Coahuila

18th March 2018

I came by “Omnibus of Mexico” from Jimėnez in the state of Chihuahua. The bus had a long stop in Gomez on our way to Torrėon. I had asked before leaving in Jiménez about the duration of the trip and had got the answer “three hours”, which I informed my upcoming host about. She was very waiting for me, because she had an appointment this day in the afternoon. Unfortunately the cities are also in different timezones. I took a taxi and caught my host just before she absolutely had to leave. In a hurry she explained all I had to know about her place. She also handed out a key to me. In addition to that she told me, that she will be back in a couple of hours.

I took care about myself, calmed down and updated my blog somewhat. When I heard my host coming back, I went downstairs, but she did not ask for me and did not show up before two hours later, when she also introduced her boyfriend to me. We had tea together and were talking about Torréon. I showed them the list as well, which Felipe had written for me. Sandra, my host, told me, that there also is a high bridge between two mountains, which is worth to see. However she told me then, that we could go and see the “Dunas” the upcoming day in the afternoon. In the morning, they hade to visit the mother of her boyfriend, who will celebrate her birthday. She also told me, that the upcoming day is a holiday for remembrance of the late politician Benito Juarez. Anyway she did not tell me, that tourist attractions will be closed that day. I guess, she did not know that. I did not check the time, when I went to bed, but I think it was around 11pm.

 

19th March 2018

Sandra did just provide the room, even it was a nice one with an en-suite bathroom. She did not even offer breakfast, though I had a coffee and a “gordito” with cheese on my way downtown. It was for 20 MXN – no problem att all. I walked after gps, but what the gps told me, that downtown was, was further away as it had been if I directly had walked in the right direction. Unfortunately I did not know that, before I had asked a pedestrian, where I can find the entrance to the tunnel “Canal de la perla”. Therefore I took a taxi. I had to pay 40 MXN. It had been worth it, if the attraction had been open. Anyway, there was a parade close to it, which I watched instead, wondering, what the cars and small trucks without any decoration were following the parade for.

 

Parade

 

I tried to find a tourist information center, but did not – even I asked the police for the area  (of the validad department). I gave up and bought an “agua de Horchata”. Still drinking it I was surprised, when I suddenly stood in front of a museum, but also that was closed. I checked the stalls instead, but started on my way back to Sandra’s home, when I passed a toy shop. I went back to it and bought birthday presents for my grandchildren. The gifts were not heavy. I continued walking, but bought an ice cream at another place – this time actually one in a cone, because I could not handle a cup and a teaspoon now.

I was back at Sandra’s earlier as agreed, but Sandra and her boyfriend were too. In addition to that, she introduced me to her “clients” – she is a yoga instructor. She told me, that they will follow us. When we entered the car, they had prefered, if I had taken the seat in the middle, but I told them, that I have difficulties to go so far in. Though I was allowed to sit at the outside. I had the feeling, that all these four guys would not care to raise from their seats, if we would met in a bus and there would not be any space for me to sit.

 

Dunas de Bilbao

 

It took quite a long time to come to the “Dunas de Bilbao”. There was a parking fee to pay. I want to pay for it, but it did went out, that I only paid my share. Now we were really in the desert. We were not alone. Some people were already here. There were big sand dunes, like the ones at the coast in Northern Germany. From a high one of them, we could overlook the area. There was a strip of green, before the mountains took space. When we enjoyed the view, which we did for a really long time, it became very windy. Fortunately I had my back in the direction, where the sand came from. It took not a long time, before it was over. The wind did became strong again a couple of times. When we finally left, it became already dark. At Sandra’s home, her clients said good-bye. She and her boyfriend went to their private rooms, though I did go to “mine” and updated my blog a little more until I fell asleep.

 

20th March 2018

I was up at 7:30am, took my medicine as usual and had my own breakfast at 8am, which I had bought the evening before. I had planned to go to Lerdo this day, before I had to take the bus further, but first I had to find a stationary and a post office to send the gifts to Sweden. I had ask Sandra the evening before, where I can find the stationary. I walked there without my backpacks, because I was allowed to leave them in the house until I finally would leave for Saltillo.

