Wednesday, February 1, 2012

April 22 -23 (Part 1), 2009: First days in Queretaro, Mexico - Taxis can't find us

April 22, 2009. Arrive in the Queretaro Airport at 8:08 pm, and take a taxi to La Loma Dorada (the Golden Knoll / Hill). At first I thought the name was because the area high above town was fairly wealthy, but it turns out that during part of the year the hillside is covered with yellow flowers that turn it ‘golden”. A much more poetic reason. (Though not in bloom in my picture - so clearly not in April.) A 40 minute taxi ride costs me about $15.

April 23, 2009. The house is old Spanish style architecture, with a courtyard and fountain in the center, and many doors leading to the two bedrooms, the kitchen, the living room and an office. There are gardens around the outside of the house, yet inside a locked perimeter wall. Several male renters live in apartments below. Every morning we have fresh squeezed orange juice that is out of this world. A maid comes every few days to clean, do laundry and perhaps make a simple meal. I try to help with the animals every morning and night, but although the birds are exotic and beautiful, they make lots of noise and peck when you feed them or clean the cage, so I let Nancy handle that. When their cages are covered at night they calm down, thank goodness! The dogs are fierce and wild, but I prefer them because of the security they provide. Periodically they escape, but only once did we have to chase them down, as they know where the food comes from and they return on their own.

Nancy always lets me call for the taxi. The first time I didn’t mind, but became more nervous with every call. In spite of them getting used to my voice and saying they knew where to send the taxi, it always came to a different spot. We eventually started standing in the middle of the main road up the hill. Though I will leave out the house number, here is what I had to say. “La Loma Dorada, Retorno Loma de Queretaro Numero X, espero en la Esquina con Paseo Loma de Queretaro.” Yes, I say I’ll be waiting at the corner of two different streets with similar names. If that didn’t work I gave them a completely different house number and street address – which sometimes helped, sometimes didn’t. The first day we go into town and walked around the square – full of restaurants with outside tables, churches, museums, art galleries. Amazing architecture, parks, fountains, families playing, couples strolling, all the park benches full of people watching or talking or reading. I am immediately enamored.

Heather J. Kirk

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