Saturday, January 31, 2015

I Hate Shopping

Nothing to do with Mexico or anything else.   I have had a gift card for almost two months that was given to me by a school.  I hate trying on clothes.   I'm short, have big legs and calves and all the things they make are for tall toothpick types.   Not my body style.  Doesn't anyone design clothes after a potato?

After three hours and lots of jeans, I gave up.  The clerks at Suburbia said that all the jeans are coming out with narrow legs.  Good for narrow legged people.  The jeans fit me in terms of the waist and the butt (believe it or not) but I can't get my calves past the bottom part of the leg and if I do it is like wearing compression stockings.

This is my style, of course without the eye patch!

I also need some very nice pull over dress style shirts for my upcoming events.  I refuse to wear a button-down shirt and a tie.   No luck so far.  No, I can't order online because then I have to drive to the border to pick it up.  You know, that used to be the Robert Wagner look.  I'm still into that and refuse to change it.

Tomorrow I go out for round two.  BTW, Levi fits great but at 780 pesos they can go to where the sun don't shine.  

Paying In Dollars - Know The Law

Many places, especially tourist locations charge in dollars.   Or I should say, they advertise their price in dollars.  You have no obligation to pay in dollars and the vendor, seller, or business has the obligation to take the equivalent in Pesos Mexicanos at an exchange rate listed that day by Banco de Mexico.  There are no exceptions.  Here is the law to quote when you want to make an issue of it:

Artículo 8º.- La moneda extranjera no tendrá curso legal en la República, salvo en los casos en que la Ley expresamente determine otra cosa. Las obligaciones de pago en moneda extranjera contraídas dentro o fuera de la República para ser cumplidas en ésta, se solventarán entregando el equivalente en moneda nacional, al tipo de cambio que rija en el lugar y fecha en que se haga el pago. Este tipo de cambio se determinará conforme a las disposiciones que para esos efectos expida el Banco de México en los términos de su Ley Orgánica. Los pagos en moneda extranjera originados en situaciones o transferencias de fondos desde el exterior, que se lleven a cabo a través del Banco de México o de Instituciones de Crédito, deberán ser cumplidos entregando la moneda, objeto de dicha trasferencia o situación. Ello sin perjuicio del cumplimiento de las obligaciones que imponga el régimen de Control de Cambios en vigor. Las obligaciones a que se refiere el primer párrafo de este artículo, originadas en depósitos bancarios irregulares constituidos en moneda extranjera, se solventarán conforme a lo previsto en dicho párrafo, a menos que el deudor se haya obligado en forma expresa a efectuar el pago precisamente en moneda extranjera, en cuyo caso deberá entregar esta moneda. Esta última forma de pago sólo podrá establecerse en los casos en que las autoridades bancarias competentes lo autoricen, mediante reglas de carácter general que deberán publicarse en el Diario Oficial de la Federación; ello sin perjuicio del cumplimiento de las obligaciones que imponga el régimen de control de cambios en vigor. 

Also, tipping dollars is not convenient for the waiter, gas station attendant, etc. especially when they are not in a border city.   If you give a guy a a one dollar or five dollar tip, he then has to find a casa de cambio to exchange it.  It can be a PIA to do that if that was his only dollar tip of the day.  Obviously, because we live here, we never pay for anything in dollars.  If the seller/vendor were to do so, we would just walk away.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Line Has Been Drawn

Literally.  The city will be installing water soon.  Let's hope the backhoe shows up next week, maybe even tomorrow.   Monday is a national holiday, Dia de la Constitucion Mexicana 1917.  

Will the road be paved after that?  Let's wait and see.  After 12 years of fighting for this, I would rather be cautious in my claims.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

No Time For Sightseeing - Mexico City

It was a long day yesterday.  You know how I hate hotel beds. The air in Mexico City is very dry and it makes my skin dry and itchy.  Sunday night I tossed and turned with fears of something in my bed.  It's becoming a real phobia to sleep in hotel beds.   Although I'm in a very nice hotel and well-located, it still bugs me (no pun intended).

The meeting started at 9 a.m., we had a great break for lunch but not time to do anything else.  We stayed until six in the afternoon and then out for drinks and dinner.  No doubt it was fun but I really wanted to get together with my friend Darren who lives here in D.F.  I now know I will be back and probably with some frequency. 

Mexico City is a wonderful place as many of you know and it is very cosmopolitan.   It's nice to be in a place that offers so much in terms of tourism, food and theater.  I should be home before eight this evening.  I left my car at the airport. 

I'm not suffering and I'm with a great group of consultants. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

In Mexico City

I had a nice flight yesterday.  Getting to the airport in Monterrey has something new.  They completed the second level that takes you directly to the 35 peso autopista to the airport.  Three lanes wide, elevated, super smooth and best of all fast.  In less than an hour from Monterrey I was sitting in the lounge waiting for my flight. 

AeroMexico, like many other airlines, is experimenting with new boarding procedures.  This one I like but I'm not convinced yet.  They have five groups and five lines.   There are a couple of questions I want to ask when I fly home tomorrow to make sure I understand their procedure.   It was a 737-700 and the seats are shrinking.  Legroom was good but the width is about 17 inches.

I'm staying at the Holiday Inn Express right next to the World Trade Center.  The office I am going to for meetings is two blocks away.   

I will take some pictures today and post them.  It is a very nice area.   A friend and I had dinner last night at Sanborn's.   We went walking around the area.  Lots of people out and about, I couldn't have felt safer in a city with 25 million people.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Things Rvers Usually Don't See

This is true in much of Mexico but rvers don't go to big cities and metro areas leaving them with a false impression of Mexico.  The picture below paints the Mexico that is on the move and growing.  A huge middle class, a burgeoning economy and yes that includes the recent changes in oil prices.  One false statement is that Mexico lives on Pemex.  Not true, we only pull 30% out of the oil company.  The rest comes from tax payers like myself and big businesses which pay through the nose.  If you can't read it because of the size, go to

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Buying Certified Meat Products In Mexico

An interesting conversation with a teacher the other day led to my investigation.  The teacher works part-time as a TIF (Tipo de Inspección Federal) beef inspector.  There are TIF inspections for poultry and pork as well.  She is a veterinarian with a specialty in protein analysis.  Three days a week she leaves in the late morning to her job as a TIF inspector at a local slaughterhouse (if that's what they are still called).   She does an inspection of beef, takes samples that are then analyzed and sent down to an office located in the same plant.  This office is staffed by federal employees who work for SAGARPA ( SECRETARÍA DE AGRICULTURA, GANADERÍA, DESARROLLO RURAL, PESCA Y ALIMENTACIÓN) for a second official inspection.  Yes, SAGARPA also regulates the fishing industry as well.  

All Mexico Walmarts, HEBs, Sorianas carry TIF inspected animal products.   The logo above can be found somewhere in the meat department.  Carnicerias also carry TIF products and one of them is Carnes San Juan here in the north of Mexico.   If this is something that concerns you, ask about the TIF inspection.

My teacher friend says that they check for types of growth hormones, antibiotics, and other growth related drugs as well as to certify that the beef in this case in not another animal product such as horse which is a highly respected product here in Mexico as well.  In our area, carne seca which is used in machacado or machaca, carries the TIF label on the package.  

I thought this was interesting because we here rvers and others living in Mexico talk about the lack of sanitation and inspection of Mexican products.  This only confirms the fact that we do have meat inspection and logically so as Mexico exports beef and other animal products to the U.S of A and China among many others. 

We enjoy eating Mexican beef as it is of good quality, excellent flavor and much much less than buying imported USDA Choice from the U.S.  It also supports the Mexican economy.