look at me as a daughter would
look: with that love and that curiosity:
as to what she came from.
And what she will become.
Eavan Boland, Ceres Looks at the Morning
The photo at left was made in a Portland-area bakery. It isn’t Ceres, of course, as the goddess of the grains didn’t trot about with a peel. I doubt it’s St. Honore, either, as he was associated with sweets, not loaves, and I doubt he ever put peel to hearth. But the sculpture indirectly led me to today’s title.
I love Fridays despite having to be out of bed and ready for the world by 8. G comes to walk my one bag of trash the half-block to the basura (garbage) truck. It’s also the day Dolores comes to clean and it’s the one time in the week I’m truly forced to converse in Spanish. I used to take the bag to the truck myself, but a few months ago G asked if she could; she charges 10 pesos, I agreed, and I have to use my limited language skills with her as well; I understand Dolores much more easily than I do G – I don’t know if G speaks in a dialect or if there’s some other issue for me. Dolores is not the greatest housekeeper, but she’s far “more than better” than I, and after she leaves I find the casita so … arranged … and it feels good. I’m somewhat tidy, but there is just something about the way Dolores leaves things that feels so orderly. On the weeks that I have errands to run on Friday (like yesterday) I come home and it’s like magic has taken place.
I wonder what Dolores thought of the various boxes and suitcases lying about. I started packing as if I’m headed to Europe although my first choice of Italy is a quagmire of visa regulations if one intends to live there longer than three months. Italian Consulates as well as consulate employees may interpret regulations as they see fit. Italian laws are sometimes difficult to understand and regulations lead to situations where
… your birth certificate [can] be printed with varying information, on two kinds of official paper, have varying costs, and expire if you fail to renew it
How to survive Italian bureaucracy on justlanded.com
Italy is not the only country to have a regulation such as the following: to obtain an elective residence visa (which is what most American retirees would obtain to reside in Italy longer than three months), one must have in hand a signed contract for a lease or the deed to property before APPLYING for the visa. I’m sure there is some wiggle room there, but one person reported that a Consulate clerk
said that even if I had a rental contract in hand for a private apartment, I would also need to provide a notarized, original copy (in other words, not faxed or emailed) of the property title to prove that the landlord actually owned the place they were renting me.
Back to my packing: I have a suitcase of winter clothes marked for either Italy or Germany (or storage), odds and ends useful for housekeeping in a box marked for my son, another suitcase of summer clothes marked Thailand (or storage), and a large duffel of things to go into the Alameda storage.
While packing, I considered my motivation to move on. One thing I realized was that I’d love to have people to do things with; since Laetitia and Diana left I haven’t a playmate – and even while they were here, I didn’t do a lot of things with them. San Miguel presents some obstacles to pal-ing around, mostly tied to dirt sayings. First, as Diana E says, the average age here is near-death – everyone is just plain older than dirt. A lot of people aren’t up for shopping (window- or other) or going to the hot springs or whatever. Most everyone has just about all they need and aren’t in the mood for more stuff. Some of my acquaintances are dirt-poor, like myself. They don’t even go to the ALMA sale where you can find designer stuff for 50 pesos. I know there must be a few folks who do things, I just don’t know them. I’d probably meet some of them if I got out and did a few things myself.
Monday and Tuesday are the celebrations of Mexican Independence from Spain with Tuesday being the actual holiday. There will be plenty of music and fireworks all over town as well as plays, parades and processions including the reenactment of the insurgents entering San Miguel. I should make the effort to get out and see what’s taking place.