Welcome to the Adventure

Living in Mexico is often indescribable...you just have to live here. I have been journaling experiences for a while, and I hope you can get a feel for stupid-ass gringos trying to get it. But I am still here, and that says a lot for those of us sticking it out, as the payback is what makes life so good here.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Passages with Food

Just when life was getting comfy, a paradigm shift occurs and things change. Fast. Often the best reasons for living here are the same as the worst reasons for living here. It's a small town. We listen to the stories, we see people move on, friendships change, but through all of these wonderful people, we have met an amazing array of new people. And weren't we glad we got to share the road with some of you, that we don't see so much anymore, or not at all, except by SKYPE, which you all have on your computers, right!!

Elia (sister), Claudia (chef), and Mama, Adriana Jordan

Many of you who have moved to new communities, when you retired, have certainly shared our experiences. You feel your way. You connect with people, and then you don't. Larry and I have been fortunate in making friends, but it ain't easy, as many of you have experienced. Through friends though, like an ever widening ripple, people are added to the circle. And sometimes total strangers, you met in a Cafe, or people staying across the street from you, turn out to be friends in the making.

Through friends we have met four remarkable young people that have inspired us, Claudia, Ulysses, Franco, and Monica. They have all just started new businesses here (restaurants, like the hardest business of all), or have, in Claudia's case, taken over a business. Not so easy in Huatulco, Mexico, which is a seasonal resort, for businesses to make it here. We have met many young people here with dreams that have gone towards a nightmare, sadly. Business here is sometimes akin to watching the last episode of "As the World Turns", you hope for the best, because it looks like a happy ending. (They all have assured me I can write about them and hopefully next year, or better yet five years from now, I will be celebrating their success.)

To be fair, we did know Claudia first, and she is really, what can I say, a breath of fresh air when all else seems in chaos. She was waiting tables at La Crema 5-6 years ago, summers, going to University in Chiapas the rest of the year. As they say, it was love at first sight! Her English was stunningly idiomatic, if not yet fluent. I asked, like a dumb-ass gringo, where she picked up her English. She looked at me dead on and said "Sex and the City". How could you not love her????? Fast forward. She is now here full time, and is still a breath of fresh air.

Claudia took on the unenviable task of taking over a fairly popular North American style breakfast and lunch place; a nice place to have a four hour breakfast.. The Crazy Kraut Cafe, was Marion's baby. When Marion returned to Canada, she was going to let it go, sell off stuff, etc. A business colleague stepped forward and suggested an alternative, his daughter Claudia. Our Claudia. She has actually been busy developing a hostel business for the backpackers who think they can't afford shit anywhere near here. This is to be the last hostel between here and Salina Cruz or Guatemala for that matter. Anyway, she took on the Crazy Kraut.

She did good Marion! You would be so proud of those Eggs Benedict, girl. The french toast, crepes, and a daily special, all good (BBQ ribs on Saturday). She did go to cooking school. Finally, she gets to do what she wants until the hostel business gets on its feet. Good for us too. She is funny, warm, and will not forget a customer, and she's doing the cooking right now. She'll need help, but she's off to a great start! And the four hour breakfast tradition continues, we can attest to this, with friends and strangers who joined us for coffee, then a beer (where else?) and conversation. She's nervous, eager and fabulous, and fortunately this is prime Mexican vacation time, so she's getting customers from locals and the visitors alike.

On the other side of the Hotel Michelle entrance, (Crazy Kraut is to the left of the Hotel), is a new restaurant, with a name I wouldn't have picked, but Mamma Mia... lets all of us know it is Italian. Franco and Monica, the proprietors, were introduced to us by a friend, who told us about a little gelato place in town. Well, it was really the only one, but ooooh so good. Franco and Monica are young, ambitious, and eager to succeed in the restaurant business. An opportunity came up to open a restaurant a couple of blocks from their gelato shop, and they took it. His lasagna is fabulous! They are making their own homemade Italian sausage.

Mamma Mia...
To be Continued - maybe from California (another road trip....., we're retired ☺)

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