“Peeescaaadooo!' The call is loud and booming. It is the local fish vendor coming up the street with his wheelbarrow full of tilapia and carp caught from Lake Chapala. He comes complete with knife, plastic bags and heavily stained plywood in order to fillet the fresh catch of the day.
“Whiiistttlle!” The distinctive ,sharp, rising and falling sound of a whistle blows out across the street as the local knife sharpener walks up the street with his hand powered grinding wheel tucked under one arm.
“ZetaGaaaassss!” booms out from a loudspeaker of a lumbering gas truck as it trundles up a narrow cobblestone street.
“Aguaaaa! Aguaaaa San Migeeel!”, sounds loudly from the other direction at the cross street as a passing bottled water truck makes it's way slowly around a corner.
“BOOOOM!! BOOOOM!!” Another couple cohetes blast above your head as these sonic fireworks are released from a stick by a man at the head of a marching procession.
These are just a few of the many distinctive sounds of village life in Ajijic. It's music to my ears!
All these sounds mingle harmoniously with the fruit vendor loudspeaker announcing a fresh truckload of pineapple, strawberry and raspberries; church bells; the clippity clop of horses hooves; and shouts of “buenos dias” as friends and neighbors greet each other throughout the morning. It's a kaleidoscope of color, sounds, and activity. This is Ajijic, Mexico!
Along with the sounds is the visual wonder of the murals that adorn the plaster and brick walls of buildings, concrete planters, light posts and trees. These murals often change so that if you visited one year, the town can look completely different the next time you come back. The murals depict scenes of mythological gods, nature, history or sometimes, are just fun collages of color. This is Ajijic, Mexico!
The village has it's own rhythm, it's own cadence. Taco stands open at certain hours on certain days and in certain places. Girls are often seen braiding each others' hair outside their homes, an elderly grandmother sits on a plastic chair outside with them. Fiesta's, weddings, quinceanera's, funeral processions all ebb and flow throughout the village as the local Mexican population lives out their lives. This is Ajijic, Mexico!
Some visitors to our town only see the restaurants, boutique stores and art shops along Colon Street when they come for a visit, but there is lots more going on that's sometimes missed.
Ajijic is first and foremost a tiny, rural fishing village. Always was and always will be. No matter how many gingos eventually settle here. This is the enduring charm of Ajijic. It is the reason so many of us 'northerners' come and settle here. For a more relaxed pace of life complete with all it's color and culture.
If you have not yet experienced the pure uniqueness and excitement of village life on Lake Chapala, I invite you to come on down and I will give you a tour of the area. As always, thanks for reading and I hope to see you Lakeside soon.