Sunday, August 29, 2021

Just Let It Rest For A Bit - Dejalo

I look like an old sourpuss!

Culture has a tendency to rub off on someone if they are part of it.  The saying in the title is so true for Latins.  When something stops working, give it a rest and it will probably come back to life.  

The other day we had issues with the on-demand water heater.  We had it fixed several months ago for a paltry 400 pesos.  The guy took it apart and replaced the valve inside as well as the battery casing.  It worked great.  It's only about eight years old.  It quit last week and we were stomping around about that damn water heater.   Juan said, "pues, dejalo".  And we did.  Two days later in the middle of a cold shower, it was instant heat.  Wow!  Cold showers are the thing right now since we are still over 100F to 103F this coming week.  You can always give it a kick.

Then Friday afternoon, after doing some educational consulting online, nap time rolled around.  The house was still pretty cool and the ceiling fan was on the second setting.  Nice after a dip in the pool.  I woke up about 45 minutes later wondering why the ceiling fan was off.  I heard, "power went out".  I figured it would come back.  You know, "dejalo".  We were planning on taking the rv south to the resort for an overnighter.

Another 15 minutes and I got up.  I heard the worker's radio next door.  Hmm.  I walked out to the road and there it was.  Some monster truck must have come down the road and ripped the cable down.  OMG!  I called 073 and the operator said that if the "bufa" (the pole that holds the cable from the street to the house) was bent, that we would have to fix that before making a report.  Well, it was bent in half.  We got two ropes, tied it up, and gave it several yanks adjusting the ropes as we went.  

Next, I took off for the CFE office but they close at 3 p.m. (socialist government-owned company).  I was hoping to find the crews returning from their rounds.  Lo and behold, I saw no one.  But then, there they came, walking out of the building after clocking out.  I waved and one guy came over.  I told him what happened and he said he needed the report number.  They were in the middle of a shift change.  He gave me his cell number and asked me to send him a WhatApp message when I got the report number.  Got home, got the report called in, and messaged him.  He said to be patient and that they had a lot of emergencies because of the heat.

You can't see much but he's up there on the pole!

Well sh--!  What do you do.  "Dejalo", and we did.  We set up out by the rv, turned on the cellphone hotspot, fixed a couple of drinks, and watched the news.  Time went by and no answer.  Two messages and no answer.  Then, after taking everything in and rigging up the bedroom with solar (tv, internet, window fan, etc.) we got a message.  "We'll be there in 10 minutes".  It was already 9:15 and as I walked out to the gate I could see the cherry picker.  Yes!  15 minutes later they were done and lights back on.  Of course, there is always a caveat.  As one was up on the pole, their truck was blocking the road, lights flashing and cones out.  Here comes some jerk on his cellphone looking at a map.  We waved and yelled to no avail.  He slammed on his brakes and skidded just missing the truck.  Imagine!

The rv came in handy though as we transferred all the food to the rv fridge.  When the report was made the operator had told us it could take up to 24 hours.  Yikes.  So sometimes it's best just to let it rest.

On another note, and I have never done this before.  A long-time friend who suffers from mental illness has been down on her luck for many years.  I won't go into details but better I set up a GoFundMe page for her with the story.  She needs emergency dental work, has no money, and barely makes it day to day.  Medicaid doesn't cover her particular need.  The downside of U.S. health care.  So far, between friends and her family, we have raised half of the money.  I'm just throwing this out there:

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Slowly Passing Through The Canicula

The canicula is the 40 day period of extreme heat, little to no rain, and clear skies.  It has been worse this year as we have already had temperatures of 44C as far back as April and May.  The last few weeks since being home from San Miguel de Allende, we have been over 100F over 50% of the time.  From posts on Facebook and blogs, the heat this year is just about everywhere.  Croft, who lives on Vancouver Island has seen some pretty hot ones this summer that I guess are not normal for British Colombia. 

Thursday we took a drive up to Laguna de Sanchez to check the highway (actually a very narrow road and in one part less than a normal lane between craggy rock) hoping to take the trailer up there.  The road is too steep in most parts and some tighter than hairpin curves.  We've taken visitors up to the top before and the road is pretty much improved in terms of pavement.  Too risky not to mention coming back down.  It was a nice drive and we had a very late breakfast on the way back down.

A big difference in temperature when you get up this high.

Speaking of breakfasts, we have been eating outside in the early mornings to take advantage of the cool morning air.  

By 10:30 a.m. we are already closing up the house with two box fans running.  Then after my nap around 4 p.m., the A/C goes on in the bedroom.  I'm truly impressed how low our last bill was even with being out of town for a few weeks.  It was 668 pesos (33 USD) for two months.  The mini-splits or high walls are very efficient.  We moved the mini-split in the living room to a more convenient spot and it cools the front of the house much better.  We've only used it a couple of days this year, it's a two-ton unit so the usage is much higher plus it's a 20-year-old unit.  😎

Yesterday was the second-highest number of cases since the beginning of the pandemic.  Notice the number of deaths;  confirmed deaths are 247,000 and "associated deaths" are 260,000. That's over 500.000 total.   The government finally had to admit that their original numbers were fudged and they had to count all those that died at home or had their death certificates altered.  

