Saturday morning in the barrio

Abel at work today.

Saturdays are pretty routine as are the other six days of the week, but Saturday morning is when Abel the Deadpan Yardman comes calling with his weedeater. I provide the mower and gasoline for both machines.

Why do I call him deadpan? Well, he can smile. I have seen it, but not often. He’s been cutting the grass and doing the occasional other yard chore for years, ever since I got too shiftless to do it. He has never said a word to me beyond responding to a question.

Nary a peep.

As mentioned some weeks back, he’s more a musician than a yardman, specifically a trumpter with a local noise band.

Alyssum.

I did some yardwork before he arrived at 10. I cleared out a small area that was filled with both sweet alyssum and weeds. The latter was getting the better of the former, and they could not be separated, so out they went, the whole little zone.

Next I watered the potted plants on the downstairs terraza before resting on a rocking chair with a glass of green juice and collagen that my child bride whipped up.

The sky is overcast, and it’s cool. Amazon.mx says my new Kindle and its cover will arrive today. I hope so. It left San Miguel de Allende a bit after 6 a.m. I don’t know why it was in that Gringo-infested burg since it started its journey my way from Mexico City.

Climbing rose crept into the datura bush.

And that reminds me. There’s a big encampment of people in Mexico City’s Zocalo, citizens who want our megalomaniac president to resign. I hope they are successful. Someone in the opposition PAN party has introduced legislation, or something, to have the president’s mental faculties examined. Makes sense to me. He’s a whack job.

The encampment in Mexico City. Power to the people!

We’ll be having chicken, beans and rice for lunch today. I hope the Kindle arrives soon because I want to go downtown this afternoon and put my feet up for a spell.

I deserve that. I’m verily pooped.

Another move south

For years I’ve been moving my entire life south of the border, little by little. That is to say, if I can do it down here, why should I continue doing it from up there? That is what most Gringos living in Mexico do, it seems. They have many lifelines, or rather that’s how they think of their continued connections to the United States.

Some examples of my American disconnect is that I have no U.S. driver’s license. I have no U.S. bank account. I have no U.S. mailing address if you don’t count a mail drop I’ve kept for almost 20 years in Miami because, at first, I needed it, but I’m needing it less and less, and I anticipate canceling it in two more years. The only reason I need it now is to have a U.S. address on my IRA account at The Vanguard Group, a necessity.

Vanguard had no problem with my correct address here in Mexico till 2014 dawned, and the FATCA law was dumped on us by the inept Obama Administration, a move intended to crack down on drug dealers and money launderers but which hosed retirees living outside the United States more than anything.

Long story short, my U.S. bank, a California branch of Mexico’s Banamex, summarily canceled my account, and Vanguard looked like it was going to follow suit till I provided the Miami address. We opened an investment account at Mexico’s Actinver in my child bride’s name and, to minimize the tax blow, I’ve been transferring money little by little since 2014. I’ll be done next year, and the Miami address can be canceled along with the Vanguard account, which I’ve had for over 35 years.


Another move south? Says the headline up top. It’s a biggie for me. My Kindle committed suicide a couple of days ago, so I went to the U.S. version of Amazon to order another, which is what I’ve done since the dawn of Kindle. I’ve had about five Kindles, plus I also order my digital books in English from the American version of Amazon.

They balked at shipping the Kindle I wanted to my Mexican address in spite of initially saying it would ship to Mexico. Well, darn! I turned to the Mexican Amazon. I knew Kindles are available there, but would I have access to the thousands of English books for sale on the U.S. website? I suspected not. I was mistaken.

So my new Kindle is en route from Mexico City, and it will not only get to the Hacienda quicker, the e-reader and accompanying cover cost less than the same order from above the Rio Bravo even if it had been shipped to a U.S. address. This all puts a smile on my face. Another departure from America and its increasing craziness.

It will arrive on Monday. “Guaranteed!”

Amazon opened its Mexican version five years ago.

Pluses of the plague

500px-Plus_symbol.svgALL IS NOT bad in these days of the plague. There are pluses.

 

  1. We’re spending less money. Yes, staying at home means not going out to eat, something we usually do a lot, but rarely now. So, more cash in the bank.
  2. No more roadblocks on the highway between here and the capital city. There is a teachers college* in a small burg between here and there, and the students — radical, ignorant nincompoops one and all — regularly put roadblocks on the highway to solicit money to further the Revolution. I never give them a peso. But the CCP Virus has chased them away. Ha! Irony.
  3. Lower gasoline prices. Apparently, this has squat to do with the plague, but it happened almost simultaneously, so it seems connected. Gas prices in Mexico have plunged from about 20 pesos a liter to 14, a sizable savings. I think we can thank the Russkies and the Mohammedans for this.
  4. More together time with my child bride and her with me. This is mostly a plus, but we are getting on one another’s nerves now and then. In our 18 years we’ve never been together so often. She is cute, however.
  5. More posts on The Unseen Moon. This is a plus more for you than for me, but it’s a plus for me too in that it gives me something to do aside from watch YouTube videos and read books on my Kindle. I  also garden now and then. Weeds.
  6. A cleaner house. We have no domestics aside from Abel the Deadpan Yardman, but that’s just the yard. Inside the house, milady is the Queen of Cleaning. It’s not her best talent, but she does a decent job when she finds time free from her pastry business, which is kaput for now. So housecleaning is getting more attention. I do some too. I am very un-Mexican in that regard. Pass the broom.
  7. I’ve ceased to shave.

* * * *

* These are called “Normal” schools, but there’s nothing normal about them. It’s a chain of “teacher colleges” around the country, which has existed for decades. In reality, they are communist training camps replete with murals of Ché, which explains the radicalism of teacher unions in Mexico and also the appallingly low education level. Sad.

Our interesting times

May you live in interesting times.

— ancient Chinese curse

CITY HALL here on the mountaintop yesterday reported the first Kung Flu case in our quaint Colonial town, news I could have lived long without, perhaps literally.

So we have pivoted, the two of us.

Till today we had reduced our gadding about, but every afternoon, simply to get out of the house, we had gone downtown with a Thermos of café, which we filled at home, to sit a spell in the open air of the coffee shop on the sidewalk abutting the plaza.

People-watching and reading.

Well, that’s off the table, so to speak. We’re staying home.

There will be exceptions. For instance, early this morning, we drove down the mountainside to the nearby capital city to shop at Costco and Chedraui. We got there just after they opened. There were few shoppers, which was the idea.

We’ll make that jaunt every Monday.

We purchased enough vittles at the two stores to last a week since we have now eliminated restaurants from our lifestyle.

Days will consist of some light exercise on our gym set at home, plus the daily walk around the neighborhood plaza. One must keep the blood circulating.

Mexico has relatively few Kung Flu sightings, 2,143 cases and 94 fatalities as I write this, but it will worsen, of course. Government action has been somewhat spotty so far, and our demagogic, airheaded president is setting a horrible example by continuing his hugs and kisses to one and all, including relatives of a famous narco capo.

The uneducated, not surprisingly, love him, especially since he gifts money, á la Bernie Sanders, but there are even a significant number of otherwise well-educated Mexicans who also embrace him, literally if possible. Astounding.

The good news is that his popularity is slipping.

I think we have an old backgammon board in a cabinet downstairs, and we need to wash windows and do other chores that we’ve been putting off. And there is also the internet, Kindles and Netflix. Life plods on.

About that Chinese quote at the top. It’s those damn Chinamen who got us into this Kung Flu mess in the first place. Ah, the irony.

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We’ll be sitting out here more often. Come join us, but sit over thataway.