The word nothing really means “no things”. Things seem pretty destructive and they breed more things. Take a car. A car actually is four or so things all bundled and tied in a costly ribbon just for you. Consider it. I think a car is:

  1. maintenance
  2. licensing
  3. Insurance
  4. Gas or electric or whatever

Other things do the same or even more. I left it all behind back in 2014 when I moved into a room after some years of living in a wonderful 5 bedroom home. Divorce struck but I figure with the best of outcomes. It took awhile but I got rid of a lot of debt. I learned along the way credit cards and things are evil. Neither bring happiness. When I left the US, everything went. My little car I had bought went to my daughter. Other things just went until there was only a backpack in an empty room in Newark, California. Then I drove to work across the bridge to Silicon Valley and got rid of that.

So I’ve lived this same way whether in Asia or brief stints in the US, or now in Mexico. Now in two weeks I go back. It seems amazing to me or perhaps surreal. Friends in Vietnam are getting excited and so am I. I plan on being in Vietnam end of December for a month. A wonderful, zany, crazy month in Hanoi and a few days in Saigon. The people in Hanoi though. My wonderful Lily waiting and forever messaging me she is excited and impatient to go with me anywhere, drink, eat. Repeat as required. Vietnamese coffee! Oh how I have yearned and dreamed since the last Ca Phe Sua Da in Chicago uptown in Little Vietnam.

Its not going back… It is going

Yeah. I have realized in my life there is no back to go to. Everything is just going. Places change as soon as I turn my back. Friends in Cambodia and Vietnam have been there or not. If not, perhaps they were not friends after all but wanted something else. But they are gone. Now it is the people that matter and others to come along that will matter. My friends here, R and Paul I doubt I will see again for awhile. I will get to see an old friend in California. This person, Sean, I traveled to Texas with almost every week and worked on enterprise accounts with early adopters of corporate Linux like IBM and Dell. Back in the hazy, crazy .com days. Then I go.

Not back. I just go. In two weeks. Fucking amazing but so real. Almost. When I get on the Aeromexico flight from the Merida airport to Mexico City (yikes) and then to SFO, it is real. This time though San Francisco only for days thank all the forces. Three days and then the long haul reality to Korea and another longer flight to Phnom Penh. Reminds me when I left the first time for Japan. That opened a world to me.

This will too. Damned exciting.

sharing the times

I’ve been thinking of ways to share stories, places and photos as I get ready to leave Mexico. One way is how Mikka did his wonderful Camino reporting. The use of the Find Penguins iOS app is appealing but it also seems limiting. There is no RSS feed and the steps and moments seem locked in to the app. Ray did create an RSS feed but not all of us can do that. I could share the step which links to the entry and it would be shared with text, maps and photos. This seems good at first view but I view the blog as the starting point for a few reasons.

  1. An app is not needed to view my steps if they are blog posts
  2. The blog post can be posted to my mastodon instance
  3. The writing can be continuous and I can then sum up the day in one post with different discussions and photos.

I think the last point is compelling. The blog serves as the baseline and not an app. An app needs someone to use it and then to share the post. The reach seems so limited and the production so stilted in some ways and that’s where the blog can shine. Finally is the writing and I’ve covered in usual roundabout methods the points. Each one seems to point at something like a daily post compiled during the evening with different photos and text through that day and then the post placed on my mastodon instance.

I don’t think I can just do the Find Penguins app as I prepare to move around the globe. It seems too confining and limiting. I want the words and meaning to just flow to the posts and not be locked in or limited by the very lack of reach of an app.

So what I’ve come up with is,

  • write a post at least once a day with a compilation of photos and writing of the day.
  • post to mastodon as I want

I’ll probably not share the photos on mastodon as well but that could change. To me the record is the movement and the movement goes from Merida Mexico to Siem Reap Cambodia. It is in pieces separated by a short stay in California and then a layover in Korea. Finally a longer step or steps in Phnom Penh and a bus ride to my new place. I hesitate to say “home” because I don’t feel that yet. It is a step and stop I’ve decided to grab the same daily evidence of and share. It is a longer step and stop too. I believe I will setup shop there with an apartment. That is something I have not had for almost 10 years. Perhaps it will become home.

So that’s where I’ve ended up. Just the beginning really but I want to just use this blog as the mechanism and not an app that immediately becomes limited in its reach and access. Now we can pick up and drive this thing down the road!

