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The heat kills.  enough heat and humidity in just a short walk to be totally wiped out. The idyllic house by the ocean had its problems:  hundreds of beachgoers appeared in July, and they loomed up close to the huge glass windows which serve as walls.  Garbage overflowed the one big bin near the little store.  Every morning the restaurant workers patiently raked the sand clean of garbage.

Then there was the lack of water. the muncipal pump broke down. For weeks it only worked sporadically. Each house has a holding tank for water. After several weeks, a city truck began coming by to fill the tanks.  Only we never knew when it might show up. If I failed to hear it on the street or wasn't home, then there would be no water at all.

The darkness at night began to get me. That is, the house is huge, with a low ceiling and unfinished concrete floor, unfinished sheetrock for the ceiling. and about three naked light bulbs for illumination. 

 Finally, I left. But I came back each night to keep the cat company.  I fell in love with the cat, a white partially Siamese cat, I think. She was tender, tentative, inquisitive, and so well bred, so elegant, and she would look at me with so much intelligence and curiosity in her eyes.  I miss her. I  miss the waves.  The sound of the waves. the nearness of the ocean.

The owner returned. And it all has begun to recede like a dream into  the mist of memory. And I miss this house enormously, and wish I had stayed longer.  Perhaps it is my own restlessness, my inner tormentor.  Although I have meditated for so many years, there is so much left to learn.  The house had a magical quality.  The present and past collide with conflicting images, and in the end memory reconstructs something altogether different.

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So, Maria, does this entry

So, Maria, does this entry mean that you have come back to America, or gone somewhere else? What's up? As I think I wrote you before you left, the West Coast of Mexico is best in the Autumn, Winter, and Spring. In those months, little humidity will bother you. As I said, too, my plan was always to go to Mazatlan. It is a resort city, but more for the middle class. Americans and Europeans visit, and a foreign colony is evident because, if one stays away from the Doraado, where the American and European luxury hotels are, prices are cheaper. You could rent on the opposite end Mazatlan for a few hundred dollars a month, and you would have all of the amenities nearby. Water systems that worked, maid and laundry service, inexpensive restaurants, groceries and various household items in El Centro, a perimeter bus for only centavos to take you there and back, medical and dental care at a fraction of what we pay here, and ten miles of beaches. I stayed for several periods at the Hotel Belmar, on the edge of the elegantly restored Ciudad Viejo for between twenty and twenty-five dollars a night. A sidewalk breakfast/lunch place was next door, a little bar attached to the hotel, a night club nearby, the sea at my feet. It was all you were seeking in Mexico, without the hassle. And except at Carnival, plenty of solitude, if you wanted that. Prices have no doubt risen, and other beach cities, newer ones, perhaps, may have similar advantages, but I liked the old-fashioned qualities of Mazatlan. Let me know what you are up to. Macresarf1 -- Glenn Anders -- Alex Fraser

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Dear Alex,

Mazatlan sounds wonderful. I was there years ago over Christmas and loved it. I think I remember the Hotel Belmar and noting it for future reference. Maybe I shall go there. Meanwhile, I am in an apartment about 6 miles away from Cuastecomate - a place I lived in 5 years ago. so it is familiar. all my baggage is here: printer, computer, with wifi, etc and it is a hassle to move. so I won't for a while.  At the end of September I wil l bein in the mountain city of Patzcuaro for a week at a Buddhist Center, where I will help staff a conference.

After that - who knows? I am thinking of the mountain city of Colima, also of Xoaxaca - as I want to learn much more Spanish, more about literature, culture, and separate myself a bit from the beach - tourist crowd, although it is hard and lonely.

Meanwhile I continue writing....maybe one day we will both be in Mazatlan! It sounds like a wonderful place to go for a vacation, and maybe longer.

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I Am Heartened, Maria:

You seem to know where you are going, and how to get there. I look forward to more reports on your activities. Alex Macresarf1 -- Glenn Anders -- Alex Fraser