Wednesday, January 9, 2008


Ok, I'm blowing off yoga this morning and blogging instead. It's amazing how good health and sleeping all night has cut into my writing! Besides, it's COLD again. I have no desire to get up in the wee small hours and wander towards the computer. We're sleeping under comforters and when we do wake up, it's only physical desperation that gets us to venture out on those cold tile floors. Today I'm wearing fuzzy slippers instead of flips, and the idea of stretching out my yoga mat on a cold wet roof in the fog -- well, it's just not going to happen. Brrrrr!

A friend wrote me the other day, rebelling against the winter "blahs." I may have a case of them down here. Winter weather wouldn't be half so depressing if it didn't involve dealing with bureaucracy. Coming into a new year means taking care of business and facing up to issues left unresolved in the wind up and wind down of the holiday season. Sigh. Here are a few.....

  • Do we really want to make a "deal" out of that whopping big electric bill we received for November and December? Almost $10,000 pesos! DOUBLE what we were charged for those months during the summer when we had the air conditioner running full force. Is it a "blue eye tax?" No, because our Mexican neighbors got double-sized bills, too. Is the electric company just trying to cover their end of year aguinaldos -- those extremely generous Christmas bonuses that employers are required to pay those in their hire? Or did they finally read the meter and decide to "catch up" at year's end?
  • Do we pay our entire water bill for the year -- and get a 10% discount if it's done during January -- or join with other neighbors and pay just two months at a time, so at the end of this year when the water company stops delivering through the municipal pipes because they haven't paid the electric company and can't run their pumps, we can say -- no agua, no dinero!
  • Do we spend a day at the Bancomer branch here locally to pay our yearly fidecomiso -- the fee the bank collects for being a co-trustee on our property -- or drive into Puerto Vallarta and do the same thing in a fraction of the time at the "big" bank there? It's a question of spending time on the road or time in the bank. One way or another, we can plan on spending time. We just spent two and a half hours yesterday getting my signature on two documents notarized. Let me tell you, when something is made "official" down here, it is official with bells and whistles! You get silver decals, multi-colored seals, lots of ink impressions, pages of type-written statements establishing the veracity and credibility of the notario, and a signature with more flourishes and furbelows than a vaudeville stripper.
  • When we pay our yearly property taxes (about $200 dollars yearly, and we get a graduated discount the earlier we pay), do we try once again to make contact with the agency which governs the "federal zone" behind us? The former owner built a pool and patio out there, and technically we should be paying something yearly for the privilege of using property that belongs to the people of Mexico. We've been open about our willingness to do this. We've given our number to numerous uniformed officials with clipboards in their hands who promise to come make an inspection and tell us what we owe. Nada. Is this a boat we should be rocking?
Foggy bureacracies. Damp and soggy weather. They weigh heavy in January. Just a little sunshine, though, and the ocean becomes that deep cobalt blue laced with white ruffles that takes your breath away. Let a ray or two of light break through, and the egrets, huddling, shivering and complaining in the tree behind us, unfold, expand, and take to the skies. Hey, birds! Take me with you! I'm ready for lift off!

1 comment:

earleen said...

Oh susana, My heart bleeds for you. Try staying in the house for 4 days without seeing anyone because there is too much snow coming down. Then think about bundling up so you can take Kodi for a walk cuz he can't get out the usual way.
Still love ya!