Where’s the onerousness?

butcher
Felipe runs a butcher shop in the next block. He’s a good guy.

I WAS READING yesterday on the blog of an old Gringo who lives in the sticks outside the touristy, Gringo-infested burg of San Miguel de Allende that the old Gringo in question — his name is Alfredo — was finding life in the Plague Year “onerous.”

I am not finding it onerous, just a bit inconvenient at times, but mostly I’m doing just fine. I read, I watch Netflix, I fix lunch, which is the main meal of the day in Mexico, I power walk around the neighborhood plaza every weekday, and I tend to the  yard. With some exceptions, it’s what I did before the Kung Flu tossed everyone into a tizzy.

I don’t garden every day — not the lazy days — but I do what needs to be done, and Abel the Deadpan Yardman does the heavy lifting, so to speak, and there’s rarely much heavy lifting. This morning, I hosed the yard plants for the first time in a couple of weeks, just the plants, not the grass, which fends for itself.

Then I rested on a downstairs veranda rocker and shot this picture of myself. That’s me in a good mood. I already had the camera at hand because I planned to photograph the butcher minutes later during the power walk. The butcher is named Felipe too.

That young man is a red-meat entrepreneur. I like him. He has a wife and a young boy, and they are all well-behaved.

me
Grinning from ear to ear.

I’m a little scraggly, but I tidied up later. One must maintain standards of appearance and deportment. I learned that in the Air Force decades ago. Or not. Just after snapping this shot, I grabbed my mahogany cane — to thrash unruly dogs — ushered my child bride through the big, red gate, and we powered around the nearby plaza.

Perhaps there was a bounce in my step. She detoured to a little store to buy peanuts for  cookies this afternoon. They are tasty cookies and go great with coffee.

The plaza was empty, so we didn’t have to maintain social distancing. The space was all ours on this lovely, blue-skied, cool-aired, carefree day.

plazaa
The neighborhood plaza was wide open today.

We’re not letting the Kung Flu get us down. Tomorrow I’ll be meeting a guy named Miguel at the Downtown Casita, and he’ll do some renovation in the carport that will entail removing plants — one of my preferred activities — and installing ceramic floor tile.

Faux brick. It will look sweet.

To date, the Plague Year has prompted two cancellations for the Downtown Casita, leaving just one in place, a couple who’ll arrive in late October for only two weeks. I don’t much care for two-week reservations because the income is hardly worth the effort.

There’s plenty of time for them to cancel too. I rather hope so.

A two-nation man

48114546948_33f9bf3f59_o
2005: Typing citizenship application on my 1923 Royal.

THE MOVEMENT of time fascinates me — calendars, watches, wall clocks, birthdays, anniversaries. You name it, I’m on it.

What is it today? My Mexican citizenship, 15 years now. I applied in January 2005*, and the papers were delivered in December of that same year.

Within a month, I had a Mexican passport. Citizenship does not come with a passport. You do that separately. Or not. I remain an American citizen, of course, and I renewed my U.S. passport two years ago at the consulate in San Miguel de Allende, a useless act. I don’t need it anymore, and not renewing it would not affect my U.S. citizenship. It was a waste of time and money. I have no intention of crossing the border again.

It was a knee-jerk action on my part.

Becoming a Mexican citizen was easy. I filled out a form that was similar to the form to renew my visa. I paid a fee (about $100 U.S. if memory serves), and I waited. That was it. The process is more complicated now, I’m told. A language test, a Mexican history and culture test, some other hurdles, none of which did I have to do.

I did speak briefly to the clerk in Spanish. Perhaps that was a language test, but there was no written requirement of anything. Piece of cake.

On just two occasions in the past 15 years have I had to salute the Mexican flag, and I’ll tell you the truth. It feels odd. Nationality is in your genes. Putting on a coat of another color, especially late in life, is strange. But I am very glad Mexico took me in, especially now that the United States is imploding.

Trump is only slowing that down. He cannot stop it.

Many Gringos move down here, stay for years, and never become citizens. They just renew temporary visas interminably or get a permanent resident visa, which is almost like being a citizen, but you cannot vote.

I vote in elections on both sides of the Rio Bravo.

I like being a two-nation man.

* * * *

* Coincidentally, it was also January 2005 when I started the blog.

How opinions do change

AS WE BLAST further in the presidential campaign season, you’ll be seeing more conservative, political stuff hereabouts. If it’s too much for your sensibilities, I offer these three alternatives for blog posts about life south of the Rio Bravo.

One is Steve Cotton who lives occasionally on the sweltering Pacific coast at Barra de Navidad. You’ll get your doses of Mexican parades, sunsets, food and bugs.

Two is Babs, an old lady who lives in the Gringo-infested burg of San Miguel de Allende. There you’ll get lots of news and photos of her grandchildren because old ladies do that, but she offers fun stuff about Mexico too. You will encounter Trump Derangement Syndrome on occasion, however.

Last but hardly least is Al Lanier who lives outside San Miguel. His blog is very good but, once again, you’ll encounter Trump Derangement Syndrome at times. Al, like me, is a former newspaperman. He’s also a refugee from communist Cuba who now supports the Left in the United States. Latinos can be contradictory and amusing, eh?

As for The Moon, we’ll be back to normal after November 3. That’s not to say that we’re going completely political till then, but there will be plenty of politics due to the hilarious lineup of Democrat hopefuls and the endless fun of the Blond Bomber.

The hole is too deep and full of gold not to mine it.

The top video illustrates beautifully the hypocrisy of leading Democrats over the years on the issue of border control. Then they liked it, now they don’t.

Below is a great take on Democrat candidate Mayor Pete. That vlog is run by a house painter who lives in a mobile home he calls the Hobo Dojo in the Los Angeles cesspool.

It’s his, I believe, second appearance here. Let’s give him a hand!

Hightailing it from Carnival chaos

I LIVED 18 YEARS in New Orleans, so I know Mardi Gras.

Now I’ve lived 18 years on my Mexican mountaintop, on the hardscrabble outskirts of town. My new paisanos do Mardi Gras too. And of all the neighborhoods, mine embraces Carnival the most. It goes bat-shit crazy.

Carnival is best if you’re a drinking man, which I was during most of my time in New Orleans. Some events are best enjoyed while sloshed.

I embraced the bottle for almost precisely 25 years, from age 26 to age 51. Not coincidentally, that quarter century, which should have been my best and most productive, was precisely the opposite, and booze did it.

I’m going to list the pros and cons of boozing. First the pros:

  1. You feel real good for the first hour.
  2. There is no No. 2.

Let’s move on to the cons:

  1. Your life lacks focus.
  2. Your relationships suffer.
  3. Your job suffers.
  4. You lack concentration.
  5. It’s expensive.
  6. It’s dangerous.

There are others I could put on the cons. Going on the wagon was my best decision ever. My life changed overnight, literally.

New ImageBut being sober, I don’t enjoy Carnival anymore, especially how it’s done where I live now. We try to get out of town, and we’ll be hightailing it tomorrow to a suite hotel in the boondocks between San Miguel de Allende and Dolores Hidalgo. The place is called the Grand Las Nubes by Inmense. La-dee-dah.

So while the neighborhood plaza at home roars with nightly concerts, we’ll be in the boonies sleeping blissfully with the only sounds being the occasional coyote singing in the moonlight.

And there will be no morning hangovers.