I found the stationary quite easy. Unfortunately they did not have so strong paper as I wished, but I had to take what they offered. Surprisingly did the shop assistant wrap my gifts. I asked at the shop for the post office and got the directions. Well there it was my turn immediately. The clerk did weight and measure the package. Then he asked me something about registration. I had to choose between two alternatives. The first was to send it registered with a number, as I am used to. The other I did not understand – I did understand what he asked me, but not the difference of both ways. Though I chose the first one. When he had finished the process about it, I had to pay nearly 800 MXN, more than the price of the gifts, even they were not heavy. I remembered a similar situation from Australia.

 

Receipt for Registered Package

 

I continued from the post office to a bus stop. Unfortunately the road was under maintenance there, but the busses did stop. Only the busses to my destination, Lerdo, did not. I tried again and again. Finally I was succesful. There had been busses every five minutes, but I had been waiting for almost half an hour. When I entered the bus, I told the driver, that I will go to Lerdo. He did not commend, that the bus was coming from there instead. At the last stop of the bus, the driver told me, that I have to take another one, he would not go further and I had to pay 6 MXN. When I finally catched a bus in the right direction, I had to pay 10 MXN. By the way, there were different routes to Lerdo, but I did not know that at that stage. The bus I had got, was not going into the center of the town, it stopped outside. Fortunately I asked in time about it, though I left at the shortest distance to the city center. Soon I found a taxi. The ride was for 20 MXN.

 

Town Hall Lerdo

 

I had not taken some water with me, though the first I did in the city, was to buy agua de Horchata. They were stalls around the little park in front of the town hall. There was also one for ice cream. After I had walked around and taken photos here and the close surroundings, I bought an ice cream.

 

Street View Lerdo

 

The stall had been recommend to me by Felipe. He also had recommended a restaurant, named “Casa de Conchita”, but I did not find it. Actually I did not understand, why Felipe had recommended me to see that little town. It might be belong to our different culture and experiences.

I could take a bus from downtown to Lerdo. On our way out of the city I could see a nice park as well as a well-filled canal. Back in Torrėon, the bus was only going to the city center. To save time, I took a taxi to Sandra’s home. It looked like she was at home, when I came there, but she did not answer me. Though I took my belongings, left the key as agreed and the house for taking another taxi, this time for the Central bus station. Here I bought a ticket for Saltillo. The bus should go soon, but arrived late. Finally I was on my way further.

During the bus ride I could see green fields, which had special water supplies, low mountains as well as cows and a cowboy. When the bus arrived in Saltillo, it was already dark, therefore I took a taxi to my host. The taxi driver could not find the number of the apartment house, but he asked a passing by pedestrian.

I was very welcomed by my new host Antonio. He was very tall and vigorous, but not fat. He looked more like a Teddy bear and as soft as a Teddy bear was also his behavior. Additionally he had a kind heart and the real couchsurfing spirit. He was very generous as well. Fun fact: We both were born 12th October, only the years were different. He showed me the night life of Saltillo as well as he told me, where to go daytime, how the bus system works in town etc. Saltillo is of the size, where you cannot see all the attractions by walking if you wish to have time left for the attractions.

The first evening Antonio took me to a baseball match by an Uber (taxi). When we arrived, the match had been ongoing for a while already, though we did not need to pay an admission fee, but we would not have cared about it.

 

Baseball Stadium Saltillo

 

Here we also met some of Antonio’s friends. Later he asked me, how usual it is with gay guys in Sweden and if they out themselves. Actually I do not really know, but I told him, that I have met more in Mexico already. He answered, that there are 40 million people living in Mexico, though it should not be surprising that I have met more of them.

We were going to a cosy restaurant after the match and had a beer.

 

The Beer 😉

 

Unfortunately they did not have tacos, which my company would love to eat. Therefore we left for another restaurant, but that was closing for the day. We were served, but could not eat there. It was a simple restaurant not cosy at all. It did not matter for us, that the restaurant was closing, because outside was a park with benches, where we ate. Even it was late already and Antonio had to go to work next day, we were going to a nice park – the green lung of the town and enjoyed it.

 

The Park

 

Finally his friends were going home to their place and we took a taxi to Antonio’s home. Well outside his door, he had no change for the ride, though I was happy, I could help. I had made a new experience for only 20 MXN, because I was not allowed to pay my share of the beer and the tacos. We were to bed as soon as possible, though Antonio could get some sleep. By the way he offered a twin bed in his bedroom. It was a little feeling like in a hostel, but that was not the case for the rest of his home.

