Monthly Archives: December 2011

mexico roads and houses

shadows on the walkway to the market

busking guitarist


sitting on the wall watching la bufadora “snort”la bufadora snortingthe walkway down to “the snorter”masks


time stands still, as the the light onshore gently caresses your face. the mist slowly drifts in with the afternoon. the sun still shines, but you can no longer see the full extent of the bay. its balmy here. you wouldnt say that it was winter. the locals are friendly, but its a third world counrty. money is the language of friendship. american dollars are prized. peso prices doubled if your skin is white. in the market place mexican r ‘n b blares, kids kick footballs, and the girls bring their chihuahuas and parade them like mock paris hiltons.

mexico doesnt feel like anywhere but mexico. i had been trying to place it, but i could find no comparison. its a world unlike any i have experienced. its bare, and beautiful. we went to a lovely restaurant that advertised to have warm beer, cold food, and lousy service. its was sweet. a little cat called pepper came to join me for my lunch of fish with a mango salsa, and sat on my lap expecting to be fed.

its really just lovely here. to just do nothing but laze, eat, and read. my apologies for not writing in a while.



sitting in the waiting room, waiting for your delayed plane to not be delayed any longer. looking at the faces of your companions in waiting. a handfull of faces in the sea of strangers look familiar. you get the feeling that you are the protagonist of the real life truman show. eyes never looking at you but a constant feeling of being watched. the pretty red head girl that youre sure you saw in another airport. the grandpa sitting opposite you, that was positvely someody elses a month ago in another state. complete paranoia setting in as you recognise another face.
its the lack of sleep from over the past three days of festivities im sure. but im also sure ive seen them before.
my plane is delayed, and im stranded with no way of letting anybody know. we shouldve been on the way to mexico, maybe we wouldve even been at the border, but im stuck in the sea of familiarly anonymous faces.
love from a one paranoid jonathan aaron jones, stranded in san fransisco.

elouise – the sweetest, most loveliest, most adorable baby

elouise  unwrapping presents with mommy


isaiah playing with elouises’ presents

mine mine

business in the kitchen

the lovely marais family – the most wonderful family youll ever know

merry x-mas to everybody.

driving into portland, levi took over when we got there so i could take photos

more  driving

trying to find burside, a view from the highway

near china town in portland

one of the many green areas portland has, this one had an interesting life size elephant sculpture

pretty leaves

a view from my bedroom in seattle, with the one eyed nazumi looking at the city

a busker taking a break from playing his fiddle at pikes

pine off of pike, on every corner is a highly talented busker

entrance to pike fish market

some blue grass christmas carols

a pretty girl ordering coffee

the needle

sarah looking up at the needle with excited anticipation

seattle from the top of the needle

hello, hi.

