You can’t buy a cast iron pan in La Paz

At least, I haven’t been able to figure out how, even after I figured out how to ask for a sartén de hierro. Four stores, four fails. I thought Mexican’s invented the cast iron skillet. It seems that Teflon and aluminum have overrun the City, reducing the per capita consumption of iron and increasing it for who knows what’s in Teflon and nothing very healthy about aluminum.

And that was just the part of today’s frustrations. Three trips to the Budget office , but Miriam wasn’t there and I wasn’t able to extend my rental car. A trip to the bicycle store, but no seat extension for my bike. Alfonso, my new Spanish teacher, was bereft of humor, in contract to Marcella, my former Spanish teacher, who found my bromas entertaining.

But there were positives.

Air conditioning in both our rooms works. Thank God.

Charlie started Anahuac, two weeks later than we had hoped but nonetheless a big step in his Mexican acculturation. He’s already making friends with the kids at the school, though he noted that the three hours of classes were remarkably uninteresting and un-interactive. The kids sat, the teacher’s talked.

Simon brought over a dump truck and backhoe and leveled out the road in front of my house. What would have been a several thousand dollar job in the U.S. only cost him $80, and only cost me a beer (for Simon).

The New York steak I bought last night at  WalMart was pretty good, even better with Friday night’s pesto pasta from Il Rustico with roasted red bell peppers and red onions on the side.

Meredith de la Garza, executive director of Sociedad de Historia Natural Niparajá A.C., invited me to cocktails with a few members of her board of directors.

Did I mention that our air conditioning works?