 

21st March 2018

I took the bus downtown after breakfast, blogging and a snack around high noon, but left the bus a little early, what did not matter, because there was already something interesting to see.

 

Flower Pots at the Side of the Street and Entrance to a Tunnel

I walked all the way to the Cathedral de Santiago. Antonio had shown me the Cathedral the night before, but I was interested in to take a photo during day time. On my way I also took photos from buildings I liked.

 

Saltillo Street View

 

After I had taken photos of the church, its bells and the town hall, I first bought a top up for my smartphone  and was then looking for a stall or a restaurant to get something to eat. I was very hungry and thirsty now! There was not much to choose, if I won’t spend lots of pesos. Therefore I ate two pizza slices at a small restaurant and had a bottle of water as well.

 

Some of the Bells

 

Now I tried to find the park, in which we had been the evening before. I did not find it, I only came to the suburb “Col. Jardin”. I was disappointed, but had no energy left to look further. I was happy to see, that I was not far away from Antonio’s apartment and walked down there. His home is in a secured complex with a security guy 24/7. I had left Antonio’s key there, if he would come home from work earlier than me. Actually the security guy was not in the box, when I came back. I hoped, that Antonio was already at home, but none dit open, when I knocked the door as well as a window. I was waiting in front of the apartment. Soon the security guy came and brought me the key.

When Antonio came home, we soon had a chat about family and Sri Lanka. He told me, that even in Mexico people with darker skin are less fortunated, that means here rules the same discrimination as in Sri Lanka. Antonio told me, that a friend of him had just mentioned (by Whatsapp), that Antonio should show me more of the night life of the city. The friend would meet up. Though we were again going by Uber to the city, but now to another area. Our destination was the Tuétanos gourmet cantina.

By the way tuétanos means marrow. This evening every guest could order one beer and got three for the same price. He ordered a Clamato for me and told me, to mix the beer with it. Clamato is a kind of tomato juice. It was drinkable and better with more beer and less Clamato. For me it was good to taste it, but that’s it. Antonio also chose the meal, but he first asked me, if I like pork more or beef. I answered him, that it does not matter, which one. He ordered Chamorro de puerco (leg of the pig, Schweinshaxe). It came grilled and was for two to three people. We had already begun to eat, when finally the friend arrived. We shared the meal and the beer with him.

In such cantinas always are TVs. One was directly in my direction. Even I tried to concentrate on my new friends, I was from time to time looking on the screen. A soccer game was shown between Chelsea and Barcelona. It ended 1:1. I also saw, that “Messi” played for Barcelona. Antonio and me shared the bill for the meal. He actually told me, it was the tip . He asked me for 50 MXN. Even home we took an Uber, but first we walked a while. During the walk I asked him, if the name Saltillo has to do with “sal”. He explained, that it comes from “salto”, which is well or spring. Salt ill means such a little one.  For the Uber I was in with 20 MXN again.

Before we were going to bed, he told me, that another girlfriend of him is a journalist and was wondering if I would be OK with, if she would write an article about me. I agreed with it. Though he added, that his girlfriend would come to his place the upcoming morning around 10am, but would call me first. Antonio was early to bed, because he had to work in Monterrey the next day. I have got messages from my upcoming host, first asking me, when I will arrive and later answering me, that he has to work between 2pm and 10pm, though he would arrange it, that I could come to him in the late afternoon, as I had answered him. I sent a new message to him, that I can arrive later and wait at the bus station for him, if he will pick me up there. He agreed.

 

22nd March 2018

I awoke at 6am of Antonio’s alarm clock and could not fall asleep again. Before he was leaving for work, we hugged good-bye. Afterwards I had breakfast, dressed, made my files and worked with my blog. The journalist did neither come nor call. After eating a sandwich and some papaya I left Antonio’s apartment at 1:30 pm and gave the key to the security guy.

By taxi I was going to the “Museo del Desierto”. The taxi driver did comb his hair with his fingers all the time. He was wearing his hair a little longer and it seemed, like he tried to impress me. His car made noises like a part, maybe the exhauster, maybe a part of the control system would be loosed soon. I was happy, when we arrived at the museum. The fee was 51 MXN, he told me, though I asked him, if he really said 51 MXN. When he confirmed the price I gave him 60 MXN instead and told him to keep the rest.

