A few days ago, I glanced up at the kitchen window here in our Mexican home, and I felt a sudden sense of rosy optimism. This is so unlike me that I looked again. Yup. Rosy.
“Jack. Look at the light.”
“It must be the sun.”
“But the sun has never been there before.”
Shrug. Who knows? The world is stranger and stranger…
But again–in the upstairs bedroom window. The same odd glow.
The windows looking out into the callejon, the very narrow alley that is our “street”–are textured glass, a nod to privacy in this densely inhabited neighbourhood. I slid the pane aside and gasped. There, on the house opposite, almost close enough to reach out and touch, was the source of that aura.
The underlying structure of all the houses here is a rough brick. For many families, that’s as far as it goes. Covering the brick with a smooth finish is costly and adds nothing structural. Until a few days ago, many houses in this barrio—including the one reflecting in our window—had a surface like this:
But it seems the city has a beautification program that involves free paint for the front facades of anyone who is willing to do the painting themselves. We’ve been noticing a general sprucing-up in this area of the city. Now it’s moved even closer to home.
The crews come in with ropes, pulleys, sprayers and brushes, and the work is done in no time flat, swinging among the overhead wires! The view from our upstairs window:
I have a hunch the free paint is limited to colours on sale at the local Comex–but I don’t really know.
It’s a colourful city, up close and from a distance!