On Monday, 18 June 2012, my friend Ric arrived from Mexicali with my new computer in hand. As excited as I was to see Ric after almost 50 years, I was honestly WAY more excited about the computer he was bringing me.
But, you know what, after Ric and I spent a few hours together, I was way more excited to have Ric visiting than I was about the computer. How cool is that?
Ric and I were never friends in high school [the aforementioned almost 50 years ago]. We ran with totally different crowds. He was an athlete, a jock, the homecoming king. I was a girl in advanced placement classes who hung out with the band folks….the closest we had to an alternative crowd back in the early to mid ’60s in Mesa, Arizona.
But a few years ago, an old friend of mine and an acquaintance of Ric’s started posting some great information on Facebook. [Thanks, Orr!] Very liberal viewpoint with which this old hippie obviously agreed. But I was surprised and pleased to see that Ric’s ideas and opinions reflected my own. So we started emailing one another.
After a couple of years of back and forth and me asking Ric and our friends, Linda and Rose, to come down to visit, Ric actually set a date to do so. Turns out Linda and Rose were not available at the time he chose, but Ric came. And I’m so glad that he did.
We had a great time….and hopefully I am speaking for Ric as well as myself.
Ric had told me before he arrived that he didn’t need or want to do anything special in the way of tours. He and his wife had spent some time in Guadalajara and seen lots of the sights there. He said he would just enjoy seeing the Lake Chapala area from the aspect of a full-time resident, meeting my friends, and seeing how I manage to live here on so little money. And that’s just what we did.
I met Ric at the domestic arrivals area at Miguel Hidalgo International Airport in Guadalajara. For a city the size of Guad [six to eight million people, depending on the site you consult], the airport is surprisingly small. It’s very easy to park close to the terminal and to locate your arriving guest. And besides, I was the only gringa in sight at domestic arrivals when Ric’s plane landed.
I had told Ric not to eat much prior to his arrival because I wanted to take him to one of my favorite restaurants, Los Cinco Potrillos, in Ixtlahucan, on the way home from the airport. We arrived about 2pm and were one of only three or four tables of diners. I eat there quite frequently and the crowd is usually very small, but then again I eat earlier than most Mexicans and I hear that the place get very crowded in the late afternoon and evening.
We had a great meal and I came away flabbergasted by how good Ric’s Spanish is. He had told me that he was fluent, but I still expected to hear Spanish spoken with an American accent. Not with Ric! Close your eyes and you’ll swear that you are speaking with a Mexican. It’s that good. And didn’t the servers and an old guy sitting outside the restaurant appreciate that! They are so used to hearing expats like me down here just basically butcher their language that they are THRILLED to run into one who can appreciate the nuances of the language, let alone speak it.
We headed on down to Jocotepec after comida and Ric was righteously impressed by his first sweeping view of Lake Chapala, as well as of my rental house and outdoor area. As he commented more than once during his visit, “you never know what is behind those high walls.”
That night we stayed up late and talked and talked and talked. A bit about high school and mutual friends, but mostly about ourselves and our lives. We watched a lightning storm over the mountains and enjoyed some rain.
It was a great way to introduce ourselves to one another “in real life” as opposed to Facebook and emails.
I will post more on Ric’s visit. And hopefully he will be able to chime in himself via comments.