Mexican life

Life’s little things

downtown
I took this shot Saturday afternoon while sitting near the big plaza.

LIFE USUALLY consists of a series of little things, and mine’s no exception.

First, I had a gut infection a month back with symptoms similar to those of a year ago that inspired me to get a colonoscopy, which declared me clean of life-threatening stuff. This time, I visited a new gastro man who gave me pills that are returning me to normal. Getting old is not for sissies.

Second, I electronically filed my IRS Form 1040, and within 60 seconds of sending it down the electronic highway to Austin, I spotted a YUGE error. For the first time in my life, I have to send an amended 1040. Trouble is, you cannot e-file an amended 1040. You must stick it into snail mail.

Lord knows when they’ll get it.

Third, my child bride and her sister are going on their annual pilgrimage to the nearby town of Tzintzuntzan. This is a trek across highway, hill and dale on foot, and it lasts about three and a half hours. That takes place on Tuesday coming, so I’ll have much of the day off.

I’m not pilgrim material.

Fourth, it appears we may make it to March without another freeze. Normally, March means we’re home-free, freeze-wise, but not necessarily. One year we sailed freeze-free through January and February and then got walloped in March. There was snow on mountain peaks in the distance. The Goddess can be malevolently playful.

Do not turn your back on her.

snow
Early March a few years ago. Shot from the upstairs terraza.

Spring brings gobs of dust and crunchy, brown grass. It’s no fun, but it’s not freezing either. The dust is worse because it lasts weeks, months, till June when the rains begin. Spring is the pits in these parts.

Fifth, two weeks ago, workmen finished removing the red-clay roof that covered part of the upstairs terraza. It now sits bareheaded. The blacksmith promised the steel structure that will support the glass that will cover the entire terraza will be installed early next month.

New Image
Upstairs terraza awaits its new roof of glass and steel.

Sixth, of no interest to anyone but us, but I’ll mention it anyway — since it’s a little life thing — is that I’m canceling my longtime internet provider of 18 years. It’s a local business that was the only game in town when I moved to the mountaintop in 2000.

But things have changed drastically since then. Our television cable company, Megacable, also provides internet for just 100 pesos extra, about five bucks. We have that, and it’s fairly reliable. Having two providers is necessary here if you want to always have WiFi.

Is that true above the border?

The new No. 2 is Telmex’s Infinitum, which was installed earlier this week. It seems to be working fine. Now I have to break the cancellation news to my original provider, a business run by a fellow I know here. His service has always been quite good. My main objection is a butt-ugly antenna that now soars over the upstairs terraza. It will have to be removed anyway to install the new steel-and-glass roof.

Little life things. It would be boring without them.

34 thoughts on “Life’s little things

  1. Hola, Felipe! We pay $55 per month for 40 Mbps internet through Centurylink. It is a ripoff but the best we can get in Colorado Springs. Probably WAY more than you pay there!

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    1. Mike: The WiFi from Megacable is about five bucks. It’s 5 Mbps. The Infinitum is 10 Mbps, and it costs about $18, U.S.

      Faster speeds are available, but I’m okay with the 10 and, as you say, it’s considerably less than you pay.

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  2. Nice pics, Felipe. It looks a little cold up in the mountains. We’ve been putting up with unusual cold and blizzards but, thankfully, heat is free. I am recovering from a pulled lower back muscle after trying out a rowing machine for ten minutes. Stupid me.

    As for TV, we bought a digital antenna last year and get 7 HD channels for free. Actually the quality is even better than our cable provider, and there’s a lot less fluff to sift through before you get a decent program, not that there are many of yours. Good luck with your construction project.

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  3. Felipe: We have had one stretch of 3 or 4 days in January that were above freezing. Besides that it has been on the minus side since early November. It is the coldest winter I have experienced. Last week it snowed in Hawaii, and there was 40″ of snow in Flagstaff AZ. I am escaping to a tropical island for two weeks.

    On the internet side, our lowest available speed is 100Mbps, and due to the joys of marketing by communications providers in Canada, it is cheaper to bundle cable, internet & telephone together than to eliminate one. We can’t get TV reception at all without either cable or satellite, so we’re stuck with a bill of over $200 per month to have people from India call us to fix my computer and help with my credit card debt.

    Life could be a lot worse, but I’m going to complain anyway.

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    1. Kris (Chick?): You’re getting hosed. I’m sure glad I don’t live in Canada for a number of reasons. Escaping to a tropical island may be a good permanent option. Or to Mexico!

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      1. Felipe: We do get hosed. There are 3 providers here, and they all charge within pennies of the same price. Same with cell phone service. About double the price of in the US. If someone undercuts them they bankrupt them with lawsuits and price wars that end as soon as the upstart goes under.

        With all of its foibles, I would not live in the US. We have it good up here.

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  4. It is good to see you are in touch with the realities of being still alive. When all this stops, you have reached the other side. Be sure to fling me a ping if you get there before I do, I will do the same.

    Don’t get me started on the cable TV story. Here in TX it’s a sad tale of spending too much for too little. If it were up to me i would be happy with a couple of channels and Netflix/Hulu. However, like with several other things, La Gringa sees it from a different perspective. Therefore, so do I. But, I do have 100 Mbps which comes in handy when working.

