MEXICO, IT TURNS out, is not keen on illegal aliens.
At least, the ones who want to stay in Mexico instead of doing the expected thing of riding atop a train to the Rio Bravo, jumping off and swimming across. When they do that, well, no sweat.
We rob them and screw them along the way.
The Trump Administration, a gift that keeps on giving, simply by being in office, has resulted in a significant drop in border invasions. Illegals have second thoughts. Many are detouring to Canada, thanks to young, clueless Trudeau.
But many are Hondurans who, after sneaking into Southern Mexico, are deciding to go no farther. After all, Mexico is a real step up from grisly Honduras.
As a result, crime and social problems are soaring. Surprise! So Mexico is deporting illegals back where they came from.
Sometimes diversity ain’t so sweet.
Figures show that Mexico has deported 16,332 Hondurans since January. More details available here.
This lovely photo of the upstairs terraza was taken years ago, but don’t be fooled. It’s the worst spot of the house.
Doing a 180, and taking another shot, you get this below, which was taken within the last year.
The chairs are the same, but the table now lives on the balcony of our downtown Casita, and the umbrella rotted from blazing sun and scorching heat.
For years I had a hammock under the roof tile, which covers a small percentage of the overall terraza, but in time I found myself rarely using it, so I gave it away.
Nowadays nobody goes out there much. No plant survives there except for cacti. Due to the floor being too level, a pond lives out there, ignoring the drain holes, covering about a fifth of the area, through the five rainy months.
A few years ago, a big section of the ceramic floor buckled from the heat and sun, and had to be replaced.
The spot should have been planned better during the construction, but it wasn’t. A darn shame. Mistakes happen when you’re too cheap to hire an architect.
Can’t let a post slip by without a political element, at least not these glorious days.
Fidel Castro died. This may be the best month in decades. First, Donald Trump wins. Then Castro dies. Some are suggesting a connection, but I doubt it.
I was saddened, but not surprised, to see Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto expressing sorrow for the pendejo’s overdue death. I voted for Peña Nieto.
My most beloved bar of all — El Batey — was in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. Recently I did an internet search, wondering if El Batey still existed, and it surely does.
It’s now the oldest bar in Old San Juan, and it has its own Facebook page. But what business doesn’t?
El Batey has changed a lot over the years, but outside more than inside where the only alternations seem to be more wall graffiti. Here is a current exterior shot, just below, and a photo from when I drank there, farther below.
Note the street surface in the photo to the left. It’s blue stone that Spaniards brought to the New World as ballast in sailing ships.
So it’s said.
It was recycled into cobblestones in what is now Old San Juan, which is San Juan’s version of New Orleans’ French Quarter.
You don’t encounter blue streets very often, and they take on a particularly lovely cast when slicked with raindrops.
When I moved to San Juan the first time in the early 1970s — I was there twice, once for five months and a second stint of 11 months — I had a black BSA motorcycle shipped down from New Orleans in the hold of a Sealand freighter.
A decade ago I wrote El Morro Sunrise about a late night in El Batey while the black BSA leaned on the cobblestones.
My two spells in San Juan were separated only by a year or so. When I returned for the final time I brought a record from New Orleans. It was one of Jimmy Buffett’s lesser-known ditties, titled Why Don’t We Get Drunk and Screw?
The owner put it on the jukebox.
El Batey was owned by Davey Jones. In the early years, while I was there, he had a business partner named Norman, a spectacularly delightful man.
My second ex-wife and I visited Puerto Rico in the early 1990s, about 20 years after I lived there, and the only time I’ve returned. We went to El Batey, and Jones told me that Norman had died. Far too young.
If memory serves, Davey was one of those mail-order ministers with the legal right to perform marriages.
I was smitten at the time with an Argentine floozy who’d overstayed her visa. I decided to marry her so she could stay in San Juan, and Davey agreed to perform the ceremony. But it never happened, thank God.
Which is why you shouldn’t drink, boys and girls.
During that 1990s visit, I checked the jukebox for my Jimmy Buffett record, but it was not there.
One of Davey’s daughters, Maria, told me on Facebook that he died last year. He was in his early 80s. R.I.P.
* * * *
Both fore and aft of my times in San Juan, I favored a bar on Decatur Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans, a city where I lived off and on — mostly on — for 18 years.
For a time after my first divorce, my ex-wife tended bar there, and it’s where she met her second husband, the guy who jumped bond on a marijuana charge and hightailed it to Canada with my ex-wife and my daughter.
The Mounties nabbed them three years later, and they were returned to New Orleans where everything eventually got straightened out, and both ex-wife, second husband and daughter are now upstanding citizens.
The Abbey is one of a handful of New Orleans bars that never close, a characteristic that suited me wonderfully.
On Sundays, back when I was a patron, the owner laid out a spectacular free spread of snacks that negated your having to buy your own main meal that day.
Between the two, I favored El Batey, but I’ve spent far more nights in The Abbey.
If you stumble out of The Abbey at dawn, lurch right a couple of blocks to Jackson Square, look left and you’ll see the levee that holds back the Mighty Mississippi.
You’ll spot freighters passing above the levee’s crest because the river is higher than the city.
It’s like watching ships sailing in the sky.
* * * *
(Note: El Batey is a plaza for community events, a word that comes from the Caribbean Taino people.)
As the Gringos are grappling with the boondoggle that is ObamaCare, seeing their premiums soar, their doctors retire early, their copayments double and that dumb website, I thought it would be nice to tell you a little tale of MexiCare. Yet again.
MexiCare is the Mexican health system, of course, something the Gringos should have simply duplicated. We have free to very inexpensive government care for the poor, and a reasonably priced private system for anyone wishing to use it. Neither system is obligatory.
Health insurance is not only up to you, but medical prices, even in the private system, are affordable out of pocket for those with a middle-class income. No insurance required.
Here’s my tale. Read it and weep:
My bud Steve Cotton, who rents a Mexican beach house all year and visits now and then, recently had a medical issue, a heart problem. So he got an electrocardiogram, which revealed something troubling.
This led me to remember that my previous EKG was eight years ago. I have had a long-term, low-risk heart quirk for decades, so I scheduled an EKG just like Steve.
I drove Wednesday to a new, modern clinic here in town. The receptionist made an appointment for yesterday at 12:30 with an internist and his EKG machine. That is correct. It was not necessary to make the appointment a month in advance.
And it was with an actual doctor, not a med tech.
My child bride and I arrived at the appointed hour and were immediately shown to the doctor’s beautifully appointed office, not into a cubbyhole. Snazzy offices, leather sofas in the lobby and no waits are common in the private healthcare system.
We talked a bit. Then I reclined on his table, and the equipment was connected. I was measured. The results were read. All is normal. The charge for the test and the doctor visit was 300 pesos, which is about 24 American dollars this week.
MexiCare beats the bejezus out of ObamaCare (but what wouldn’t?) and it beats Canada’s socialized healthcare too. We do it right.