Refugee, not an expatriate

EXPATRIATE, OFTEN misspelled, has something of an exotic ring to it.

It can conjure up images of Hemingway in Paris, Lenin in Switzerland or Felipe in Mexico, sitting at sidewalk cafés with steaming cafecitos, plotting revolutions, penning pamphlets or simply chilling out.

I excel at that last one.

While it’s common to hear Gringos who’ve moved to Mexico referring to themselves and one another as expatriates, I have never considered myself one, never used the word in reference to myself even though I am one.

I feel more like a refugee.

I didn’t feel like a refugee when I moved to Mexico over 18 years ago, but I feel like a refugee now while I watch my former homeland come unglued.

It’s nice to have found refuge South of the Border.

My child bride goes topless

charro
This hombre was my father-in-law.

THERE ARE NO two abutting nations on earth that are more different than the United States and Mexico. Moving from one to another can be a jarring experience.

It is so jarring that it causes Gringos in Mexico — and Mexicans in the United States — to huddle with their own people for comfort and familiarity.

While the Gringos often crow about assimilating, blending in, the Mexicans know better. While Gringos often say they “love the culture” of Mexico, Mexicans never say that about the United States. Blame envy.

If you go further than simply moving from one nation to the other, and marry into a family from the other side, things can get more jarring or less, depending on you. It definitely provides a different perspective.

Speaking of perspectives, here are some photos my child bride recently pulled from the closet. Above is my father-in-law.  He owned a horse and a pistol, and he would pull the pistol out if necessary. He was a family physician and a surgeon to boot. I never knew him because he died over 30 years ago at the age of 61, a heart attack.

He was not, I am told, fond of Gringos.

Here are two more photos, both of my child bride in the early 1960s. I graduated from high school in 1962, so it’s clear why I call her my child bride.

tub
Enjoying a bath in a galvanized tub.
grin
Going topless with a goofy grin.

 

 

Mansplaining Trump to Mexicans

PRESIDENT TRUMP is not a popular man in Mexico.

If I had a MAGA cap, and I wish I did, I would not wear it on the street. You may recall that I ordered a Trump coffee mug via eBay after the presidential election. Someone at Mexican Customs smashed it, put it back in the box, and sent it on to me.

I glued it back together as best I could, and now it sits proudly on my desk as a pen-and-pencil holder. Trump’s grinning at me as I write this.

Mexicans’ attitude toward Trump is understandable. Were I a born Mexican instead of merely a made one I probably would dislike him too. It’s human nature. The stuff he said during the campaign was pretty harsh, but he was campaigning like Teddy Roosevelt, and what he said was for American consumption. It worked!

On a couple of occasions, I’ve had Mexicans ask me what I think about Trump. I tell them I voted for him, and then I provide this analogy:

How would Mexicans feel if, instead of the two Gringo-infested havens of San Miguel de Allende and the Lake Chapala area, there were literally hundreds of San Miguels sprinkled across Mexico?

And these hundreds of San Miguels were infested with Gringos who lacked visas because they had entered Mexico via tunnels, climbing over fences and swimming south over the Rio Bravo, dodging the law.

And how would Mexicans feel if these millions, literally millions, of illegal Gringos, most of whom spoke no Spanish and had no interest in doing so, were fond of marching in our streets waving American flags and demanding their “rights”?

I’ll tell you how Mexicans would feel. They would be apoplectic. Of course, this would never happen because Mexico would not allow it in the first place.

Mexicans are not that stupid. We would deport you.

If Mexicans want to get angry at the election of Trump, and they decidedly do, they should know who caused it. They need only look into a mirror. They themselves caused it with their lawless, decades-long border invasion. That plus the collusion of the vote-grubbing Democrat Party and the acquiescence of the numbskull Republicans.

Mexicans and the two corrupt U.S. political parties created Trump.

You did it, amigos. Nobody else.

December means medical checkup

lab
This is my wonderful lab.

WHEN I WINGED south over the Rio Bravo way back in the Dark Ages, I had the hysterical healthcare mentality of a typical Gringo.

Live without health insurance? Why, that would be sheer madness, so I purchased coverage with a system called IMSS. If memory serves, it was the peso equivalent of about 300 U.S. bucks for a year of full coverage. But after that first year, I knew better and did not renew.

One must go to an IMSS clinic, and I didn’t want to. They’re dicey.

Health insurance? Who needs health insurance? Pick your own excellent doctor and pay cash or yank out your debit or credit card.

After marrying in 2002, my child bride talked me into getting a complete checkup in 2004 at the Star Medica Hospital in the state capital. I repeated the process in 2007. In 2013, I decided on a simpler approach.

Every December I pick a day and head to the outpost of a lab downtown at 8 a.m., and I get my cholesterol, blood sugar, triglycerides and poop tested. The last I hand over with some cute comment. On some years — not all — I get an EKG and chest X-rays. I do those elsewhere. The first in a doctor’s office ($25 U.S.), and the second ($16 U.S.) in a different lab.

I skipped those this year because I did them last year.

After the pretty nurse takes my blood and poop sample, I head home where I arrive by 8:30 — there’s rarely any wait at the lab because I get there when it opens — and I dine on a nice, warm croissant accompanied by hot café Americano negro and a beautiful woman.

In the afternoon of the same day, I return to the lab to pick up the results. Yes, same-day service and, of course, there was no physician’s referral required. Charge: $27. Now that’s healthcare for you.

That all took place yesterday.

How you folks lovin’ that ObamaCare?

This year’s results: I’m in tiptop condition.