A day in the life

HAVING STOPPED working for “the man” many years ago — in 1999 actually — one would think I’d have plenty of time to fill, and sometimes I do.

Sometimes not.

lifeI took a shower this morning in the pre-dawn darkness. It was the first trial of the solar water heater after it had sat on the roof under moonlight. Would there be hot water? Yes. Not as scalding as that boiled under daytime sun, but quite adequate.

I am happy for that.

And why would an unemployed geezer shower before dawn? To be at the bank door at its 8:30 opening downtown. I had business with one of the “executives.” If you get there later, expect quite a wait. I was No. 2 in the door, and was sitting next to an “executive’s” desk in a nanosecond.

What was my business?

Last week the bank (BBVA Bancomer) phoned me about suspicious activity on my spanking new credit card, a card I have never used anywhere except online. (Yes, I have beefy computer protection.) To make a long story short, I opted to cancel the card. I was told that in five business days, a replacement would be awaiting me at the bank branch. That would have been today.

The “executive” told me it had not arrived. I was not surprised because I’m in Mexico. Come back next week, so there’s another predawn shower on my dance card.

Permit me to tell you an amusing story, something I’ve never witnessed at my other banks, HSBC-Mexico and my former Banamex. When Bancomer opens every morning, the branch manager and the other “executives” all gather at the door and greet you as you come in.

¡Buenos dias! ¡Buenos dias!  I’ve never had a bank so tickled to see me.

The credit card thing is no big concern. Connected to that same account is another credit card with my wife’s name and a different number. It still works fine. I just had to switch a number of monthly online payments to the second card.

While sitting at the exec’s desk at 9 a.m., my cell phone rang. It was Ramón, my contractor guy, who told me he and his crew would be at the downtown Casita at 10 a.m. to install a metal door to the second-floor balcony. Perfect timing. I had enough minutes to walk through the outdoor market nearby to buy avocados, tomatoes and strawberries. And to check my PO box.

When Ramón and his crew pulled up outside the Casita just before 10 a.m., I was sitting in a chair on the balcony reading a book on Kindle. Apparently, that amused Ramón who hollered up that he hopes to live that way one day.

I hope he gets to live that way too. He works hard.

The metal door replaces a silly plywood number installed by the home’s builder five years ago.

I left the Casita in the hands of Ramón, and I returned to the Hacienda, about 15 minutes distant, for breakfast No. 2. Since I’m writing this shortly after High Noon, the headline here would be more accurately written as “A morning in the life.”

The day is scarcely half over.

11 thoughts on “A day in the life

  1. I have been meaning to tell you that, regardless of whether I always agree with
    your point of view, I really like your writing style. You have the ability to express yourself in a very direct, clear and unpretentious manner, and reading your posts is always enjoyable. So. Thanks.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Christine: Thank you very much. As for my points of view, I — and apparently you — do not get my drawers in a pinch on hearing a contrary opinion. I wish there were more people like you and me.

      As for my writing ability, I tend to believe that people who can write clearly also think clearly, and lots of folks do not think clearly.

      And I think avoiding pretentiousness is a wonderful thing. I wish others would do the same, but they do not. As for being direct, which I am in real life too, it has been known to get me in trouble, especially in Mexico where the indirect approach is almost always what they prefer. Drives me nuts.

      In closing, thanks for passing by, as always, and putting up with me. I do appreciate it.


  2. I also enjoy your stories and your direct approach. A tennis partner once told me that she could not figure out why everyone liked me because I was so “blunt”. I guess my approach has always been to be upfront with people to their faces rather than talk about them behind their backs, or just be honest about an opinion.

    I remember a group of tennis ladies discussing the O J Simpson murder trial and they had him convicted even before his trial began. I told them all that if I were ever accused of a crime that I hope none of them would be on the jury!

    I am still in limbo here in PCB Florida. It is time for us to decide if we are going to stay or go back to Texas. My husband cannot embrace the idea of moving to Mexico for a few months. I guess I need to get “blunt” with him and maybe he will change his mind.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Connie: I think you should definitely be blunter with your hubby.

      As for O.J. Simpson, there was no need for a trial. He was guilty as sin. Everybody knows that! Jeez.


  3. Smart thing to get there early. That’s the tactic I use here to go to the RMV (DMV in any other state; the “r” stands for registry. But I digress.)

    Why do you need to see an “executive” to be handed a new credit card?


    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where the RMV has a handy thing on line where you can see how long the wait is at various branches.


    1. Kim: Why do I have to see an exec to be handed a credit card? Oh, if you could only experience the paperwork involved in most anything to do with banking. And that includes literal paperwork. I have a theory that the world’s trees, certainly Mexico’s, are being felled at a stupendous rate simply to satisfy banks’ obsession with paper forms and rubber stamps, which need paper on which to be pounded.

      One of the beauties of BBVA Bancomer, something that does not exist at HSBC or my former and cursed Banamex, is that they will hand you cards in the bank branch. The more usual routine is to insist on sending your cards (credit or debit) to your house via messenger. You must be home, of course, when the messenger rings the bell. If you are not, no note is left. You simply do not know and, after about three mystery attempts, they give up and they don’t tell you that either. You just don’t get the card.

      Bancomer gave me two options when I got the phone call about the initial problem. They could send it by messenger, or they could leave it at the bank for me to pick up. I always choose that option when it’s offered.

      Another fun thing is that all banks have an option to email them on their websites. They never respond, however. Never. You must phone them. Mexicans are obsessed with direct communication. Face to face in the bank is preferred. Phone calls are second. Emails are simply adornments for their websites. Oh, chat works at times, but that’s often a website decoration too.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. P.S.: This is amusing. Once, years ago, after an interminable wait for a debit card at Banamex, which they said had been sent out to our house by messenger a number of times, the branch manager gave me the home address of the messenger. My wife and I trudged up narrow streets looking for his home which, if memory serves, had no number on it, which is not rare. We finally, by questioning people on the street, found the fellow’s humble abode. I don’t recall if he was there or not, or if I got the pinche card. Been a real long time. Getting debit or credit cards in your hands can be a nightmare.

      Just part of the beauty of Mexican life.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sounds positively Byzantine. I wonder how much of this is due to archaic regulations vs what the banks want to do. It sounds like an expensive process for them.


        1. Kim: I’m guessing it’s what banks want to do. Common sense can be difficult to find down here. Another thing: Banks in Mexico are absolutely obsessed with security. Security is very important, of course, but security procedures — especially with HSBC — are so over the top that it’s a major inconvenience to customers.

          Liked by 1 person

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