Two more Mexican nephews (ages 20 and 26) have come down with Covid.  One is at home on oxygen so we don't know if he will be hospitalized.  It has taken a turn for the worst here and yet tourism is the thing.  British Airways announced the cancellation of all flights to Cancun until further notice and the border remains closed to Mexicans heading north.  But, you can still head into Mexico via land with no restrictions, tests or questions asked.  Go figure.

We signed the contract on the house in San Miguel de Allende and we will be heading there again in a few weeks.  It's getting exciting and the closer the time comes the closer we are to wanting to sell the quinta.  It's hard to give up because it is so peaceful here but the maintenance and lack of workers to do repairs have become a problem.  I got tired of waiting for the gardener the other day.  He called in with some pissy excuse.  He hadn't come in five days (he comes twice a week) so I did the front yard.  That's how you find out what isn't being done.  It seems like these days people have become very unreliable.  The agent who was supposed to put together an analysis of our home petered out as well.  The palm tree trimmer never showed and won't answer his phone.  Neighbors are complaining as well of the same issues.  I guess everyone is rich now that their kids in school get free government money, education, and transportation and everyone over 65 get a check every two months as well. 

We're now looking at beds and all that goes with it.  The bedrooms in the SMA house are pretty small so I guess I won't be having a king-size which is my favorite.   Sheets are not expensive and we order ours online from a Mexican manufacturer.  Excellent quality cotton sheets that hold up extremely well.  The pillowcases are great and make any pillow comfortable.  Twin beds I guess to start in one room so we need box bases and mattresses.  We have a lot of "stuff" from home we can use, duplicates of things.  All will be done, little by little.  

Keep in touch and leave a comment.

Monday, August 2, 2021

Update On Our Trip and An Interesting Turn Of Events
I haven't posted for more than a week.  I was waiting for something important I wanted to share and it will come at the end.

A bit more of what we saw and what we did while we were housesitting in San Miguel de Allende.  Every day was something different and the best part it didn't involve being in the city or around people.  The countryside is beautiful and I can understand why Les is hiking so much.  So much to see.  These are just some of the plants and flowers we saw on each hike we took.  The daily rains were welcome although it is always good weather in terms of temperature.  The nights hovered around 14C and the days 24C.   You can't beat that for sleeping and we really don't know anyone in SMA that has air conditioning.  

I thought I had posted this pic of Les, Mike and Terrie Church but I guess not.  We got together for dinner one night.  The restaurant we went to, La Frontera, has very good food and reasonable prices.  I split a burrito and the others ordered the special which was fried chicken.  It seems like the specials are always good.  

I'm sure you remember our housesit from last year (2019-2020).  We took care of Stephanie's house and her two cats.  It was a long sit as Stephanie was in Los Angeles for treatment.  I will openly say that when I put her in the car to take her to the airport that day, I didn't think she would make it back.  Well, a year later here she is, in a beautiful condo with her two cats and healthy as an ox.  We went to Hotel Santa Monica for breakfast.  The event was fun but the food not so good for the price.  But, you have to find out for yourselves and we did.  

We got together a couple of times with Cheryl.  She lives in our neighborhood in San Miguel.  She rents a beautiful three-story house with an excellent roof garden.  The place in the pic below is at Geek's Coffee which is behind the Fabrica Aurora (you enter through the Fabrica parking area).  She has been living in SMA for quite a few years and loves it there.  Never a shortage of people to meet and they all come from different backgrounds.  Cheryl worked in many countries in Africa and other parts of the world before settling down in SMA.

I put these two pictures side by side.  On the left is our current rooftop and on the left is a picture of a garden we took at a community called Zarandero just minutes from town but it wasn't to our liking but the rooftop really caught our eye.   Simple, clean but with some style.  Not this year, but maybe next year as we save up more money or get lucky and sell our house here in Santiago.

Now for the story and it is worth reading.  Our present government made the decision to have a national vote or what we call a consulta popular.  The first in the history of Mexico.  It was meant to determine if the population of Mexico thinks or thought we should judge our ex-presidents and send them to prison for crimes such as corruption and fraud.  

The government of Presidente Dingus spent 26 million dollars on the vote only to have just 7% of the population vote.  The outcome was in his favor but the vote required 41% to make it a law.  It didn't pass.  but why is this important?  It shows that this president is out for vengeance against those who, for over 20 years, wouldn't let him play politics.  The 26 million dollars that were spent could have purchased the following:

1) 58,666 cancer treatments for children.  We have lost over 3000 children only because the government has refused to purchase the medications for the universal healthcare system.

2) 1748 homes for low-income families with a value of 300,000 pesos each.

3)  Over 10,000,000 food hampers for the poor

A complete failure.  In addition, even though Mexico is not a rich country, we sent three ships to Cuba this last week.  1 with "medicines", 1 with food, and one tanker filled with diesel all free to the Cuban government.