 

Just Arrived at the Museo del Desierto

 

I had to pay an admission fee of 120 MXN at the museum. I first was chocked – as usual, I still have to think about, how much it would be in SEK or EUR, to agree with the amounts to pay.  Actually I had not more to pay as 5.25 EUR, which it absolutely is worth it. My backpacks and other belongings were safe saved behind the information desk. I spent all the time in the museum until the museum closed down. On my way out I bought a coconut sweet of an old Mexican, because it seemed, he did not get sold much that day. Outside I enjoyed the view for a while, but did not find the way out, where the taxi had left me. Though I took all the way down through the park. By the ramp it was very easy and here I have to give the Mexicans an eloge. Even the pedestrians ways often have high edges, there are always ramps, which mostly also are in a different colour than the rest, often blue. This long ramp had the same colour as the rest, but there were no vehicles allowed in the area.

 

Dinosaurs at the Museo del Desierto

 

Down on the street I soon could stop a taxi. Meanwhile I often was going with the yellow ones before, this was another company, which had white cars. This one was a little better, than the other cabs I had used before. At the bus station I have got a little problem. The Omnibus of Mexico had a long queue and no departures to Monterrey were shown on the display, but after 8pm. I looked around and also asked at another counter, but I did not find another bus company going there. When it finally was my turn, the assistant told me, that she could not buy a ticket to me for the next bus. I have to stay close to the counter, so she can call me if she can sell me a seat, when the bus has arrived. I did not understand all what she told me, though I asked her, if she speaks english. She did not. A young woman came to my help, explained the situation for me and told me, that the “Frontera” bus company is gong there as well and that it also is a little cheaper. I thanked that woman and was going to the counter of the Frontera. Asking for a ticket to Monterrey, it was easily done. Anyway I was wondering, that I did get a ticket for the bus, which should already had left the terminal, but when I came outside, it was still there. I entered and was happy, that I did have both seats for myself. Short time after me, the helpful woman entered as well. She should have taken a seat behind me, but that was already occupied. Though she asked me, if it was OK, that she used the seat closest to me, which I only could answer with a “yes”. She was really pleasant and told me, that she was from Chile, but had lived and worked in Brazil and are working in Mexico now. She added, that she would like to go to Europe, but that she does not have a chance to get a working visa. Furthermore she explained, that Saltillo and Monterrey are commuter towns. Many people from both towns are commuting to the other one for work. Therefore it is so hard to get a ride between the named stations. She still lives in Monterrey, but got a job in Saltillo. She has four hours travel to her work, which she began just this day and will look for an apartment in Saltillo soon. I think, my guardian angel has done a good work again 😉.

Before we arrived in Monterrey I could see a lot of real mountains, but I still had to give attention to the woman from Chile, though I could not really enjoy them. In addition to that, it was getting dark now.

For my happy days in Monterrey please click the following link: Nuevo Leon.

 

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25th Nov 2018

I was back in Torreón, coming from Durango by bus. I have had a good time there and was no going to a host, who invited me for 5 nights, but changed the day before my arrival to 3 nights. Though I was a little unsure, what I had to expect. Ofelia, my new host, messaged me, that she will leave her home, when I was around an hour away from Torreón, even I had already messaged her my arrival time. She changed her mind and told me, she will be waiting for me at home.

I took a taxi and showed him the address of Ofelia. Unfortunately he did not really now, where the colonia (suburb) was, but was close to it, when he asked people on the street. Not knowing the colonia means also, not knowing the street, where he had to bring me. I am always “pissed off”, when I have to pay for the missing knowledge of the taxi drivers. This time I had to pay 80 MXN and I think it was not only for he did not directly drive to the right address but also an extra tax for tourists – as it is quite common here in Mexico.

Ofelia and her 10-year-old daughter welcomed me. Already in the first hour we were talking about the length of the stay and Ofelia told me, that I could stay all the five days, if I do not find another place. Her two aunts were visiting as well and one of them told me, that I now have friends in Torreón. By the way I chose to visit Torreón one more time, because I did not have the possibility to see all the things I would like to see last time I have been here. Even I plan to come back to Mexico in April, it will be a bigger detour that time to Torreón as it is this time. Though I changed my plans a little, even depending on, that I did not get hosts in Colima, and put in 5 days for Torreón in my itinerary.

