Thursday, 17 April 2003

(How I spent My Easter Vacation – Part II)

At three am I was awakened by clicking, like a thousand miniature tapdancers all slightly out of sync. Or maybe it was cracking, like a hundred ice cubes settling into a vat of boiling water. Whatever it was, the cause was the air conditioner. I woke Fuzzy, and made him turn it off and open up the windows, and then we went back to sleep.

I woke again at six am, and heard birdsong. The birds are conducted by the Carpenterias (woodpeckers) who rise before the sun to peck away at anything in their path, including the metal poles that hold up palapas. Such a cozy sound – or not.

My mother came knocking on the casita door, then, and so, leaving Fuzzy to sleep, I went with her to climb the lighthouse stairs to the third floor of her house, which taken up entirely by a palapa-covered deck with a 360-degree view of the Gulf, and the lights on the Malecon of La Paz, and the open desert.

As the light changed the birdsong changed as well, moving through all the different voices in the avian choir. We sat and talked and sipped coffee, and then I went to shower, only to find there was no water pressure, in preparation for a poolside manicure and pedicure ($26 US for both)

After that, I woke Fuzzy, and volunteered to make lunch. Nothing fancy, just tuna and red peppers and grapes, and everything involved lime. We puttered around the house for the rest of the day, took naps, explored the garden, tried to get a picture of Abigail's Lizard. (Abigail is my parents' chihuahua, and she has a 'pet' iguana named Harry who lives in the tree outside the front door.) I took a swim, as well, though I was chased out of the water by a swarm of yellow jackets. My mother swears they only wanted a drink, but I don't believe her.

At sunset, we began to set up for a belated (by one day) Passover party. Not a seder in the traditional sense, but an interesting collection of people, representing Americans, Canadians, Colombians, Israelis, and Mexicans. It was interesting hearing the Israeli take on What Passover Means, as opposed to the North American Catholic and Jewish versions. (The Americans of all religions, and the Canadians, had religious connotations, the Israelis downplayed religious aspects of the holiday).

The dinner reflected the company: Kugel from Yoav, my great-grandfather's meatball recipe from my mother, salad from one of the Candadian women, sugar-free berry cheesecake from one of the other Americans, and Chicken Mole served in Puff Pastry from Maria, my mother's assistant. My contribution was making pitchers of cosmopolitan, which all of the women loved, and the men sneered at, opting for Negro Modelo instead.

The party broke up at a reasonable hour, but eleven at night is LATE when you've been up since six, and we tumbled into bed, and slept almost instantly.