    Saludos, señor. You are doing well for an old guy.

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    1. Ricardo: We’re both doing well for old guys, I think and hope. As for cable TV, I never watch it and, were it up to me, I would not have it, but my wife watches it in her pastry kitchen while baking. She likes it. And she watches it here in the house while ironing. It’s a small price to pay for ironing and goodies to eat. I’m strictly a Netflix fellow.

      As for pinging you, I have no clue as to how to ping.

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  5. Here in Ajijic, my friend’s internet service is erratic at best. I’ve taken to running a speed test from time to time, and then recording the results in a spreadsheet, which perhaps someday will be shared with the provider, Telecable. (Who probably doesn’t give a hang, haha.) Download speeds range from mid fives to less than one. And the upload speed ranges from untestable to maybe 1.8. But since neither of us is a YouTuber, upload doesn’t matter that much since most of what we’re uploading are mouse clicks, and these insufferable comments, haha.

    In Boston, when I last lived there, I had DSL, which mostly worked properly, but delivered about 3 down and 1 up. That was fine for one person watching videos or doing anything else. But it wasn’t enough for two. About a year after I got stuck in Redding, I got upgraded to fiber optic, which was the bomb, about 60 down and up. Sadly, after a year of my subscribing but not using, they raised the monthly charge from $40 to $60, which pissed me off. Still, I don’t need to subscribe to TV nor a landline, which is good. Two hundred dollars a month for a combined package strikes me as highway robbery.

    Anyway, enjoy your Sunday.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Ajijic, Jal
    Where Telecable seems to be the only game in town. Unless you want to wait a year for Telmex.

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    1. Kim: You’re a hoot. I see you’re still bringing your Gringo attitudes south of the border. Yeah, make your spreadsheet of speeds and give them to Telecable. They’ll jump into action immediately!

      So, Telmex is lame over there? I ordered my service via their website, and a guy came within a week and hooked me up.

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      1. Apparently Telmex has year-plus wait times here in Gringo paradise to install lines and initiate service. Frankly, given the proximity to Guadalajara it seems scandalous.

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  6. Hey, amigo. Just wondering if you mind divulging what kind of gut infection you acquired? I also have been diagnosed with a gut infection by my GI provider. I truly believe I picked it up in Mexico some 18 years ago, believe it or not, and have suffered all this time. Just started my round of antibiotics as well.

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    1. Marco: Last year it was some form of colitis, quickly resolved with antibiotics. This time the symptoms are similar, not exactly the same, and far less disturbing. The doc gave me some sort of medicine, not an antibiotic, and the tummy seems to be settling down nicely.

      Can’t believe you’ve had a problem for 18 years, and it’s not resolved. Incredible.

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  7. Tell me about it. I’ve tried every single diet, gluten-free, lactose-free, wheat-free, no caffeine. Nothing worked.

    No provider took me or my symptoms seriously … till I practically broke down in tears at my last GI visit.

    Finally, a diagnosis and meds. I’m optimistic 👍

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      1. Gosh, have been there 5 or 6 times now. Last visit was 4 years past. We try to do things a bit different when there, that time we flew into Guadalajara and visited the area for a few days. Then bused to Patzcuaro for 9 days, back to Guadalajara. Another time flew into MX City and toured about for 4 days then bused to Patz. Every visit is different.

        Lots of cultural tours and trips, lots of getting on the combis for little day outings. Always a story to take home, always 10,000 photos to review. Never a bad experience, people always helpful and friendly, yet we pay attention to our surroundings and those around us. Have always stayed at La Casa Encantada on Dr. Coss street right off the Plaza Grande. Lots of great memories. You and I have crossed paths, but I’m sure you have no recollection of it.

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        1. Leisa: We’ve crossed paths? You’re right. I do not recall. I blame that on the fact that I have the memory of a tree stump, and it’s not getting any better with the years. Well, if we cross paths again, I will certainly remember. Mea culpa.

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          1. We had coffee together where your wife sells her pastries on Saturday. Carole K. was with me. Can’t recall the year, maybe she would know. But probably does not matter. You were a man of few words.

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              1. Marco: Who is this Miguel character? No one here by that name.

                If you’re referring to me, Don Felipe, I can hardly treat you to a cafecito or a chocolate if you’re in Arizona. Rectify that, señor.

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            1. Leisa: Now you’re just messing with me! I only recall Carole coming here once, and she was with her husband. I do not recall her being with anyone else that day. Oh, dear.

              As for being a man of few words, it’s true. In person I’m nothing like my online self. One former commenter here met me and my wife in Ajijic briefly in a coffee shop. Later, she described me as taciturn. She was being kind, I think. I tend to keep to myself.

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              1. Yes, Carole and her husband were with my husband and me at your table. I think you perhaps were overwhelmed with so many “followers” at one seating. Introvert is the word that came to mind … and I thought it kindly. Your wife was going to cross the street and do a power walk on the Plaza. Poor you, left with us four.

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                1. Leisa P.S.: To make up for that, the next time you come, you can stay in our lovely, fully furnished, two-story, two-bedroom Downtown Casita, a short walk from the Plaza Grande, for nuttin´. Really. Assuming it’s not booked by someone on AirBnB, of course, and it usually is not.

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