Ofelia is a single mother and working full-time as a teacher and trainer for psychology. She took her master degree, while she had to care about her daughter and is very proud of it, what I also would be. She had some household work to do, but asked me about my plans for Torreón. I told her, that I am very interested in to see the statue “Cristo de las Noas”, even I do not have any faith. I also found out that evening, that there is a cable car going up there. She did offer me, to go there this evening. When I told her, that it will be dark before we come there and hard to take photos, she did not answer it. Though we were going by her car close to the ground station of the cable car and well at the station we had to queue for a long while (the queue for the cashier had not been long, but the one for the cable car was). Finally at the top and close to the statue it was dark. I tried to take some photos anyway. Unfortunately they do not have good quality.

 

Cristo de las Noas

 

Behind the statue is a church – a really modern one. There was a service ongoing – with the doors wide open, though we could take a look in, but I could not take a photo. Close to the statue is an area called “Tierra Santa” where there are different places telling about the life and death of Jesus Christ as well as his ascension. I asked Ofelia, whom had initiated all this and she told me, it has been a priest.

When we started on our way down, a wind called “tierra” was blowing up. It brings dust from the soil like a sandstorm brings sand. It became very cold by the wind and all the people at the top tried to come down by the cable car, though the queue was very long again. There were people, who tried to go further in the queue, but we hold our place. Actually Ofelia and her daughter were freezing more than me, even they had hoods respectively a scarf. My jacket does unfortunately not have and I regretted again, that I did not buy that woolen cape with hood in Michoacán.

Down again, Ofelia drove with us to a taco bar. I told her, that I would like to sit inside or to take it home. She looked for one, where we could sit inside, but it was not very warm there. She asked me, what I would like to eat and I decided to have taco asados. These tacos have no pork meat and are not spicy. She told me to sit down with her daughter and ordered the meals. When we were served, I became aware, that she had ordered five tacos for me and three for her daughter. She herself had ordered another kind of and only two of them, but hers came with double bread. She put a lot of Guacamole on the tacos and salsas as well. I could not eat five tacos, of course, though I gave away two of them. One ate Ofelia and one her daughter. I paid for my tacos as well as for my water.

Afterwards we were going home to them and were quite soon to bed after I had asked her for a laundry and she had told me, that I could make my laundry at her home. She has a washing machine (but unfortunately no dryer). It was cold and she told me, that I can sleep in her daughter’s bed (which has Queen bed size), because her daughter will sleep in the same bed like her, to hold each other warm. Though I joked, that I would like to share the bed with her daughter. Fortunately there are enough of covers in the daughter’s bed, though I was warm anyway. Torreón has a totally other climate than the states of Colima and Sinaloa (coast), because it is higher up and has mountains. Here are not only the nights cold, but also the day temperature is not rising so much like e.g. in Durango.

 

Night Gown

 

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26th Nov 2018

It is Monday and the only choice to do some sightseeing would be to go to the parks. Instead I was staying in the house – most of the time in the bed, and updated my blog. I was very happy to have time for it and also about the Internet connection, because it was uploading photos and videos much quicker than at the other places this month.

Around 3pm I finally had finished the site of Durango and was going out to eat something. I tried to find something close to the house. There was an ice cream parlor, which announced they had waffles. Unfortunately that was not true. They also offered on the menu a kind of sandwich, but did not have them either. I had a big ice cream instead. It was delicious, but actually in warmer weather I had enjoyed it even more. I was back to Ofelia’s home before she came home for work, because she had left her keys to me.

 

The Little Park Between Ofelia’s Home and the Ice Cream Parlor

 

Ofelia had to go to the grocery and to pick up her daughter from school, where she also has had an afternoon course. There was no detergent for the laundry at home, but a big supermarket not far away. Ofelia actually drove me close to it, but I had to walk back. I did not mind, because one way was for around 20 minutes and I already tried to walk there, when she offered me to drive me there. Well in the supermarket I made a little bigger shopping, because I needed tissues again and I used the opportunity to buy ingredients for meatballs, which I had offered her – hoping she happily will let me stay for all the five days. I have had other contacts for Torreón on couch surfing, one of them as well inviting me, but he has a dog in his house and I am fed up of animals so close around me. Ofelia actually has four dogs, but they are all in the garden and very easy to handle. Though there are no problem for me.

