Down the hill from us lies Posado La Posa, a pink hotel. It’s owned by a Czech couple. Today I mozied on down there to speak with the proprietress, Libusch, about her country (there’s a potential study abroad opportunity next year in Prague that I have my eye on and I wanted to learn more about the Czech Republic).
I arrive at the front gate.
I am greeted by the stray dogs she’s taken in.
“Zi big one. Don’t toush him. Very bad dog.”
I don’t touch him.
Posado La Posa is beautiful and has a European vibe that feels out of place in Todos Santos. Libusch is an artist and her art (which is quite stunning; nudes being nude in different color studies) is hung about the red walled room. We talk until she rushes off to bring me a book of Czech photography. We read it; Libusch gives commentary throughout the whole sha-bang: “Zis is the Jewish cemetery. Vhen I vas little girl, I vould go zhere to be alone. Now it is tourist and must pay to get in. But zi Jews are coming back.”
One thing I learn about Libusch is that she loves cemetaries.
“Have you been to zi cemetaries in Todos Santos?”
“No I haven’t. Where are they?” She gestures vaguely, indicating their general direction.
“Zhere is a new one and an old one. I love zhe new one; all zi colors and pictures, you know? Zi Mexicans build bigger, how do you say…uh, houses for zi dead zhan for zhemselves! I love cemetaries.” Her eyes light up.
“And zhe one by the cactus sanctuary: You have been zhere?”
“Oh! Izn’t it vunderful?” I like Libusch. I like her a lot. She tells me of a circus in Todos Santos that she had loved: “But zhen vone day, I saw a sign: 200 pesos for stray dogs. Vell, why was zhis? Zhey vhere feeding ze dogs to ze three vhite tigers because they could not find chicken! I said, ok! Zhat is enough! No more circus!” At this point Libusch looks around at the various canines flopped on the floor around the room with motherly affection.
“Zhat one is named Vhiskey (Whiskey),” She says pointing to a dog resembling a hyena. “Sometimes I zhink, vhy did I do that? Because vhen I call her, and she does not come, I am standing around shouting for vhiskey!” She laughs.
I also learn of her nephew back in the Czech Republic: “He is useless!” In exasperation, she grabs a pen and a pad of paper and sketches a cartoon of him: a tall tee, pants around his ankles, hat pulled low over his eyes. “But vone time I take him to cemetery in Czech and we vent around to find zhe oldest tombstone. Vhe had so much fun.”
In addition to the random anecdotes that I am loving hearing about, she does tell me a lot about Prague. Much of which I cannot remember now. But vhat, excuse me, what stuck with me was the phrase she repeated numerous times during our conversation. Her eyes would light up and she’s clasp her hands and say, “In Czech, zhere is everything!” Guess I better go, at least to check out the cemetaries.
I volunteered this afternoon, picking up Nico on the way from his grandmother’s consignment shop in el otro lado. Today I worked with the pre-teens and co-taught with a gal from Illinois: Carolyn. She’s an akido apprentice and an aspiring organic farmer. I’ve been invited to an akido class tomorrow down town. An adventure in the making. After teaching today I headed home early, made myself dinner and watched an incredible pink, blue and orange sunset before reading.