Tuesday, January 23, 2024

The Worst Head Cold Ever - Back in San Miguel de Allende


I'm just coming off of the worst head cold ever.  Wednesday will be two weeks.  The first week I stayed at home.  The weather was bad anyway so I couldn't go out.  I did go out and tried walking and it was okay.  A walking friend was on the road so that helped me to finish.  The next day I blew it off and then the next.  I went out after that and the heavy mist or almost light rain turned me around after about 20 minutes.  I've been back to my weights at home.  Some days are easier than others.  I'm not weak, it's just hard to breathe and the constant buzzing in my ears.  That has all subsided.  

Three phases of the storm we passed through on our way down to San Miguel de Allende.

Sunday we drove down to San Miguel for a couple of weeks.  The house painter is coming.  We made the arrangements the last trip and bought the paint.  It's the exterior only and the painter says two days.  We made the trip down in record time.  Sunday is now our drive down day and Monday our drive day back.  Sunday truckers are off the road for the most part and people are heading back north.  Monday it's reversed.  

Juan is in the 3rd stage of the cold.  His is worse.  We went to the ISSSTE clinic here in SMA.  They took him in right away and said he has a mild infection in his throat.  They prescribed the usual, dose of antibiotics.  

Today we hung out and ran some basic errands but it's still downtime.

I created a firestorm on Facebook yesterday on a local SMA group.  I wanted to share the simple fact that expats who are PRs have the right to collect the old age pension which is now 3000 pesos per month.  I posted a brochure and all the requirements with the idea that they can spread the word to those in the campo.  So many people do good work helping the poor but require funds.  What better way than to solicit the stipend and then use it to help the poor.  In addition, also encourage those Mexicans over 65 to enroll and collect the money.  Believe me, if both husband and wife collect the stipend that is 6000 pesos a month.  That is more than most Mexicans make in a month.  It is truly a help to the population.  I do want to add that even though the current president has increased the amount, the program has been in existence for more than 20 years.

On the FB post, Mexicans said expats shouldn't have the right to claim the stipend and also some expats said that, but they overlooked the purpose of my post.  Helping the poor.  We have more poor in Mexico today than five years ago.  So, I found the constitutional reform that states that Mexicans, nationals, and permanent residents who reside in the country have the right to collect the stipend.  That shut down a lot of people.  

This comes direct from the DOF (Diario Oficial de la Federación) which they publishes all changes to laws including taxes, reforms, and constitutionality.  

As for Mexican politics, the president's plan of Abrazos no Balazos has had quite an effect. The cartels are now charging homeowners extortion to live in their houses.  First, it was tortillerias, then tire shops, small stores, and the list goes on.  In one state alone, 30 communities have been forced to leave their homes as they have no more money to pay.  Along the U.S./Mexico border cartels are shutting down highways and setting up checkpoints of their own.  Most recently, on the road from the Colombia Bridge to Hwy 85 rvers have been stopped, robbed, asked to make videos saying they were not harmed and then left to go on their way.  The murder rate has skyrocketed and each day more and more innocent bystanders are being killed in the crossfire.  The rest you can read in the news but it's important to point out what is happening.  

Monday, January 15, 2024

Quite A Few Things Happening


I wanted to tell a story about our return trip from Texas in December.  When we rolled into the toll booth south of Reynosa, the taker looked at me and said nothing.  I asked her how much it was and we started a conversation.  She wanted to know where I was from and I told her Kansas City.  She asked why I spoke Spanish and I told her I had lived here for a long time.  She went on about how most foreigners come and do a lot of pointing and speaking in English.  She doesn't speak a word of English.  By chance, she said, a couple earlier that day began to scream and yell at her and she never figured out why.  She said they held up the line for 15 minutes.   I told her that many gringos believe they will get screwed because they are foreigners and have an RV.  I said, "They think you have a magic button in there you can push to change the prices".  She said there is no way they can change the price.  There may be some doubt about how they charge and some concessions can be different.   There is no way she can take money off the top as everything is computerized and she has to cash out just like any cashier where the system has to match the ticket sales.  

Another great-great nephew!

I ordered the decals for the travel trailer and it is cleaned and ready to be sold.  We've started looking at vans and it's a matter of having cash in hand.  It will be hard to let it go but time to move on to something else.  We're putting our two lots up for sale at the resort.  

I had several tests done before our vacation.  The results are in and in March I will have an endoscopy and a colonoscopy.  I just hope they don't attempt to do both simultaneously 😄  What a great system we are in with the state.  It appears I may have to have surgery to correct a hiatal hernia.  It's an overnight thing and I am anxious to get it done.  

On my morning exercise one group waiting for their treats.

The cold weather is setting in and this weekend, like most of North America, we will have freezing temps but no precipitation.  Boo hoo, I'd love to have some snow.

When we got home, I noticed the ceiling in the palapa was sagging on one side.  It's so hard to get people to repair things.  If we were to ask for a new sheetrock ceiling, they'd be here yesterday.  However, the caretaker who works for a neighbor around the corner was looking for extra work.  He did a great job and any materials he needed we went and sourced them himself.  He has since repaired many other things around here. 

We'll be heading to SMA around the 20th.  I'm ready to roll now.  I can't be in one place to long.  Our France trip will wait until my surgery and then I'll begin looking for tickets.  I guess we could go before, we'll wait and see.