The dinner was ready when I was coming back and afterwards we were talking about traveling and my blog and especially Belize. Ofelia got interested in the Maya homestay and I told her more of it and showed her my pictures on my blog. I also told her, that she could contact the project and that the email address to the project was on my blog, but detected, it was not. Though I added it (I still have saved the conversation in my emails, though it was easy for me to add the email address).

Afterwards she had to help her daughter with the homework for school. I did the dishes and had then answer her daughter’s question, which was part of the homework. She had to ask three different people about, what they think about corruption and cheating. There were around ten questions to answer. It was past 10pm, when we were going to bed. We had forgotten the laundry, but Ofelia showed me, how her washing machine is working. It was becoming very cold this evening and Ofelia actually has a gas heater on wheels, which she put between our rooms, though we should get some warm all of us. She switched it of after midnight a little afraid, that it was not save enough to have it on all the night.

 

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27th Nov 2018

This was a lost day! I made my laundry in the morning, which took three to four hours. I tried to save time, but even that I started with the laundry before I dressed and had breakfast, I was hanging my clean clothes on the cloth line around 12pm. I had been out on the backyard twice or three times before this morning, but when the washing machine finally had finished its job, I unfortunately locked me out and I did not find a spare key either. That it happened, was depending on the dogs, because they have to stay outside, but always try to come inside, when one open the door to the backyard. This time I was not careful enough and the door closed. There were no possibility to get out of the backyard, but by that door and I did not have my cell phone in my pocket for the reason, that I did not expect, that the door would be locked.

I was waiting together with the dogs, which tried to play with me – with a ring to throw and one also laid her legs on me. The little dog tried to hope on me, because I was sitting in a garden chair. I was happy, I did not need to stand up all the time. I hoped, Ofelia would be back between 4pm and 5pm, but she did not. I also was thinking about the front door, if it was possible to open it, because the key was in the lock, but that one was not locked, though it should work.

I was banking that metal door to the backyard from time to time, especially when it had become dark. I thought, I had heard Ofelia coming, but she did not open. Actually she had been at home, even later than usual, because she had been at her aunt to get the spare keys. When she returned, she was going to the neighbor. Luckily the neighbor heard me and therefore Ofelia came home and opened that backdoor for me. Soon afterwards we had the dinner and the evening was filled with her daughters homework and I was on twitter for a short while before I was going to bed, because I felt cold. Ofelia also gave me another cover, though she would be sure, that I am not freezing.

 

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28th Nov 2018

I was going downtown by bus, what was for 11 MXN. Ofelia had explained very well, where I could catch the bus and where I could leave. Therefore it was easy this day. I walked first the Plaza Mayor, where the federal government has a building and there is another, very modern building, where the government of Coahuila has it seat. I have not been to that place last time I have been in Torreón. It was nice to see. I did not remember either the signs and the street to the Plaza de Armas (the main square). I was on my way to that square, because I would like to see the “Canal de la Perla” – a tunnel and the Museo Arocena, both close to it. When I was on the Plaza Mayor, I did not see the signs and asked a man, who was the driver for a sightseeing bus. He was very polite and kind and spoke some English as well. He explained a lot for me and I had to remember him, that I only would like to know the direction.

 

Canal de la Perla

 

It is a quite long distance between both squares. Finally at the main square I did not see, where the entrance for the tunnel is and had to ask around. The explanation was not really exact, but I did find it anyway and went underground. The tunnel is some kilometers long, but one is only allowed to see a short bit of it and in that one are exhibitions. On the right hand side from the entrance, there were the history of the town and the tunnel on very big newspaper sides, which were photographed and put on durable backgrounds. Unfortunately the letters were in an old style, which were hard to read. On the left hand side was an exhibition about the Holocaust with photos and explanations. It was very well done. At the end was also a screen with the explanations about the reasons for people leaving Dafur, Syria and one more country as refugees. It was clearly stated, that there was only one reason for all of them – the wars!

