Apr 26, 2009, 3:13 PM
Post #1 of 11
OK, so this is not about Southern Mexico so much but then, on the other hand it is about that place and this place on Lake Chapala where I spend what summers I have left.
San Cristóbal de Las Casas is about concrete and bricks and adobe and contiguous housing and urban drama and pavement and wonderful and ancient mansions and tidy but modest Spanish colonial choc-a-bloc houses and graffiti and the desire among locals to be historically significant up there in the hills where the Spanish settled and stole the Jovel Valley from the indigenous folks after the Chiapanecos kicked their butts down in the Sumidero Canyon in what today is known as the Chiapas Depression but Ajijic, on the other hand is about trees and lakeside feelings and smells and warm lake breezes and space and village charm and, perhaps, most of all, rural beauty and rustic ambience and dirt trails leading off into seemingly mysterious wooded coves and strewn with beer bottles and used rubbers and all the detritus that we normally foist off on ejidos who exact a price to take in our rubbish and for years here I walked my monstrous dogs along a beach exposed through drought and public policy which was walkable all the way from La Floresta to San Juan Cósala which is a distance of maybe up to ten kilometers and during those year and later on when the lake inundated much of that path we walked our magnificent 150 pound plus mastiffs along those secluded paths and, by God, we never saw anyone much except truck farmers and poverty stricken dairymen and cattleherders and drunks and fishermen and I swear to God you could count on the fingers of one hand the number of expat whiteboy retirees you ever spotted on this marvelous trail which, by the way, was open to any and all who desired to walk there and I loved that and here is what happened:
The lake refilled itself and the sumbitches in charge of the Ajijic delegation of the Chapala municipality with memrories that must stretch all the way back to the founding of Burger King decided that the old and rustic pathway from West Ajijic to the Ajijic municipal pier was a miserable redneck rural byway and so they decided that, if Yokeltepec and Crapola could have "malecons" then so should Ajijic and so they built this obnoxious concrete "malecon" where there used to be a beautiful park with primitive pathways which were a marvel to enjoy in solitude and here is what else has happened:
All those damnable hillside "Gringos" who used to populate the bike path have taken over the "malecon" and turned it into the LCS coffee klatch thay wish all of Mexico was and just as I suspected, when I walk from my home near Calle Rio Zula in West Ajijic to the once charming and now stylized Ajijic pier, I never see even one "Gringo" but many Mexicans until I reach that sterilized concrete "Gringo" zone and then there they are in profusion walking their mutts and yapping incessantly about their day before and how ole Billy Bob is doing and from now on I am walking west to Canancita on the dirt path that is Ocampo after Rio Zula because I cannot take the destruction of my rustic village they are turning into Peoria South.
As one of the first French pilots who flew into the new DFW Airport remarked in the 1960s, "Concrete must be cheap in these parts."
(This post was edited by Hound Dog on Apr 26, 2009, 3:37 PM)