levi and myself drove out of bandon with the monday sunrise. me at the steering wheel, music blaring and heater on full. with the gray early-ness of morning all around, and the work bound commuters, we were off. patches of mist caught us unawares every now and then, the windy roads up the coast felt like navigating a rabbit warren, as we wove in and out of evergreens and polars and maples, most stark and bare, like winters waiting bride.
up the coast we went, although never coming into the oceans view, through back water towns, still for the most apart asleep, passing them silently. up and up, and through and through, over rivers as wide, and calms as clouds, past dams shrouded in fog, to the north of oregon we carried on. we stopped once for petrol in eugene, filled up and merged then with the interstate five. a huge, five lane highway, going both directions, straight as an arrow across the states. trucks in the right lane, slow and steady, one behind the other, carrying food, and gifts, post and parcels. and the speeders in the left. at midday we found ourselves on the outskirts of portland. a big business and industrial district, congestion in the streets with bumper to bumper traffic. we found metro metals, the company that i was going to sell my scraps to, went in, weighed up, then went into a snug little office with big burly men standing all round waiting for their cheques. i found my place in the line quietly.
i was paid three hundred and ninety three dollars for all the scraps. good money, for a little bit of work. by this time we were starving, so we headed down to to portlands city center. we somehow found china town, parked the car, and went on explores. walking up and down the busy sidewalks, trying desperately to find a cheap place to eat. nowhere could be found. up and down, past book stores, sushi restaurants, vegan chinese restaurants, and fancy high fashion stores, but nowhere to eat cheaply. until we found a little road with street side vendors. the best smells were coming from the little stalls. vietnamese, chinese, philly cheese steaks, burgers, indian and pretzels. all so good. i bought us a big helping of tofu panuk paneer and a couple of naan breads. so yummy. eating with the rest of the portland locals on the side of the road, bicycles whizzing by, trams screeching to a halt, and business men in blue suits hailing down a cab.
portland is so beautiful. old and new. bicylce paths, and skate paths all over the city. i found burnside road, but not the skate park unfortunately. ive decided that after mexico, when i am back in portland, ill find it, and go for a skate. portland is also the cycle capital of the states. driving around one gets feeling that if capetown, and grahamstown were combined, the result would be portland. there is the biggest bookstore also there, called powels. walking around it feels like youre in hogwarts, a big castle of books, from the floor to the ceiling, aisle after aisle of towering shelves of books. so many books. so many good books. then the coffee shop, tucked away, where you can take your book, order a cuppa, and sit down and read for as long as you wish. oh portland. pretty portland.
after our explores, the sun began to set, so we went to pioneer square, where the big city christmas tree is. so big, so many lights. the local news broadcaster is in the square, so we went down to the windows and looked in, waiting for our chance on television. oh the fun. the lights. the festivities. the smiles, and the city. we walked around, caught the light rails around the city, visited an ice skating rink, and made fun of the couples holding hands and wobbling around on the ice.
after that we navigated our way back to china town to the car, to find that it had been impounded. we didnt know what to do, except phone all the available numbers, stating our case, trying to get the car and keys back. we finally managed to get hold of somebody who directed us to someone else, who we in the end got the car back from. thankful to get the car back, we decided that it would be good to head home and get a good nights rest to wake up early enough to not miss the train. i slept like ive never slept. dead to the world. on the floor, scantily covered with a few blankets. i woke cold in the morning, but on time. ate a breakfast of cooked oats with peanut butter, and a super sterk cup of coffee. got into the car and headed down the highway in the morning dark, with the morning traffic, into the cbd of portland, to the train station.
a grand old building of marble and ploished brass. high ceilings and big double doors. porters and cashiers dressed to the halt. anticipation. the sound of the train approaching, boarding, tickets being checked, passengers chatting away in the vestibule on their phones. the initial lurch of the train, the slow and steady push and pull, push and pull sound of the train. listening to mum, reading, drawing and watching the country side spinning by is how i spent the duration of the journey. it was so beautiful. mist dancing around the stark trees, and over lakes.
seattle arrives. skyscrapers loom over, coppers, sea greens, blues and grays into the cold blue sky. there kristen meets me, she seemed to be in a rush. i had just arrived.  we hopped into the car and sped off into the city, from that moment on, i have been plunged into a world so vastly different from anything ive ever experienced. oriental dragons climbing lamp poles, trolls under bridges, koi fish swimming the walls of the highways, russian returants, statues of lenin, the self proclamed center of the universe freemont. hipsters, thugs, druggies, asians, prostitutes, druggies, rockers, punks, nerd and geeks, indie cats, preppy girls, meth heads and the mill of the road, all in seattle, all just carrying on carrying on. and all around seattle are the andies. yje mountain range, often forgotten in its shround, and then the majestic mount rainier, summit at fourteen thousand feet. a small piece of the swiss alps in the states.
i cant explain in words how good ive been treated. ive been shown so much love here. its overwhelming. its kindness i didnt know existed. we went to the needle, and saw seattle from a hundred and eighty feet above the city, all three sixty degrees. the lakes, the suburbs and the heart of seattle. down walking around, you cant help to notice how many starbucks there are. one on every second block almost. this week has entailed lots of shopping, lots of eating, and lots of doing nothing. also on one of the days of doing nothing and shopping and eating, i ordered myself my computer. my money had come in, and i found a mac that was perfect. and i am proud to say, that it arrived today. all silver, and special and new and shiny and pretty, all eight point eight ounces of it. all fifteen point four inches of it.
another exciting thing we did was to check out pikes market. fish throwing, men violining saws to make them sound like whale songs, buskers and dancers, gems and art, flowers and cheese, all along pike street, over flowing with people, oh the beautiful, interesting people.
lots of love from seattle.

