A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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September 2009, vol 5 no 3

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Bruce Ross


An Old Vase

We are having breakfast in the restaurant attached to our Colonial-looking hotel in Veracruz. Mexicans apparently come to this area to vacation because of its “Old Mexico” ambience and the quality of the food. Before us our favorite breakfast to make makeshift burritos with: freshly made tortillas, chipotle sauce, and vegetarian chorizo. A group of women are tending the conveyer belt of the tortilla making machine at the back of the restaurant. Young professionals are having a relaxed breakfast while others are in high-spirited conversations, with a constant flow of customers passing in and out. The head waiter is full of good cheer not unlike his buoyant counterpart whom I encountered in the Shinjuku section of Tokyo. I stare at the steady flow of traffic and across to the Town Hall. Everywhere there is a Victorian-like Colonial appropriateness and the feeling of a place on the eve of entering the twenty-first century. I look at the windowsill beside us and later learn the history of our hotel.

converted convent
in an old weathered vase

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