The former owners of our house left us what I thought was a dieffenbachia. I looked up dieffenbachia just now and discovered I was completely wrong, though dieffenbachias do grow here. The plant we have was languishing from lack of sunshine, so Jim moved it outside where it has flourished and is now small tree-sized and looking anxiously to be transplanted in the ground. It is still confined to the pot in which it was languishing. So we will. Anyway, today on our walk, I realized that this plant grows as trees in the countryside around us. There they were, leaning over just waiting for us to realize they were siblings of our house plant. What are they called?
Our house plant/tree.
The Bodega Aurrera opened near the glorieta in Coatepec on the Xico side of the main road, as I mentioned a couple of posts ago. We ventured into it Saturday. It is as I suspected: large, colorless, dull. As Jim says, it pretty much looks like a big Aldi's. I don't even know if Aldi's exists anymore in the US. It is/was a chain of stores offering reduced quality stuff at reduced prices, and it did nothing to make you feel happy to be in one of the outlets. Bodega Aurrera's non-food stuff looked to be a cheaper version of what Chedraui offers. The foods were not much different in price--often just a matter of a few cents, and I mean Mexican cents. Some friends are glad to have something on the main road so they can avoid the traffic going to Chedraui. They work late at night sometimes and I can see the advantage of having a place to just drop in, especially since they have a fairly twisty route the rest of the way home. I'd rather spend a few extra pesos at tiendas near our house. At least more of the profits go into local hands. But maybe these workers get health benefits. Are they part-time or full-time workers? Or perhaps double time? I don't know. I am cynical.
The one good thing you can say about Bodega Aurrera is that whoever designed it took greenery into a little bit of account (in spite of destroying a nice hunk of pure greenery). The parking lot is paved with perforated bricks which allow grass to grow and water to drain and some (little) trees dot the intersices between parking rows.
A road (I guess paved) is planned from maybe Xico to maybe Cosautlan or maybe Teocelo or Cordoba (in Veracruz...). Or maybe all three places. Or none. We were just talking to local people so I don't really know. I DO know that the bridge looks like it could be four lanes, that they will have to cut away some of the countryside for part of the road since the bridge pilings are constructed in such a way that it couldn't be accessed from the existing road, and that the workers are understandably proud of the job they are doing. The old bridge was really just a one car wide very basic causeway with drainage pipes underneath that sometimes got plugged. In the rainy season it was often impassable. But it didn't disturb the beauty of the place.
View from near the old bridge from 2010.
I don't really like to condemn this road building, especially if it helps lower- and middle-class Mexicans improve their lot in life and if it helps them do so while staying near where they came from, which many really prefer to do.
Jim, Happy and Daisy on remains of old bridge with new bridge rising. Detritus fills the right side, bloccking much of the stream's channel.
Construction work mixes old and new methods.
A giant funnel and a homemade ladder.
Construction workers pause for a picture. They are constructing flats to hold poured concrete in place.
You can see one of the flats sticking out on the right side of the bridge construction.
A lot of rebar goes into this bridge. Below are some varieties.
Thus far, two enormous trees have been victims of the construction. Their skeletons lie in the stream to the left of the old bridge, an area which has not, as of yet, been filled with building junk. New life is springing from one of them.