Saturday, February 10, 2007


This morning, like every other morning in Mazatlan, the sound of chirping crickets woke me up… and the same sound will lull me to sleep tonight. In the far background, morning and night, is the muted crash of the waves on the beach a block away - similar in tone to the distant drone of a freeway, but psychologically totally opposite.

Here, it is difficult to remember that it is winter! Shorts and sleeveless shirts are now my uniform, and afternoons are best spent in the shade.

As always, our days continue to revolve around food, for both sustenance and entertainment. The new little “restaurant” (plastic tables and chairs on a dirt patch under a temporary awning, served by a mobile kitchen) here, Holy Frijole, is a huge hit with everyone on the north end of Mazatlan. To prepare for a day that usually includes a lot of walking, we eat a huge breakfast there several times a week, and have adopted the Mexican habit of eating our largest meal around 2 pm.

In-home cooking has dwindled to a light meal in the evening, and even that is easily sidetracked: last night’s salmon disappeared into the refrigerator when the empanada/tamale vendors arrived around 5 pm with hot, flaky, chicken-and-chile turnovers.

Yesterday we introduced some of our neighbors here in the park to our favorite seafood restaurant, El Memin. The draw is superb seafood and low prices. There is absolutely none of the ambiance of the lovely, elegant, tile-floored seaside restaurants catering to vacationers - just incredibly fresh seafood in a boisterous, fast-paced, totally Mexican dining hall in a shopping center. Shrimp or fish in garlic sauce, crab ceviche, Odel’s favorite fried shrimp… it all costs half of what it costs elsewhere, and is twice as tasty.

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