It’s a sunny day in Guanajuato. The cold front seems to have passed; we’re waking up and going to bed in cool temperatures, and enjoying mid twenties in the sun during the day. Perfect, with a little breeze most of the time. We’ve been waiting a month for this. Yesterday, for the first time, when walking to my Spanish lesson I chose to walk on the shady side of the street. Birds are chirping, and our kitten is meowing to come in, then to go out. In other words, he’s a cat. Yesterday, after I took the fading poinsettia from its pot, he discovered a new hiding place. We continue to debate what to do about him. We’re becoming attached to the little creature, but we won’t be here past April.
Just when we’ve decided we should take him to the local equivalent of the humane society (actually, a vet clinic that puts animals up for adoption), he does a somersault trying to bite his tail, or he curls up and purrs on one of our laps, and we decide to keep him awhile longer, anyway.
Today, the albaniles (masons) are beginning to put tiles on the in the bathroom and finishing the grout on the floor tiles everywhere else.
The ironworker came to take measurements for the stairway railing. The carpenter put a final coat of varnish on the doors. Much of this is stuff we would do ourselves at home, and it’s strange to stand by while others wield a paintbrush. But aside from the fact that these guys are really good at what they’re doing, it’s also the case that the cost of having it done here is a small fraction of what it would be at home.
The windows are supposed to arrive today. But that’s been true for several days now, so I’m not holding my breath. “Ahorita,” said the window guy on the phone when Jack called this morning. Which literally means “right now” but in fact seems to mean anything from “on my way” to “whenever…”
It’s been particularly interesting to see how the electricity and plumbing are installed. Since all the basic construction is concrete smoothed over solid bricks, there are no spaces (like between studs) to run lines. So, after all the walls are done and outlets, switches, faucets, etc. located, the electrician/plumber (in our case, the same guy) go at the brand new walls with chisels and drills and chip out passages for the wires and pipes—
sometimes, even after the walls are painted. THEN, after they’ve run the wires and pipes, the masons go back at it to fill in the channels; then, if necessary, the painters go back to cover the fresh concrete. And if it turns out there should be another outlet or water line, it all happens again. It seems a bit counter-intuitive to me, but it works and everybody knows the drill (no pun intended, but you must admit it’s a pretty good one…)
I’m posting this while a bunch of my friends at home are together, celebrating several birthdays. I hope they eat a piece of cake for me. Wish I were with them. Happy Birthday to Carol, Ursula, and Susan.