Make sense? Comments?

writing to go

I have been playing with different apps to write. The goal is less friction and more fun to sit down like now and just let the words go. Others claim writing is like a switch. Turn it on or sometimes it turns off. This is not writing to me. Writing to me is a continuum of expression and ideas. Thoughts and reflections. Photos and memories. Writing flows to me. Sometimes I find the words on a day. Other times the words find me. There is no off.

So the app must be able to follow me along. Hold the long and short pieces. Publish to my WordPress blog, give me a virtual desk, paper and pen ready to go.

Perhaps like this one scene from yesterday I found.

The plant sprouting up to claim it’s time. To hinder the view. To say,

here I am

Words do the same with me and they always have. Some days I don’t feel them and they wait. Other times it’s a rush to reach Ulysses and write. Perhaps that is why the other apps don’t work. They start and stop at different points on the landscape to me. When I came back to Ulysses from obsidian I knew this was better for my words on the go. I don’t need atomic notes and gardens and second brains. I just need to feel and sense what is coming and demands to be let go.

It’s the release I think. The movement of the sheet in Ulysses. The feeling. There’s no writing block or loss. There is either writing or not. Like working on my book. I choose the words sometimes. Other times they choose me.

This one medium has been the middle ground for me where MarsEdit and Drafts and IAwriter are not. I need to have the entire piece of things like now sitting in a food court. Hearing the friendly buzz of conversations. But I’m apart from that now. It is me and the words.

Gracias.

Small Neighborhood walks are best!

Today was this rather nothing day. I went for a walk at a different time but took no photos which is unusual. So out I went this evening to stroll my neighborhood. Truth be told I always find things which light my way. Two things came up this evening.

I loved the color of this park bench against the wall and the concrete. It just seems so elegant in simplicity. Being able to capture things which always seem understated yet full of some feeling. This evokes loneliness or solitude but also the colors seems to bring the bench to different lights to me.

I probably have walked by this a few times but something today about the one plant growing up like making a statement and blocking the view of the red and white building and the door seemed to be this wondrous and tantalizing thing to me. I did do a little editing with the photos app. Just love the mashup of colors and textures.

I also did some walking. Walking always lets me wonder and wander through things. I can take steps to find Calle 6a which I have never done and see the dog barking, the guy walking nodding and telling me good evening in English. The young women smiling and waiting for a bus. I wave and they wave. This is my little Merida. My Díaz Ordaz. I’ve loved this neighborhood since day 1 on March 16 this year. It seemed to offer all I could want. Now I’ve walked by the tailor shop many times and many people wave. I’m just accepted just as I am walking, taking photos, going.

I guess with 17 days left here I need the times still of the no destination since soon I will go toward something else and away from Mexico. Mexico does not say goodbye though. I think Mexico says,

Hasta Luego

Much like with my wonderful Vietnamese friend told me when I left Hanoi over a year ago. Perhaps finally I will get to Van before this birthday. I miss her and my Lily and the people there. I think most of all though right now I miss the going. That indescribable feeling of not belonging anywhere. Love it.

See you tomorrow!

little things to get done

Some days I am destined for big little things or little big things. Today it is little little things. Having a room coffee and watching some history videos, reading a little news, chocolate chip muffin and banana served.

At some point I decide it’s time to walk to the lavanderia and get my clothes done. It’s a 10 minute walk through my neighborhood and then down to shop where the nice English speaking lady works. I can come back tomorrow evening if I want and get the clothes all done. It costs $3 but I give her a $.50 tip in pesos.

Then it’s down to the mall because I feel like coffee and a nice breakfast torta and the wonderful baristas always greet me with smiles behind face masks. Eyes crinkle up and they ask how I am in Spanish. Always tell me good morning. I often answer in English because two of the baristas speak some. So it’s coffee. I can sit with my grande americano coffee and watch little times transpire. The friendly people always wishing me good morning. I’m a fixture now I guess and always sit over an hour to read, watch and do little. Because today is a little little day.

I shopped yesterday so no groceries needed. If there were I would maybe shop at Soriana which is more traditional or Walmart Express if I want some food like canned hormel chili. Both have nice selections of fruits. Now a profusion of dragon fruit and strawberries and wonderful red apples.

So there’s my little little day. I still count the days down and Thursday I’ll go to a wonderful barbershop owned by Daniel for my last haircut, beard trim and facial. Daniel is from the US and he’s a nice young guy and supremely talented at his craft.

There’s not really anything left. Oh… you want a photo? Ok. Here’s one for you. From somewhere else.

A little Singapore for you. Happy little days. Maybe close to little India. See how it all fits together? 😃