The little town where we are staying, San Antonio Tlayacapen, sits on the shores of Lake Chapala between Ajijic and Chapala. It is a working class town with very few foreigners living here. In other words, just the kind of place for my kids to experience “real” Mexican culture.
Next door to us sits an empty lot where two gaunt horses live. There are roosters on three sides of us, who conspired to wake up J at 6:00 yesterday. And in the alley next to us are boys playing marbles.
The other night, as we were walking back from the store, we saw a growing gathering of boys on the street, appearing to get ready for a community marble tournament. I saw a couple boys walk past with socks bulging with marbles. A little farther down, the younger boys were having their own competition.
Yesterday, J found a marble in the street. With no one around to claim it, I told him to pick it up for practice. “How do you play marbles, Dad?” I told him we’ll have to ask the boys sometime. “But we won’t understand them.” That’s another good reason to learn Spanish, I said.
My son, who never met a sport he didn’t like, has been practicing a game he made up with his marble. And he is suddenly very motivated to work on his Spanish.