20160210, Hotels and street scenes, San Juan Lagos

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Looking up what I call hotel row. There hotels every where! If I walk up this street, major Mexican banks, nice restaurants, etc. Copyright Vanderhoof Photography 2016

I go up the street most every day, till the officer doing the traffic control.

In this shot we are looking up what I call hotel row, a street I know that if you go up it, the banks are up there, restaurants and more high end tourist hotels are there.
I am just walking through the area, hitting “hip shots” as I walked.
I carry my camera in the crock of my arm or in my left hand at gut or chest level, most the time. right hand is also held up. Simply a change in habit, due to the increase in pain in my right shoulder area.
I have my tripod on the right side so the strap pulls on the left shoulder, also to reduce the right side loading.
So shots are a bit higher, and the camera is much safer in the crowds.
This is Wens afternoon, just a couple hours ago…
Last night the church bells were tolling every so often, half hour maybe, but would ring for like 5 minutes each time… It started as I was going into the plaza so I didn’t think much till it didn’t stop for several minutes.
Yes, I’ll shoot the bells, 2 towers, 2 or 3 bells per tower, do a separate post.
However this is a slow day in town, kind of a Monday, people around, stores open, not a big money making day. Good to shoot the territory during the lull.

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yeah, in English, “Bar, Billards”

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turn down a corner and there is a Santander Bank…

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yes, 350 pesos… 16 pesos to the US $, so about $21 US per night.

and now for some LOCAL COLOR!!!

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Corner after corner, street after street…. remember this is a very slow time… Copyright Vanderhoof Photography 2016

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In this shot, PLEASE NOTICE, the motor scooter passing a young lady, ( it’s tail light is on) and you will see that family walking towards the motor scooter on the other side of the street. Not even flinching, yes I am that bold too… if you walk with me I will keep you in sight, don’t try to walk like me and these people if you are “AFRAID”. Just be aware of yourself and surrounding and walk “SAFELY”. Listen to vehicles coming, look over your shoulder, don’t stop and turn around! If it sounds TOO close, get out of the way! Even between parked scooters for a 2nd to look back is safer.

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If you don’t like the looks of one church or it is too crowded, just walk a block or 2.

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the plaza, when you can see the tiles… Copyright Vanderhoof Photography 2016

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yep, the front of the big church on the plaza. Copyright Vanderhoof Photography 2016

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Sorry for the blurry shots, but a common stall. Not brave enough to stop at one yet. Will try to get a shot of the women with tastes of caramel of a stick, a local favorite!!!!

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Walking by this street so often, just liked the view, on the top of the hill is the sign welcoming Pope John Paul. Copyright Vanderhoof Photography 2016

SPECIAL NOTE: United States tourists and others, please remember that these LOCAL Poeple are poor people. (I spend a lot of time explaining the cost of my tools or other things to the people I live with. My laptop costs more than people in my courtyard will understand, they can’t concept that much, 55,000 – 60,000 pesos. I pulled out some photos, the idea it cost me 150 peso to make one of those photos, they are scared to have take their photos taken. “I can’t pay that much money!!!”) Now that is not to say there is no money here. The big businesses and banks, the number of hotels and venders says someone is making money.

1. Carry some money in different pockets, a easy handful of coins in one, I put folded 20, 50 and 100 peso notes in the coin pocket of my pants. Since each Mexican note is a different color I can find a correct bill fast. Most people expect you to pay with a bill matching the sale. A big supermarket with several counters is one thing, here even the bakery I stop at had to dig to give me change on a 200 peso note for a 40 peso sale. I have run many cash registers, so it is not just her not having change, after a month in this town, it is the standard. expect to have near coins/bills amounts near what you want to buy.
2. If you look the Shop Keeper in the eyes for a few seconds, “You are a Mark”, learn to wave a hand and boredly say “nada”. When you see the rows of stalls and same products being sold, marketing and business people will understand. I’m weird, stand out with my gear, so I stroll, looking around, quick smiles to shop attendants, glancing at the people as I walk, I am polite and some people seem to remember seeing me “the other day”. If you do not “FLASH MONEY”, you are NOT going to have a problem. Keep in mind that if these people think $500 pesos is getting into big money, a camera body at 20,000 pesos in NOT Understandable.
3. These people dream of United States as “Wonderful”. They do not understand how someone like me can say I will never return. They do not understand that I am one of those people who have for years, understood that part of why they live in so unclean a level of life is so United States can feel good about it’s self. If you read my blog and come here, PLEASE LEAVE YOUR ARROGANCE SOME PLACE ELSE WHILE HERE, at least if you are near me or associated to my name. I do not approve of such behavior.
4. Prices are Pesos…. current rate of exchange here is 16 peso to the US dollar. Fast dyslexic math 100 peso = $6.00 US

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Of these last photos, this is the common water supply, dish washing and clothes washing area. The stalls just past are the toilet/shower combo rooms. I do not use the shower, even in prison, I kept my feet clean. Sponge baths are much safer. the section next to the far left is the softner and other stuff sink. There is no drain. The women seem to use it to put a softner “Downey” and as they wash the clothes will dip them in that section in the end or just use it for a soapy wash and dip clothes in that. The far left and far right sinks have “washboard ribbing” in the cement bottoms. The tap without a hose is more trusting, less to clean off, but clothing buries this faucet, dirty dishes pile around. I’m a bachelor, but as a camping person, even that is a bit much.
I boil and or filter with my MSR MiniWorks water filter, at, .3 micron it has been very good for me. 20 years old, filter and system “Field service-able”, new filters still available. Under $100 US, and extra filter is about $50 (500 gals or so per filter).

Yesterday, as you can see, a woman was washing all day, she was out before me, at 10am and still going at it around 7pm. I think she used the trees to save walking in the dark.
Did some of my own this morning, since if I am quiet, no one is up, 8am or so is open. by 10am some one is washing clothes most days. Yes men wash clothes and help the women in my court yard.

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