Paseo Colon

Every Sunday morning Clazada Cristobal Colón, one of the main avenues of the town center (el centro), is closed to motor traffic for about eight blocks and opened to pedestrians, skaters, and babies in strollers.  Starting at 9 a.m., there are art exhibits, music events, car shows, and an antiques market. There are kids' basketball…

La Plaza Mayor

"La Plaza Mayor" just means the main square of the town. The one in Madrid is one hectare (10,000 square meters) big. The tourism website for Torreón describes this main plaza as 12,000 square meters. I didn't measure it, but I guess it is about like a square city block. It was finished in 1914.…

Evening Storm

In Louisiana, it rains a lot.  In El Norte, not much. In fact, from November to February, there was one evening shower at my house. But one evening, I was caught in a storm. As I was getting ready to close the kitchen for the night, I realized that I didn't have enough coffee for…

Sunrise

The morning after the karaoke party, having been awake since three o'clock, I was ready for breakfast by seven. And I was out of eggs. So I got dressed and went to 7-Eleven. When I stepped out into the street, I could feel the sea. It was like being next to a beach. Of course…

Tamales

On a Sunday morning, my landlady opened the foyer door and called out, "Miss?" She does this sometimes because it's easier than tapping on the door and waiting from me to run downstairs and unlock it. Usually, she is bringing me food. On this particular weekend, she and the family had been to a party…

Sleep Schedules

The karaoke party started at three a.m. Maybe it's my Northern European genes, but my body thinks--nay, truly believes--that it should be resting when it's dark outside.  I go to bed too early and wake up too early for a part of the continent where people don't eat dinner until ten o'clock at night. So…

La Plaza de Armas

"The Plaza de Armas (literally Weapons Square, but better translated as Parade Square or parade ground) is the name for the main square in many Hispanic American cities. .  . While some large cities have both a Plaza de Armas and a Plaza Mayor, in most cities those are two names for the same place."…

January

January is a miserable month in Louisiana. In the first place, there's the big let-down because all the excitement of Christmas is over. The tree comes down January 7 (if not a lot sooner), there's a depressing can or box of crumbly fudge or cookies still lingering on the table, and there's no money left.…

Worthiness

I actually worked today. On a Sunday. Last semester, I stayed late at school three days a week. I knew I wouldn't work at home, so I stayed at school for the late bus almost every day it was available. By the time November arrived, I was too exhausted and burned out to drag myself…

Desperados Waiting for a Plane

Coming back to Mexico from Christmas vacation, I had planned to leave at 4 a.m. to catch a flight at 6:10 to Dallas, make my connection there, and be back in Torreón by two o'clock. Then I'd have time to unpack and go to the supermarket and the next day, run errands and go to…