Trailer Park Nirvana image created by Stefany Kleeschulte.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

She's Big, She's Beautiful, She's Mine

Vanna headed to Casablanca
to show off her new look.
Lately I've been wondering why I'm in Kino. Kind of wishing I was in a more sophisticated Mexican town, one with a plaza, wandering mariachis, museums, restaurants and cantinas. Maybe I'm restless and unhappy because the summer's been brutal - except for a little cooling-off spell when it rained - and I've spent so much time indoors. Maybe it's because I need my every-six-month shopping trip to the States to replenish supplies - frozen potstickers, body wash, books. And maybe because I need to eat some real Thai food.

But this morning I was reminded why I like Kino, why I stay here.

Getting Vanna's roof repaired and painted got off to a rocky start. Being a great procrastinator was not helping the condition of Vanna's roof. Then it rained and the van filled with water. Finally I tracked down Denver and he said he'd paint the roof for $5,000 pesos (less than $400 US) and for free he'd repair the places on the body where the paint was peeling and he'd paint the bumpers which had also rusted. He said he'd go to Hermosillo to get paint. All that I understood but he kept pointing to the gas tank cover and I had no idea why. The morning he was to get the paint, I walked over to his place to give him some money. Again Denver pointed to the gas cover and again I was clueless. I was like, "Okay, see ya Monday," and then I walked back to the trailer park. I was halfway to Islandia when it hit: Denver needs the gas cover to match the paint. Duh. What a dope. So I got the van, drove back to Denver's, and he removed the cover, thanking me profusely. I was to drop the van off Monday morning; he'd have her done by Friday.

Not only a procrastinator but also too damn hot to walk in the Kino heat and humidity, I didn't go visit Denver until Friday, the day the van was supposed to be ready. He hadn't started. "Muchas problemas," he said. The roof was worse than he thought - full of holes. He wanted to nix the paint idea and instead use spray-on bedliner, the plastic stuff in pickup truck beds. I said okay, sounds like a plan.

Last night I stopped by to see Denver because I needed Vanna to be finished today. The roof/paint/repair job was done. He was going to change the oil but he needed money and I didn't have enough on me. I said I'd bring it to him after dinner but dinner ran too late. At 8:30 this morning, Denver was at my door. I gave him the rest of the money I owed him, I gave him money for oil, and I gave him nearly a hundred dollars more than we had agreed on because of the extra work. In a half hour he returned Vanna and I drove him to his shop. Then I drove to Oscar's car wash. Oscar was just finishing an Islandia neighbor's truck so I drove to Islandia, waited for Oscar to return the neighbor's truck. Then Oscar took me to my house and drove Vanna back to the car wash. Slick. All this coming and going, a well-oiled machine, synchronized as hell.

Unfortunately while in Denver's custody he broke a corner off the driver's side mirror - the same spot the previous mechanic had chipped it. She's big. She's wide. She's wanted by men from Kino to Calle Doce. As I drove Denver back to the shop he asked if she was for sale, said he'd like to take her on vacation to Chiapas. Get in line, dude.

I can't wait to see Vanna all shiny and clean. She's been sorely neglected. Her bumpers look awesome with that spray-on bedliner. So smooth and black. An empty canvas, just waiting for some Obama in 2012 stickers.

The water boys just delivered water and lifted the 5-gallon container onto the dispenser. Oscar will be back soon with Vanna. When I'm in the states, Manny will let Margarita in to clean the big house and the guest house. Manny will feed the cat at the trailer, water plants in both places. Click, click, click, things falling into place. The people remind me why I love it here.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Limbs of Contention

In the corner of the yard there were two palm trees. Just before I moved in, the owner removed the palms because they blocked her view of the pier. She gave them to a friend to plant in his yard.

Enter Ramon (an alias). Proprietor of Ramon's Apartmentos which is located two blocks from the beach. Ramon, who wants a shady area for his guests, planted a tree next to this property, this house, which blocks the view of the pier more than those two little palms ever did. He also planted two trees across the way, next to the yellow house's wall.

But wait! The trees are planted on a street. It's a thoroughfare to the beach. It's where people park their cars, string tarps, picnic. So now there are these trees blocking the road. With chained benches underneath. And when he has guests, he strings a shade cloth from tree to tree which means the boat launchers can no longer use the road (unless they cut down the cloth and a few branches which one boat launcher did). Weekenders from Hermosillo can no longer drive their cars down to the beach. The road is off limits. Except to the guests of Ramon.

But wait! The tree's also tall enough that pinche ladrones (asshole thieves) can climb the branches and jump into this house's yard.

There's more! As we expected would happen, local bums can use the trees as shelters. Why just today I saw Enrique...

...asleep under the tree. But do you notice something? This is the same tree as the newly-planted tree pictured above. The same tree that was planted about a week ago. IT'S DEAD! Ramon hasn't watered it.

And still there's more...more trees...

All in all Ramon planted five trees against the walls of this house. Questions which arise are...should the trees live (and that's doubtful) will the root system affect the wall? Are the trees planted the legal distance (apparently there is such a thing) from the building? My neighbors across the way, with the two new trees thanks to the generosity of Ramon, complained to the mayor who said it was okay. But the deal is, this road falls under the jurisdiction of the feds. It needs to be clear for police and ambulance access. So I guess the fight's not over. However, if the trees die, all this will be water under the bridge...or sand under the sea. Or Enrique under a dead tree.