 

Exhibition About the Holocaust

 

Well at the ground again I was looking for a restaurant, because I was hungry now. I saw a paper shop and bought envelopes, because I will soon send some friends all the postcards with views I have collected. The envelopes I bought before, are too small. In the building of the museum called “Museo Arocena” is also a café and I ate a cheese fondue with Chorizo as well as I had a bottle of water. After the meal I went to the entrance for the museum. There were a sign, that I had to pay 30 MXN (general entrance fee), but there were also lower fees – for elderly and disabled only with the Mexican ID-card. I was awaiting to pay 30 MXN and paid with a 200 MXN-note. The guard asked me, if I do not have the exact fee, but I answered him: “No”. He gave me 190 MXN back, whereof three 50 MXN-notes and the rest in coins, no 10 pesos-coin.

 

Windows of the Historical House

 

The museum had different exhibitions about historic and art. It was shown in different ways like one plan of the house of the family, who donated  the museum a lot of art. The artifacts were both from Mexico and Europe. When I did not take a look at the art from Europe, the security man told me, I should, though I explained for him, that I am from Europe and know it well. Another guard was very keen in, that I was going to the house of the family. I did, because I did not know, what will be shown here. Actually it was like a European home, because this family have had the opportunity to buy their furniture in Europe – it was especially imported from England. At the end I was asked to write down not only my name and the place I come from, but also a comment about the exhibitions. I made it in Spanish and hoped, they will understand.

I took the bus home to my host and bought even a little bottle of detergent for the dishes, because the household had run out of it and I usually make their dishes in the evening. Well at my host’s home I took my dry clothes from the line and put them inside. They felt cold and because I was not really sure, they were dry enough for my backpack, I put them on a sofa in the living room. On the other sofa my host had washed and dry clothes from two days before.

This evening I cooked Swedish meatballs for all of us. Even Ofelia’s daughter liked them. She told me, that she usually is not happy in meat, but that she likes the meatballs and that they are “muy rica”, which means delicious. Ofelia was happy about it and I wrote down the recipe for her. She told me, that she is not keen in to blend grounded meat and I told her, that she could use one-time-plastic-gloves for it. She answered me, that her daughter likes to work with it. She usually blends the grounded meat for the “albondigas” (cooked meatballs) and that she loves it. I have got the impression, that she is working too much with it and told Ofelia, that it is important to not overdo the blending, because it will become dry – actually they become something like leathery, but I did not remember that word in English. Ofelia now understood, why their cooked meatballs always became that.

Even this evening I was quite early to bed, because of the cold, but I was on the Internet and tried to find out, how to go to Mapimi in the state of Durango. I did not really find it, but understood, that I have to go to the state of Durange – the closest town is Gomez Palacio, not more far away, then the downtown of Torreón.

 

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29th Nov 2018

After breakfast I took a taxi to the central station of Gomez Palacio for saving time. I had hopped, that there was a direct bus nearby from my host, but was told, that I first had to go to the city center and there I could catch a bus for Gomez Palacio. That would have taken a long time. Well at that central station, I asked for a bus to Mapimi, but was explained, that there is no bus from the bus station to that destination. The last sales assistant i asked, told me, that I had to go downtown, to the street “Madero”. This time I took a bus and was going by it to a bus station in town. When I just had started reading the list about the destination a young man asked me, where I want to go and I told him to Mapimi. He answered, that the bus for Mapimi is going from the Av. Madero and that it is a yellow bus.

I walked to that street and asked people, which stop that bus will go from and finally I was told I have to go to a (pedestrians) bridge. So I did. There I asked a man, if I was right and she told me, I was. This man did talk with another man, who sold bus tickets, and left than. The seller promised me to get me on the right bus and told me also, that the next one will be for 11:30am, which was soon. There were no bus for Mapimi, but 15 minutes late. The ticket seller was asking the bus driver something and told me then, that it was not the right bus for me. The right bus would be white and does not have a nose, he told me – which means, not the engine in front of the screen. – Most of the Urban buses were old school buses with the engine in front of the screen. The ticket seller did similar with the bus, who arrived an hour later. It was really sunny and warm and that man hat also offered me water of his water bottle, which I did not accept.

I was waiting for around another hour, before the ticket seller told me, there are only two buses a day for Mapimi. It was already 2pm or even a little later and I answered him, that I, in that case, won’t find a bus back to Gomez Palacio this day from Mapimi. The ticket seller was surprised, that I planned to come back the same day – even I did not have any backpack or other bag with me. I was very disappointed, but I had already been hungry for a while, though I found a place, selling gorditas. I had two and a bottle of water for as little as 26 MXN.

