Reconnecting with old compadres

RECENTLY I OPENED a Facebook page in my real name. I’ve been in and out of Facebook for years, mostly out. It can be a useful and fun tool, but its primary value for me is to see what folks I once knew are doing these days.

(Few, if any, are having anywhere near the fun I’m having.)

Many of these reconnections have been with people I worked with in the newspaper world. I have been saddened by this.

While it is common knowledge that those in the media are flaming leftists, for some reason I have been surprised — shouldn’t have been — to see that my old compadres are firmly in that category.

Their FB posts are unrelenting Trump Hate. Luckily, I decided before reentering the FB world that I would not touch politics. I failed in that resolve only once so far, and that was a link to a story about Trump’s hand in getting the first black woman promoted to Marine Corps general.

Nary a one of my former coworkers responded to that one. Of course, it flies in the face of what they all “know,” that Trump is a vile racist.

There is no evidence of his being a racist, of course. Quite the contrary. But all of those suffering from what has been dubbed Trump Derangement Syndrome know without a doubt he’s a racist, a misogynist, a xenophobe, just a crude man in general. Like the racist charge, there is no evidence of any of this.

On the crudity issue, they base their opinions on that famous recording of Trump in a locker room in which he referred to grabbing, well, you know. The fact that Bill Clinton got a BJ in the Oval Office from an intern slattern is ignored.

None of the sex business bothers me at all. Men in high places have always used that power to attract very willing women. It’s human nature.

As the French politician Marine Le Pen has noted, There is no more Right or Left. There are only Globalists and Nationalists. I think that is correct, and much of the anti-Trump hysteria comes from his belief in national borders and the need to protect them.

Living in another nation with a drastically different culture opens one’s eyes to the fact that cultures can be stunningly incompatible. There are two points to be made. One is that differences are good and interesting, so trying to blur the lines is bad. Do we really want a one-world culture? Secondly, some cultures are inferior. Do those in positive cultures want to poison themselves?

The classic, modern example, of course, is Western Europe’s opening its borders to Mohammedans, something Europe is coming to regret in a grand way due to the Mohammedan culture’s being all the things that leftists loathe.

Logic is not their strong suit.

And assimilation is not Mohammedans’ strong suit, to state it mildly.

I read FB posts of my former compadres, reeking of Trump loathing, but I see no reasons stated. They simply believe it because everyone they know believes it. Group-Think. They have tasted the Kool-Aid, and it is savory.

Unlike so many on both Right and Left, I do not “hate” people who disagree with me on political matters. With some exceptions, I believe them to be simply naive and misinformed, primarily of human nature and history.

I wish everyone reacted in the same way to differences of opinion. So I wish all my former coworkers the best, that one day they will see the beauty of Trump’s brashness, and that he’s a breath of fresh air in the Oval Office.

Among his many positives is that he supports Israel — unlike his lamentable predecessor — the sole nation in the Mideast where women walk free, unmasked, unmutilated and unstoned.

He ain’t perfect, but he isn’t Hillary. Thank the Goddess for favors bestowed.

Nikki_Haley_official_photoOne day, the United States will get a woman president. May she be like Margaret Thatcher or Nikki Haley (left) whose maiden name was Nimrata Randhawa. How on earth did that xenophobe Trump install Nimrata in the United Nations?

Did it slip his mind that he’s a sexist xenophobe?

* * * *

(The Moon has a new look. I hope you find it appealing. Aside from the header photo, it’s really not all that different.)

The drop-ins

Here we are! What’s on the stove? Where’s the tequila? Let’s dance!

LIVING IN Mexico can be a challenge. Don’t let anybody fool you with that “it’s magical” hooey.

The pluses outweigh the minuses, of course, but some of those minuses can be maddening, especially to me.

Way up the list is what I call the “Mexican yes,” or as I often say it to my child bride, “el sí mexicano.”

She does not dispute the point.

This refers to the custom of responding positively to pretty much everything. Are you coming tomorrow to fix the faucet? Yes!  Are you coming to lunch tomorrow? Yes! It’s always yes, and it never has any connection to reality whatsoever.

Maybe you’ll come. Maybe you won’t. No telling.

The only exception to this occurs when the positive response is not yes, but no. Are you going to drive my car that I’m loaning you 200 kph over potholes? No!

But, like all Mexicans, I have become accustomed to the “Mexican yes,” knowing that it’s meaningless.

By the way, the “Mexican yes” is just one example of a broader problem, which is rampant lying. This habit stems from trying to make other people feel good on one hand, and avoiding embarrassment to yourself on the other hand.

Mexicans get embarrassed a lot.

Most of the lying falls into the “little white lie” category, the fib. It’s no big thing really, but it becomes a bigger thing due to its being spectacularly widespread.

What all this means is that you often cannot depend on what people say. I am convinced this is a major factor in our not running a First-World economy, which relies on trust.

There is little trust between the Rio Bravo and the Guatemalan border. Probably not south of the Guatemalan border either, but I have never been there, so I don’t know.

I suspect this is not a Mexican thing, but a Latino thing.

