My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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Last day in Mexico, and it’s chilly and drizzling – not what you’d expect here in August at all. Much warmer in Toronto, I gather. But I’ve learned always to bring a raincape as I tour this thrilling city. (Left my umbrella in a restaurant the very first night.) They have improved the internet to my room, but right now I’m here in this lovely courtyard, sheltered by the office, smiling and saying “Hola, buenas dias” to everyone who passes by. People are incredibly warm and friendly; it’s important always to greet people, even strangers.

Yesterday evening Annie took a rest break and I went to dinner by myself, at a Oaxacan restaurant nearby. I was the only person when I walked in and the only one when I left, with seven waiters hanging anxiously about and the owner too. When I enquired about salads, he put on the salad movie – a slow motion video featuring what is offered there. Mostly, though, I watched the greatest moments of Mexican soccer on the blurry TV in the corner. Soccer is like hockey, only on grass with your head. I had a simple meal with, of course, guacamole, since I can’t get enough avocado here – accompanied by a half bottle of something I’ve never had before, a good Mexican shiraz. Casa Madero. Excellent with guacamole.

Mexico has far fewer tourists everywhere, these days, largely because the American press has painted such a hysterical picture of the gang violence here. There is some, for sure, but its prevalance and effects have been hugely exaggerated. People are suffering. Annie says some long-standing schools teaching Spanish have shut down. An American art teacher at breakfast this morning said that he offered to bring a class from New York to Mexico and no one would come. They wanted Florence. “Too dangerous,” they said.

I would not hesitate to come back here. Except that I’d like to take Spanish lessons first.

Note: Annie and I strolled last night, and saw an amazing number of young men holding hands. But I saw it again this morning, so it’s not just a night time thing. Amazing in such a macho and very Catholic country. Things are changing.

Now we’re off to a market. JOY.

PS. My friend and sometime student Chris Cameron has a superb essay in Facts and Arguments in the “Globe” today, that he wrote for our class. Beautiful writing, thoughtful, moving. I’m happy to see that the comments are all positive and some focus on the quality of the writing. As they should. Highly recommended.

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

Some Blogs I Follow

Chris Walks
This blog evolves. It once was about travels. Now it’s a reason to be at the keyboard that I value.

Theresa Kishkan
Theresa Kishkan is a writer living on the Sechelt Peninsula on the west coast of Canada.

I walk on. With my feet, and in my mind as well.

Carrie Snyder
Wherever you’ve come from, wherever you’re going, consider this space a place for reflection and pause.

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A new book by Beth Kaplan, published by Mosaic Press – “Midlife Solo”

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