Before going back by bus to Torreón, I took a look at the city of Gomez Palacio as well as I had a big ice cream for only 10 MXN. I left the bus in Torreón around half an hours walk from my host’s house and walked then all the way to her. It was still daylight, when I arrived.

Ofelia made quesadillas for the evening meal, because she had a hurry. She had an appointment. She had planned to have her daughter with her, but she was not happy at all at it. She was crying. Finally Ofelia asked me, if I will leave the house one more time this evening or stay at home. I told her, that I will stay at home, though she asked me, if I could take care about her daughter. It was not a big job. The daughter would do her homework and afterwards watch TV. I answered, that this, of course, was OK for me. Her daughter became very happy. Ofelia left the house around half an hour later.

Her sisters were calling soon afterwards and talked with her daughter, who explained to me, that they will pick us up to take us to another sister of them, who celebrates her birthday this evening. I asked, if that sister was OK with, that I follow and was answered, that she will be happy to get to know me. Ofelia sisters (her daughters aunts) were picking us up soon in a big car. There were already another, much younger sister and her son in the backseat, but there was not problem to get room for us. On the way to the birthday party, one of the aunts did buy Coca-Cola and bottled water. They also stopped one more time to pick up the birthday cake in a rectangle shape. It was a really big one. I asked, how old the aunt became and was told 65. Though I asked, if she is retired and the answer was yes.

Well at the aunt’s place, whose birthday it was, they had to get her out of the bed. She seemed to be much older than 65. There were more women with children arriving. We just got room in the kitchen / all-room in that apartment. The women with the car have had “tamales” with them and all of us had one or two. There were tamales with chilly and sweet tamales (with nuts). I had one of the sweet and it was delicious. It was the first time I could see, how to eat tamales the Mexican way. They take all the corn leave off and take the rest in her hand, eating it like a sandwich.

The old woman had not enough with dishes, though one of her sisters did make the dishes between eating the tamales and having the cake. All of the plates the elder sister owned, were used, independent of the size. The cake was presented the old woman with a firework – one, which sent very small stars in the air. One of the sisters with the car did then cut the cake, put pieces on plates and gave to all of us. The birthday aunt was getting the first piece, of course. She got a big one! We had all ready finished to eat, but she had not eaten much of her cake. She got medicine of her sister as well. I have got to know, that the woman had become 80 years old. That explained a lot to me.

After the celebration, which was only for around one hour, the aunts with the car did drive Ofelia’s daughter and me back home, but made a detour throughout the city though I could see the Christmas lights, which were nice, but only in the little city center.

Ofelia’s daughter was going to bed directly, but left the light on in her room. I did not switch it of, because her mother was not at home yet and I thought, the girl might need the light to feel safe. I was to bed as well. I awoke as usual two or three times during the night, but could not see, that Ofelia was home.

For more photos of Torreón, please click here.

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30th Nov 2018

I could not find Ofelia in the house in the morning, but her car was outside. Therefore I messaged her, when I was ready to go. My destination was Zacatecas, the last of the Mexican states I had not seen yet. It was also time to get ready for her daughter for school, but I was not sure, if she would not start later this day. I thought, Ofelia had said something about it, the evening before. Ofelia answered me quite soon and told me, that she was on the way back home again. It sounded, like she had been already there earlier in the morning, but she did not look like that, when she arrived, brought by another car.

I took good-bye of both (her daughter just awoke). Ofelia tried to order a taxi for me, but all were occupied. Though I was going to the nearby road. Actually I could catch a taxi very soon. I had to put my luggage on the back seat – it was such a little car with no real baggage space. The driver did not help me. Anyway I arrived at the bus station around 8:30am and bought a ticket for a bus leaving at 9am. Between Torreón and Zacatecas are direct buses, but they stop a lot of times on the way. Therefore it takes around seven hours to go from Torreón to Zacatecas. It is also only one bus company, which serve this route. Luckily it is the Omnibus de Mexico, though I get my ticket for half price again. It was for 362 MXN, even including a bottle of water and a sandwich.

To get to know more about this trip to Zacatecas and read about my days in the state of Zacatecas, please follow the link.