Friday, December 23, 2011

My Christmas Story

This city, and the people whom we have met here, never cease to amaze me.

Years ago, when we first came to Mazatlan, we lived in a little house on Azueta, and didn't have internet or a telephone. When we needed to use the internet we took Abi and walked to Fish Taco where we were able access WiFii.

Telephones were a bit trickier. We bought long distance calling cards at the local pharmacies and then found public telephones along the street. It was all a bit tricky as often the telephones did not work, or the traffic noises were so loud we couldn't hear. After much trial and error we discovered a telephone outside a small hospital several blocks from the house. It was our first full term visit and we called home regularly, much more than we do now. We spent a lot of time at that telephone, reassuring our family that we really were fine, and incredibly happy!

After several weeks of standing on the side of the street, hollering into the phone, the homeowner of the house across the street wandered over and offered us the use of his Vonage phone. He had seen us out there, often, and took pity on us.

However, at the time we had no idea what a Vonage phone was. Nor did we have any idea how open and generous people are to strangers in Mazatlan. We never did take him up on his offer, and shortly afterwords, moved up the hill to the Casita, where we had both a Vonage phone, and the internet. But, I always remembered him.

Last night we attended a party to celebrate Hannukah and it was a simply amazing evening. We ate latkes, and way too much other food, listened to some wonderful music, and also, as a group, made our own. It was a wonderful chance to learn more about the customs and traditions of our Jewish friends and we had a marvelous time.

However, imagine our surprise when we arrived at the house, which we had never before visited, to discover that it was THAT house!

The hunt for a telephone and the kindness of the man who offered the use of his has always been one of my fondest memories of our first months in Mazatlan. And now it is one of my Christmas stories.

I don't think it matters if you are Christian and celebrate Christmas, or Jewish and celebrate Hannukah. It also doesn't matter if you are Muslim, Hindu or Agnostic.

It's just all about being kind, caring and considerate, and helping out in any way you can.

So, to all, in whatever language you speak, and whatever religion you practice, "Peace on Earth and Love to All".

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