Thursday, February 14, 2008

dia del amistad

When we first came to Mexico 25 years ago there was no hint of anything remotely resembling Valentine's Day. Now the shops are jammed with cards, candy, teddy bears, and assorted heart-shaped trinkets to honor the day. But they call it Dia de la Amistad, Friendship Day, instead. Tonight Fernando and Chuy are hosting a little dinner for their gringo "family"; the Patient and I, Marie, Liz and Jack. We'll feast on their wonderful fish dishes, salsa, guacamole and salad down at Dago's on the beach. I can't think of a nicer way to mark the date.

The crew has started work on the bathroom. First thing completed is the new glass wall in the shower. When I saw it yesterday I asked them to "step" the blocks down. It looks much better this way, plus it gives me a couple of built-in "shelves". If I were doing this construction this wall would be the last thing to go up. It seems to me it will be in the way as they work on the surrounding walls and the shower floor. Since I am not in charge of this project I do not mention these little oddities.

I laid out the wall tile pattern ~ a border of tiles around the perimeter, with cream tiles to the floor below and to the ceiling above. There is another pattern that goes on the sink cabinet and around the medicine cabinet. Then the ceramic items like soap dish, towel rack holders, TP holder all get inset into the tiles. And these things go on after the tile is laid. They chip away the spot and stick it on. I don't know why they do it that way; seems backwards to me.

The floor tiles in the living room and on the 2nd floor terrazzo are almost finished. This is a shot from the front door through the now-vacant front sliders out onto the balcony and the sparkling blue Pacific beyond. The large palm usually goes in the living room but i sort of like it out on the balcony. The wind, dust and salt would kill it a two weeks, however. It's never been out in the big world.

Last night the Wednesday Night Ladies Domino Club offered a welcome distraction from the day's frustrations. Apparently there are no Tlaxcala caffe colored tiles to be had anywhere within 300 miles of here. Unless, of course, you have the luxury of waiting for a month. I do not. We went to five tile places in Colima, incljuding the one Garza sent us to, on the great tile hunt and came home empty-handed. Well, not quite. The rustico tiles we ordered a month ago had arrived so we picked them up. We can cross that off the list.

As a last ditch effort we went in to Tecoman to the place we bought the bathroom wall tiles to see if they had small (11 x 11 cm or even 10 x 10cm) ceramic tiles. Yes, the do but not the color I need. The idea was that in a pinch we could use them and just increase slightly the grout seams to accommodate the difference in size. Nothing. So as far as I'm concerned, the list is complete. I'm not looking any further. I talked to the tile layer and told him to do the best he can with what he has and whatever it turns out to be will be fine with me. And it will. I am so grateful and impressed by the fine job these guys are doing. Each of them is a craftsman in his own right and together they produce a result of which they can be mighty proud.


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