Ah, well, time to wrap up what I started last week (the photographic tour, I mean ;-P ). I regret the delay in continuing with its second and last installment, but a terrible conjunction of bad weather and available time after performing a series of odd jobs here prevented me from posting.
You’ll notice I changed things a bit in today’s post. To begin with , I moved the reference map to the bottom of this post. And we’ll resume our tour by jumping straight to photo number five, the picture shown here at the left. In this photography you’ll see one of the typical dirt roads available to reach this place (#5 in the reference map): Supposedly, it should be a road hard-packed with finely crushed graved, but the lack of proper ways to channel rainfall away from the paved surface has taken its toll after near 15 years, carrying away the gravel and leaving only mud holes in the spots where the water tends to pool.On occasions, the local City Hall deigns to drop a few truckloads of the refuse that comes from highways resurfacing work, but this is pretty rare. I had to help spread some of this stuff last week… and I have the backache to prove it.Meanwhile, the local roads are just impassable mud holes every time it rains down here (and as my old favorite joke goes… they don’t call this the rainforest… wait for it… for nothing, baby!) that can’t be crossed without getting stuck ankle-deep in this crap.
In fact, today I had to grab a rock bar and dig up a few draining ditches so I could be able to walk through and do my scrap metal scavenging rounds.
Picture #6 is a general view of one of the nearby houses. As you can see, as most of the houses here, it’s in bad shape and disrepair. The main issue with this area is A) the place isn’t really suited for building any kind of structure, as the soil is basically highly hygroscopic clay that expands as it absorbs rainfall, causing walls and columns to crack and shift… and B) most of the houses here had been bought by land speculators who only wanted to earn a quick buck when they purchased property here in Cholondron, with the knowledge that a major Interstate highway was going to be built a bit later. Of course, these idiots weren’t interested in living here, so they didn’t invest a penny in improving the property and/or providing sufficient maintenance to it, which caused the entire place to fall into total abandon. Problem is that, yes, the highway was built… but no one checked the fact that there would be no direct exit ramp from it that could really affect the property value. It went a little up, I give it that, but without this crucial highway exit, the price increase has been rather marginal.
Picture #7 is just another angle of same house. Please notice the peeling paint and the cracks on the wall. The roof is also cracked, with fractures running all across it. I tried to frame the picture better so it’d show the mold splotches growing in the ceiling… and I guess I excelled in it (What’s your opinion, folks? Did I or didn’t I succeed?). Technically, the house is rotting in molds and is “ill” by many of today’s architecture standards. Most probably, it will be necessary to demolish the structure, since it’s quite unhealthy to live in it.
You can only look at this house and imagine the beauty and splendor that its owner intended it to have; the guy expanded upon the meager, barely functional design of the original structure by pushing the front walls three or four feet outward, adding a front porch, sculptured columns and beautiful stained glass windows. Now it is only a crumbling house, falling apart at the seams and subject to the malice of passing vandals and the occasional prowlers searching to profit on all the abandoned property that’s so frequent in this region.
Picture #8 is about the house of the nearest “neighbor” I had… but no more. The guy who owns this place was a former fireman and had bought his house with his retirement funds. He moved in with his wife and three kids, obviously thinking he had finally made his lifelong dream of owning a home in a quiet place.However, people possess the unfortunately tendency of not knowing when to stop getting themselves into trouble. This guy liked to hang around with some unsavory local elements, and he got involved on a personal argument over a personal loan over someone else’s car.
Rumor has it that this other fellow didn’t like it much when the fireman collected what he was owed by repossessing the vehicle and one day the felon “visited” him at gunpoint and tried to recover it (the gunshots, sixteen of them, were heard as far as my own house about a mile over)… This happened about five or six years ago, and the fireman guy and his family scurried their way out of this place as a “lemonade cork” (?!?!?Huh!!!???) like the native colloquial expression says and means “getting out here with an extreme hurry”.
Now, the beautiful house is abandoned, showing signs of vandalism and the gate is padlocked and covered with vines and brambles. Just another broken dream, like many others here. I should know, I mean to tell you.
Living here, surrounded by all these abandoned houses is plainly depressing.
Well, I guess that about covers my brief photo tour. I wanted to take a few extra shots, but by the time I took my 12th picture, the “Battery Depleted” icon popped up in the small LCD screen of my digital camera. So much for “fresh batteries”.
Once again, I’ve been duped by the local intelligentsia.