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Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! I am on my mobile version of the door-to-door, going town-to-town holding readings/gatherings/discussions of my book "But What Can I Do?" This is my often neglected blog mostly about my travels since 9/11 as I engage in dialogue and actions. It is steaming with my opinions, insights, analyses toward that end of holding all life sacred, dismantling the empire and eliminating violence while creating the society we want ALL to thrive in

Friday, December 31, 2010

No internet

No internet. Well, one thing I want wherever I live is internet. I guess I don’t have to have it exactly where I live but I need to reach it easily. I really do want it where I live, especially if I don’t live in a large city.

I have chosen this little village to camp at tonite.

There are few houses on the west side of the paved road, but mostly on the east side, closer to the water. And the town has built a maybe 30 foot wide cement pier along the lake, between the lake and the houses or fields with cows, donkeys, horses.

Every few feet on top of the pier there is a large iron bench with back and arms facing the water. The water itself is amazing, lapping the pier, which is most likely little more than ½ mile long – I will know better tomorrow morning when I ‘jog’ it.

Trees and tall grass grow scattered in the lake close to the pier and birds of all kinds are swimming, flying, perching around. It is so beautiful I am filled with that intense feeling that brings tears, especially as the sun begins to set.

The eastern sky fills with pinks and reds, hovering over the opposite shore as the sun is blocked early by the high mountains in the west. Then the water reflects the sunset and 100’s of birds begin flying crazily around.

I wish I knew my birds. Swallows come to mind but they are small, smaller than robins, charcoal black with what I think are white bellies. They fly so swiftly and so close to me if think if I stood up I’d probably knock one of them out, or they’d knock me out.

They must be catching insects, they are so crazed and determined in their speedy flying.

A car pulls up and two men get out. They watch the sunset and then one approaches me as the other drives off.

He is Itan, maybe in his 30’s, from Guadalajara now, but born and raised here. He is visiting family. We speak in Spanish the whole time and when he leaves, he asks me to come with him. I decline and he appears hurt, but graciously leaves.

I watch the stars suddenly appear but it gets too cold. I retire to my camper, darken the windows, and read until the loud music starts. I hope I am not parked right in the middle of the planned festivities.

I can hear a band at the end of the pier, where there is a brick building. And I can hear people driving up, parking, and maybe going to the building or hanging on the pier.

I do not feel social so I go to sleep. I hope people will forgive me, if I’m in their way or if I’m being anti-social.

Men afuera, womyn adentro (men out, womyn in)

I wonder how happy this town is going to get for this new years eve. I park alongside the pier off one of the two dirt and stone roads that access the pier from the main paved road.

The house closest to where I am parked is playing really loud music, not untypical for México – so loud I can hear it as I walk the pier at least 7 houses away. And there is a fenced field and empty lot between my truck and this house.

They turn it down as the sun is setting, I don’t know if it’s out of deference to me or if for some other reason. I wonder if the volume will rise as the drinking rises tonite.

I am thinking of maybe heading back to chalapa tomorrow – I should have asked at restaurants this afternoon when I stopped there for veggie oil but I wasn’t in the mood. I was focused on finding a nice place to park for tonite and I’ve found one.

I wish I wish I wish México wasn’t so full of men who hang outside and womyn who hang behind doors or around cooking fires. It is so easy to meet men, but not so easy to meet womyn.

Or maybe I’ll head to the ocean and find restaurants there to get oil from. I have less than ¼ tank of veggie oil – and I’ve gone over 700 miles since I practically filled up on that beach so many days ago!

I still have the 2 buckets of smelly oil and one 20 liter container of crappy oil that I need to get rid of.

Striking out

I decide to keep driving around the lake to see what I can find minus tourists and traffic. The north west part of the lake seems to be bordered by mega-farming including grape arbors inside plastic ‘green’ houses interspersed with cattle ranching.

Many little towns spring up around the lake. It is difficult to see if the cobblestone dirt roads lead to the water as there is a steep drop as soon as the road begins.

I find several towns that draw me but I keep going.

Then I enter this town and a longing fills me. I think this is where I should be. I see the town has grown up on both sides of the paved road. The paved road has widened into 2 lanes in each direction with a small medium in the middle.

There are vendors of course lined along this road, some wave enthusiastically, others stare. I turn off toward the lake onto a dirt and stone road. As I drive, I see the town is really huge on this side – and I can see many houses and churches up the hill on the other side as well.

 People stare at me, bursting into smiles when I greet them. I ask many times how to get to the water and am given several conflicting directions. Where the hell is the water?

The roads are really rough, the houses really close together, the tree branches and wires so low I’m worried about driving through.

 After much driving around, I see purple graffiti on a wall opposite a school ground that says “lesbiana” and other writing I can’t read. I stop several more times and try to talk with people, consider buying something to eat even though I am still full from the 4 delicious tamales I scarfed down when driving out of Guadalajara this morning.

I finally give up and go back to the main road. There is another town I saw before this one, with a pier and benches. I head back for that town.

Leaving Guadalajara

Where are the womyn who stand on the side of the road, over huge black pots steaming with delicious tamales?

Taking their place are men standing over blue and white coolers, selling their tamales. I drive by one such man and his cooler at the corner and go around several blocks before I can return and buy tamales from him.

They are 10 pesos each so I bargain, 3 for $25 pesos. He ends up selling me 4 for $35 pesos – and I tip him 5 pesos. The tamales are scrumptious, fat, stuffed with jalapenos and queso. I can not decide, as no one seems to be making tamales elotes, if it is better for me to eat cheese or chicken.

I am heading to Chapala, what I’ve read is the largest fresh water lake in México, or maybe only in this area. It reminds me of Lake Tahoe a little, but not as big. It is definitely huge, in the midst of mountains, but there is no pine or cedar forest or oak trees around it.

And I think, unlike Lake Tahoe, most of it is visible from a mountain rise. And it is huge.

Chapala is small with houses scattered on the hills before entering just a couple of really busy streets of the centro. Small shops with grass roofs line the pier that borders the lake here in this bustling little tourist town.

I want to explore but I’m torn again – I should ask for veggie oil, I want a coconut, I want to walk around but I’m worried people are starting their celebrating early – and I’m worried about drunk drivers.

I drive on to the next town, Ajijic, which is supposed to be gay and lesbian ‘friendly’. The main and only paved road is heavily populated with difficult visible access to the water, muchos gringos, many gated communities, walls, fences, and small, narrow steep dirt and stone streets crowded with close housing, that may or may not lead to parking by the water.

I’m torn for I want to stop and explore, maybe locate some lesbians, maybe fill my depleted fresh veggie and fruit supplies, but I’m still stuffed from consuming 4 queso and chili tamales – and it is after 2pm by the time I mosey through here.

The issue of finding a good place to park for the nite before celebrants pour onto the streets consumes most of my energy and focus now.