Tuesday, November 11, 2008

So What's Going On Around Here . . . . . .

It has been pretty hectic around here the last week. I haven't posted much as I am waiting for the big trip in December to Veracruz. I also have a trip coming up the first week of December to San Antonio. I will be crossing at Columbia and will do a complete report with pictures including immigration and the Banjercito return booth to turn in your sticker or to temporarily stop the clock until you return.
Many people have sent me information from around the city as well as the country about the current trend in retail sales, consumer spending and the like. Considering the current global economic conditions there is no current effect here. Shopping is full steam ahead, malls are full on weekends, CostCo (I was there today), Walmarts, CityClubs, flea markets are packed. Good luck finding a parking spot. So what is this all about? A couple of things I think. 1) the peso has devalued a bit but remains steady. People are willing to spend what they have in savings in case the peso drops some more and prices go up. Pricing remains steady now with most stores offering 15% to 20% off. Also, many Mexicans are returning early from the U.S. with their stash and savings spending on building supplies, major appliances, and Christmas presents. Many of those returning are not planning on going back as work is not readily available with all the layoffs taking place in the North.
So when is the crash coming? Preliminary predictions are the end of January through March. Major companies have already begun some sort of reduction to make their Q4 numbers impact the whole of 2008 to make up for major losses in the last four months. Up to now, no company has closed, filed bankruptcy or had a major layoff. There are rumors in the mill that the government has bailed out a handful that could have had an impact on the overall economy. The CFE (electric company) has announced that there will be no increase in prices for 2009 and are working with special rates for large industrial consumers of electricity. The same is happening with natural gas.
Litter and a Brainfart
Sunday morning I woke up bright and early at 5 a.m. Not unusual for me but Saturday I worked on my feet from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. I was pretty used up when I had gotten home the that night went to bed early. I had my coffee, put on my running shoes and took off for the highway. You know where I live, about a kilometer from the house, is the highway and Los Cavazos where they sell all kinds of Mexican artesanias, food, and souvenirs. As I started out walking I thought, "why don't they put the trash in barrels instead of leaving the garbage bags on the curb as the dogs drag the bags away and leave a major mess". I started to get all worked up and then I realized that this is a cultural thing and something I learned many years ago to blow off as you know you can't change a culture and can only leave an example.
I took a waded up kleenex out of my pocket and with all my might threw it on the ground. "There", I said. I walked about three steps and turned around and picked it up. I felt terrible and know that it just isn't my culture to litter. I can only leave an example.
Rvers will find things good here this year in Mexico in terms of their pocketbooks. Sure, fuel has risen and will continue to. We've had it good for too long and now it is time to paythe piper. But in terms of the exchange rate I think it will be a real advantage. Have fun this Winter, I know I will take advantage of our trip to the Emerald Coast. If I lose work over the next months, I will most likely start boondocking a couple of times a month to keep me busy and keep down my overall cost of living.


  1. Litter! I have a Canadian Friend who was staying at a Mexican RV Park. He told the local kids he would pay them to pick up the trash on the ground. They finished the job and came for their pay. In addition to their pay he gave each one of them a piece of candy. As they walked away after being paid for picking up the trash, each one of them threw their candy wrapper on the ground. Nothing had changed.

  2. When we drove down the Baja in the early 80's, both sides of the highway were covered with beer and pop cans two or three deep. There were enough to make anybody picking them up and returning them a very rich man. Unfortunately Mexico had no return policy at that time. At least now you do see people picking up cans.