But it’s not lying or lack of trust that inspires me today. It’s another Mexican habit that drives me nuts.

It’s the drop-in.

If relatives want to visit, they just do so with no warning whatsoever, and it can happen at any hour of the day or night. And they rarely do so individually or in couples.

Think groups. I call them mobs.

Do they phone first to let you know they’re on their way? Do they wait for an invite? Do they think for a nanosecond that you may be busy with someone or something else? Do they attempt not to come right at a meal time? No.

My wife says this is just part of the culture, and nobody thinks anything of it, including the recipients of the drop-in. Relatives are always welcome. Always!

I very much doubt this. I think the recipients of the drop-in often are faking it to avoid that widespread embarrassment.

We usually end our days the same way. I make a big salad for the two of us. We’re in our PJs, and we sit in our recliners upstairs, eat and watch a movie on Netflix. This rarely varies, and I do not want to hear the doorbell. It will be ignored.

We had been eating our salads for about 45 seconds last Saturday night when my child bride’s phone rang. Here we come! it was said in Spanish, the five relatives driving down from Querétaro.

They were five minutes away. They knew when they left Querétaro hours earlier that they were coming here. They surely knew the day before, but did they let us know? Of course not.

It would have ruined the drop-in!

The five of them sat in our living room for over an hour, shooting the breeze while our salads wilted upstairs. Then they got up and headed downtown at 9 p.m. to “drop in” on other relatives who had no clue they were coming either.

Actually, we got off lucky because they did not decide to spend the night on our floor. The other relatives won that prize.

The drop-in.

Living in Mexico can be a challenge.

The first yank

My trusty machine, red like the house.

THE RAINY SEASON arrived this week with a splash!

Three days ago I was enjoying a nice café Americano negro at a sidewalk table downtown when the skies opened with a vengeance.

In short order, the street vanished, and a lake took its place. Passing cars pushed waves onto the sidewalk, so I retreated closer to the wall with my chair and table.

The temperatures have dropped. The dust is washed into the gutters, down the drain pipes and into the lake.

And now my grass is greening. Soon it will need mowing and edging. Yesterday I pulled the mower from under a table on the Garden Patio and wiped it off with paper towels.

I poured fresh gas into the tank. I primed the carb (three times), and I yanked on the rope. Roar! The first yank!

Craftsman makes good stuff.

That leaves the weedeater, which I bought just last year, a Stihl, which is also a good item, but all weedeaters are a bitch to crank. The Stihl is just a little less so. But it has a rather complicated process you must observe to start it.

And being along in years, my arm is not what it once was. If the Stihl does not crank  quickly, I’m out of the game. I have not tried to start it yet. I am procrastinating.

Stihl weedeater, better than most.

While I let Abel the Deadpan Yardman mow the grass with the Craftsman, I am hesitant to put the Stihl in his mitts. The last time I let a local use a weedeater, it ended up in tatters.

Mexicans tend not to take care of things owned by other people. It’s a cultural trait and not one of their better ones. But I may be forced to hand it over to him.

Happy cacti.

After shooting the mower and Stihl, I photographed these cacti. I’m a cactus man. I planted them in Houston, but they never did squat.

Here, however, they’re right at home. I planted these cacti when they were small. The ones at the far end are  now taller than I am.

So summer and its accompanying rains are here. We love it when that happens after the stuffy, dry, dusty spring. But by soggy September we’ll be praying for an end to it.

Far from home

Cuban spread

WE PASSED 15 years of matrimony last month and had planned on spending a few days on the Pacific sands to mark the happy event, but it never happened.

My dental work intervened, not just the visits to the dentist but the cost too, which took a good chunk out of the checkbook. Sure, we could still go to the beach, but the moment has passed, plus it’s hot as hell there right now.

We decided to just “celebrate” with a nice meal at a Cuban restaurant in the state capital. The restaurant offers a “Cuban banquet,” and we ordered that … for two.

That was last weekend. The banquet is quite good. The only beef I have with it is they plop everything on your table at the same time. It should come in stages, especially the warm dessert.

We’ve also eaten Cuban food in Cuba, of course, and it was good, but I wouldn’t recommend visiting Cuba. It’s depressing.

Lying in bed this morning before dawn, I was thinking about the United States where I was born and where I have not set foot in eight years. I likely will never set foot there again.

Years of separation, living in a very different society, affects your mind, your viewpoint, your perspective and so on. I’m sure that a visit now would be jarring.

The Germanic efficiency, the rules, the regulations, the cops who actually pay attention to your speed, the need to watch your mouth, be “sensitive.” Indeed, the entire humorless, asexual, multicultural mess that exists up there.

Don’t think I’d care for any of it.

I would enjoy a New Orleans snow cone and beignets on the banks of the Mississippi. But I would reel at prices that would seem stunning due to the exchange rate of the last few years and my no longer having access to dollars.

But mostly it would be a thump to my psyche.

Most Americans who live down here appear to flee back over the border on a regular basis, avoiding that thump.

I have no plans to return, ever.

Not to America. Not to Cuba either.