Top of the world

roofABOUT 8 A.M., I climbed to the roof of the Hacienda with my camera. It was cool and nice.

The days are getting noticeably shorter. It’s still raining every day, but I’m optimistic that will be ending soon. Been raining daily since June, so we’re ready for the seven-month breather. We are very wet.

Thinking on it the other day, it occurred to me that every American I know of down here, either personally or online, is beyond happy to be living in Mexico. I cannot say the same for those above the Rio Bravo where the citizenry seems to be in constant turmoil — doubt, worry and anger.

Comments on news websites, when Mexico is the topic, almost universally reflect an intense dislike of my new nation. If it’s a right-wing news source such as Breitbart, illegal aliens are the cause. If it’s a left-wing website like HuffPost, they think we’re all living in abject poverty and corruption.

Well, think what you want. I love every morning, afternoon and evening of this place.

But I am ready for the rain to peter out.

19 thoughts on “Top of the world”

  1. I’d be happy if the rainy season lasted all year. Free water.

    We who get to live in Mexico are not cut from the same cloth as most in the U.S. We live here by choice, we’ve learned to accept what comes along, blooming where we’re planted. And we’re proud of our adopted country.

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    1. Ms. Shoes: Rain all year?! Yipes. No, I am glad for the dry time though it does get a bit overboard in April and May.

      I am quite proud of my adopted country and quite embarrassed by my former nation.

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    2. PS: Funny yarn: While I am convinced that 99 percent of us who live in Mexico are delighted at doing so, there are exceptions, the faint of heart perhaps.

      I’ve told this story before, but I will tell it again. I once was sitting with a retired couple here outside the Gran Hotel downtown. The woman came out with that hilarious line one hears so often, “I love the culture and the people.” I, of course, rolled my eyes. They knew I was (and am not) totally on board with that. They had been here less than a year, I recall.

      Flash forward some months. Same spot, but I was sitting with the husband only. I asked about his wife. Gone back, he said, and he was soon to follow.

      I asked why. “She couldn’t take it anymore,” he said.

      Obviously, the cloth from which she was cut was not the right cloth for Mexico.

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      1. Topes and bureaucratic red tape are Mexican specialties. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

        But I wouldn’t trade our life here for anywhere else.

        Saludos,
        Don Cuevas

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        1. Señor Cuevas: Speed bumps (topes) would not be so necessary if the police would drop the doughnuts and enforce speed limits. As for red tape, sometimes it’s actually better here than above the Rio Bravo. We Mexicans can apply for a passport before noon and have it in hand after lunch. Try that above the Rio Bravo.

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        2. Señor Cuevas: After further thought, I have to disagree quite strenuously with your take on bureaucratic red tape. Things have improved markedly just in my time here.

          1. Paying the annual car tax. It used to be a question of joining a mob scene here in town and interminable waits. Now you can download your tax form on a government website and pay quickly at any bank.

          2. Getting a driver’s license. At our local office, it goes smoothly, and the line is usually short. I read of horror stories at the DMVs in the United States to this day.

          3. Paying property tax and water bills. We pay the local property tax by going to City Hall and paying in cash after a short or no wait whatsoever. We pay the water bill for our downtown casita a year in full in advance. Also done at City Hall, and it goes quickly and smoothly. We pay cash. The water bill for the Hacienda is just a question of going to an office on the neighborhood plaza and paying cash. Usually no line at all. Less than $4 a month, regardless of usage.

          4. Telephone. Of course, that is not the government, but Carlos Slim. The service is quick and good.

          5. Electricity. The monthly fees are taken directly from my checking account. Piece of cake.

          6. Gas. We just call the company’s office, and they are filling our propane tank the same day. We pay in cash.

          7. Post office. Either here at our little local office or in the big downtown office in the state capital, it’s quick and efficient. The last time I was in a U.S. post office, the line was interminable and the employees were surly.

          The city government in Mexico City has set up electronic kiosks in shopping malls where you can obtain just about any sort of information you need easily. We pay property tax for our Mexico City apartment online, and the electricity bill also comes right out of my checking account. I do nothing.

          Bureaucratic red tape is mostly a thing of the past in Mexico. Where you can run into problems and delays is when you deal with private lawyers. No doubt about that. They drag things on forever if they can.

          But the government operates more efficiently by the day and, in many ways, does it far better than in the United States.

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      2. Felipe, forgive me for adding a comment out of order but I just now read the post about your birthday (Happy Belated Birthday, by the way) and had to mention an inaccuracy. I’m only being a stickler about it because I am a year younger than you and will turn 70 in 2015…and that will be 70 years after VE Day and the dropping of the A-bombs in 1945 not 1944. I feel better now but I’m a bit bemused at why I felt it was so important to clear this up. Might be because I’m a history buff. Anyway, hope you didn’t mind…
        Sue in Santa Rosa

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        1. Susan: Yipes! How did I miss that? Why did no one alert me before now? No matter. I thank you. One might wonder why you left the comment here and not there, but comments are closed automatically on each post after two weeks.

          I wish you a premature happy birthday. That particular one is a strange sensation, as you will discover. Thanks again.

          (Another option to send corrections is just to email me. My address is at the bottom of the Felipe page.)

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        2. P.S.: I have, of course, corrected the error. I too am a history buff which makes the mistake even more egregious. And no, I do not mind your pointing it out. Quite the contrary.

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          1. I’m happy that you are a history buff, too. Hey, you’re 70 now … entitled to a few missteps! I always enjoy your thoughts and observations even if I don’t always agree with them. Wishing you a sunny, dry winter in marvelous Mexico.

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  2. Kinda strange now that people’s opinions seem to be more unmovable than decades back. I fondly remember having debates with people where discussions were relatively calm and civil. Today it seems there is little leeway for divergent views. I especially enjoy overhearing the constant whining and berating the Mexican lifestyle and country, while they are sipping the fresh coffee and enjoying breakfast which costs pennies in comparison to the states.
    I have to keep restraining myself from butting into their conversation and simply asking if things are so bad and corrupt here, they why the hell are you still here?

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    1. Tancho: While the Cold War lasted, America was, more or less, a united country with a common enemy and goal. In many ways, this was a very good thing. Now, with no common enemy (well, there is in the Mohammedans, but so many people look the other way), the nation became fractious. And it’s ever worsening.

      I assume those folks you overhear are tourists.

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  3. Preach it, brother. I have given up on trying to correct people’s perceptions of Mexico. It is not based on fact, so there is little to discuss. We all have our prejudices. I will let them wallow in theirs.

    I understand Melaque has had quite a bit of rain, as well, in my absence. But it is a great investment for the year of green we will experience.

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  4. I have no regrets moving to Michoacan and I look forward to every new day, rain or shine. I am pleased I had the foresight to move here when I did. I can’t imagine ever returning. My only worries are about my former homeland.

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    1. Andrés: I am not specifically attached to this state. I landed here pretty much by accident, but I do like it. We have some problems here, of course, that don’t exist much in other areas, but they affect us far less than most people believe. Knowing what I know now, were I to start over again, I likely would move to Puebla or Querétaro. I’m not really a small-town sort, and I like those two cities a lot.

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  5. If I could tolerate cold weather I would live in San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapis.
    If I could tolerate hot weather I would live in Chetumal, Quintana Roo.
    If I could tolerate a big city I would live in Puebla.

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