benjamin and levi walking ahead of me through the redwoods

redwoods, tall and mighty

california here we come, there we were, we were there. just a quick trip down the coast. past the state line, there is a dramatic change. you can feel california. its palatable. its in the air, and all around. like drowning in a pool of viscus fluid, slowly suffocating you. bums riding around on cruiser bicycles, hippies selling firewood to make an extra buck. latinos driving low cars, blondes riding sports cars. its the setting to a beck music video. perfect. i felt at home almost.

then out and past crescent city, on the interstate one hundred and one again, a couple of miles out, past trailer parks, hillbillies, ford pick up trucks, into the jeremiah smith state park, down to the boyscout trail, where everything changed. its silent. the air is clean, and the deeper in you go, the bigger the trees become. huge, diameters of seven meters and more. just the massive old growth redwoods. its enormously impressive. soft green light that felt like if you had to fall it wouldnt hurt. the light would catch you, wet muddy trails. greenest ferns, and all the time silent, except the sound of your footsteps.
it was beautiful. amazing.

great gray monsters float silently from the ocean, the sea turns green, and white horses prance, tormented, on the waves. the great american flag whips violently in the wind. looking as if it were to rip asunder at any moment. the day looks dusk like, from its birth to its death. the weather has turned foul again. stans father, who is eighty eight, came inside, and hung out, watching as the kids played monopoly. i offered him a cup of tea, which he accepted, and sat down at the kitchen table. i sat with him. talking to him is difficult. he is extremely hard of hearing, near deaf almost. so he sits down, waiting for his tea to cool down, and says, “you want to hear a story?”

oh boy i do! he starts off by telling me about his ma and pa, and their farm out in dakota. about the droughts, about the free american land. about him tilling the fields with horse and plow. about tumble weed, and the depression. about his service in world war two in in north africa and then italy. i magine, him with a medics cross on his arm, running out into the field, airplanes droning over. smoke clearing. distant explosions, carrying a stretcher, and viles of morphine. about his blind date, who he later married, about the first film they went to watch together, the car ride there and back. his first kiss, their wedding, their children, their grandchildren.
then her dying in his arms.
all that till now, at this kitchen counter, telling his life, which is now only a story, to a stranger. a gray old man, hard of hearing, difficulty walking, but boy does he have a life, did he have a life.
it made me think. it made me cry.

he big yellow claws dug into the dense, compact, gravel of the driveway. tearing it up like soft top soil. claws dragged through the earth, the length of the driveway, then released, reversed back into place, and repeated methodically, until the driveway took on the appearance of a tilled field. a comparatively unhealthy field by any standards. with the pot holes leveled now, the growling machine groans on out, leaving a smooth exit and entry way in its wake.

the driveway runs out past the house, adjacent to the trampoline, and the red push card, left where it fell on its side. weeds growing up through the weather corroded plastic. where the gravel carpet concludes, stands a huge fir tree. mighty and proud. lowered only in stature, like a well trained house pet, by the zip line that runs the length of the driveway to the trampoline for the amusement of the children.
looking out beyond all this, usually with “granny hands”, through the window at the sink while washing dishes, is a ditch filled with thistle. cracked and dry now, taking on the appearance of a micro desert, but usually wet, muddy and bog like. thereafter are the cranberry fields. empty now, yet the earth retains its red, maroon colour, as if as a sign to remember what grew there, and what will grow there. patiently waiting for the spring, and the rains to come.