They’re Back! By Dario de Baja
As a full time resident of San Felipe, I’m faced with the same emotional conflict every year. Yes, it is so nice to have the hot temperatures behind us and it is so nice knowing that our payoff is finally here! Perfect temperatures for nearly all outdoor activities can mean only one thing; the snowbirds and part timers are sure to be here soon enough. We can watch the U.S. national weather forecasts and have a pretty good idea when the flight of northerners will begin. Suddenly, right on cue it’s as if someone opened the northern floodgates as a seemingly unending parade of every type of RV known to man and woman is seen approaching San Felipe from the north.
It always makes me wonder, just where do all these people and in some cases their monstrous machines hide? It seems as though somehow, San Felipe and surrounding areas just swallow them all up whole. I must admit that I do get a certain pleasure from watching newly arrived and in some cases first time San Felipe visitors interact with their local Mexican hosts.
Just this morning I was shopping at a local pharmacia when I saw an American couple waiting in line to checkout. I should say impatiently waiting to check out for the husband was doing the old Gringo shuffle.
You’ve seen it before! He shifts his weight from one leg to the other and then checks his watch about every third or fourth shift. Then of course comes the long deliberate Gringo sigh! Hmmm! Looking very irritated his wife looks up at him with a scowl as she warns him “be quiet!” This is of course followed by “why don’t you just go wait in the car if you’re so miserable?” “I’m good! I just want to get going!”
Meanwhile at the front of the line is an elderly lady trying to pay for her medicine using all coins. She is doing her best to count them out of her tiny black change purse but finds she is five pesos short. She explains “es todo lo que tengo” (“that’s all I have”) “Esta bien”. (“it’s okay”) says the young woman at the register. Again with the Gringo shuffle and a few more sighs. I’m expecting this guy to blow like La Bufadora just anytime.
“Oh this is gonna be so much fun!” (okay yes, I can be evil)
There are a couple more people in front of us, so there is plenty of time to get to know these two hurried visitors from the north.
I smile my best innocent smile “Hi there! How are you today?” He grunts like a moose having found his prey during mating season. “Where are you from in the states?” I ask. Looking them over a little closer I can see they are as white as sea salt and dressed in their best “lookie here! We’re tourist outfits”. Finally managing to speak the man informs me that they are from “The Bay Area”. Oh really? Where at in the bay area? “Around a little town named Lodi” he mumbles. Of course not ever being one to leave well enough alone I say “wow they’ve really extended the bay area! Just the other day that was known to be the Stockton area! Glad you’re not stuck there again!” Not impressed with my obvious smart ass attitude, knowledge of geographical locations, music, and the fact that his wife began snickering at him made Mr. Grouch break out in a slight smile. Well now, it may have been gas, but I choose to believe it was a smile.
Then he asks me how I knew they weren’t from around here. I laughed and said “well let me count the ways!” I explained the whole gringo shuffle thing, and then went on to explain that hardly anyone that lives here wears a watch. Also the people that call this place home are more kick back, tolerant and relaxed than you seem to be. I went on to explain how so many people come here to untie the knots they have managed to put in their ropes sometimes over a lifetime, only to try to put knots in our ropes. “Let me tell you something, we don’t need or want any damn knots!”
He asked a very valid question. “How do you people get anything done around here?” You people? So I asked him what he had to do when he got back to his RV.
His wife broke out in a laugh and said “sit in his damn chair, drink beer and swear at the politicians on TV!” “Wow, now that sounds like fun!” Laughing I suggested that maybe spending the morning relaxing, while soaking in the sun, maybe a few beers and untying some of those knots might have some rewards too. I told her to take him to the beach with some beer and start untying those knots together. I told her she might have a few knots herself. She laughed and said “no doubt! But I know he put them there!” I told her not to worry, because the politicians will still be there when you get back to your RV later!
I would like to believe I may have made a difference in those people’s lives.
I know they certainly impacted mine. I could see just how far I have come in the untying process since I began calling this magical place home.
This whole scenario is played out over and over again in our little village.
We are so blessed to live in such a wondrous place where so many people save and scrimp all year long just to have the resources to come here for a brief respite from their personal reality; their ropes. Perhaps we can help them in their untying process?
I think we can share this place of ours with them as long as we can keep in mind that we don’t need any damn knotty ropes to live, love and enjoy life in San Felipe. This is after all our place; it’s our special place.
This is Our Little Village by the Sea.
Dario de Baja
They’re Back! By Dario de Baja