Sunday, February 27, 2011

Mexico and the United States--Mirror Economies

Again today I was reminded of the differences between the United States and Mexico.  A few days ago I bought a bag of dog bones from the pet shop. The bag cost 110 pesos. That is $9.07 in American dollars. In the States I could have gotten a bag that size for one dollar. Today, Sunday, the water pump went out where I am house sitting and I had to call the plumber. He fixed it in less than twenty minutes. He charged 100 pesos.  In American money that is $8.07. 

Labor here is usually cheap..... Products can be very expensive.   This is a mirror of the States where you can buy a used bike at a yard sale for five dollars but you have to pay the bike repair people maybe a hundred to get it working properly. Here, you might have to pay a hundred dollars for a used bike at a yard sale but you could get it fixed for maybe ten dollars.  This is a good thing to remember when you live here.

Pork Roast at the Club House at the Raquet Club

I went to the fundraiser for AMSIF at the Raquet Club on the 25th. My friend Stacey was very involved with it and she reserved a table for us. Loretta and Dawn also went. Dawn kindly drove us there and back. It was a lot of fun. They had a silent auction. I took photos of some of the things in the auction. The children came and did folk dancing. I noticed how different some people live from how I live.

Many couples were there. My single friends and I don't have much contact with this group. We don't have that much in common with them. I watched the women as their husbands brought them cold drinks and paid for items in the auction. The women were dressed far better than I dress and they had this secure look about them. Their concerns were different from mine. I felt kind of envious. But I was also glad that I had my single friends to keep me company. I have been married and that didn't work for me. You know the old saying, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence......

 AMSIF is an organization to help out poor families, through helping the women and children. They do many things for the San Juan Cosala community. I was glad my 150 pesos for the ticket went to a good cause and the food was delicious.

Silent Auction Pottery

Swimming Pools at the Raquet Club

Folkloric Dancers coming to dance for us
Crowded tables at the Pork Roast
Silent auction pottery sculpture
Silent auction jewelry

Friday, February 25, 2011

House Sitting in Ajijic

On Sunday this house sitting job is ending and I return to my casita. I am looking forward to being back home, even though it is cold and has no kitchen. I miss Chico. He almost died last week end.  My landlord was also gone and friends of ours went over to the yard and saw that Chico was sick. They took him  to the vet.  The vet gave him a shot and saved his life. That was very scary. Don't know how I could have handled losing that little squirt. Maybe I would have moved on.  Moved to Ecuador where it is cheaper to live.  But he is okay now. I saw him on Wednesday  when I went to the market. He kept jumping on my lap and standing there while I petted him. I love him so much. It is one of the hard things about house sitting, leaving him.

I don't have any more jobs now for a few weeks so I can spend some time with Chico. Maybe I will be able to take some short walks with him. Transitions are always hard for me. That is why I am not a great traveler. I get very nervous. I am always afraid I am going to leave something behind and usually I do. I am always worried that when the owners return they aren't going to like something I did or didn't do and sometimes that happens too.  But it is a good life. Can't complain about living in beautiful homes with maids and gardeners, computer hook ups and televisions. 

I already have my bags mostly packed. I like to do things in advance. Today I am going to a pig roast out in San Juan Cosala. It is a fund raiser for the Mexican women out there. They run a bakery. The bakery products they make are delicious.  I am going with some women friends. I will take photos. I am sure it will be fun. There is going to be a silent auction of things and coupons my friend Stacey got donated from the local stores and restaurants.  Tomorrow during the day I am going swimming at another friend's house and at night I may go to listen to a Cuban band at La Tasca.  Again, Not a bad life.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Lake Chapala Society and a New Chinese Restaurant

I went to the Lake Chapala Society again this morning. Time to get more books. I walked to the Plaza with my friend Loretta and we came across a new little Chinese restaurant. Inexpensive food but they haven't quite gotten the Chinese flavors yet.

Sunday Fiesta in the Ajijic Plaza

I went to the plaza on Sunday and was surprised to see a fiesta just setting up. There were many people sitting around, waiting for the band to start. My friend arrived after I had left and she said they were dancing by then and many drunks were wondering around. When I was there no one was drunk yet. I always enjoy being around happy people, not drunks but just happy people.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Death in Ajijic

A local celebrity died a few days ago. He was a writer. People pass away here all the time but this one hit the community hard because he seemed so healthy and he wasn't that old, at least by this community's demographics. I am guessing that he was in his 60s.  I often saw him around town at the social functions and the writer's group. I didn't know him personally. He was in the IMSS hospital in Guadalajara with some kind of blood disease.

There was a call put out to the community asking for AB Positive blood type. I guess that is rare. My friend called up and offered her blood. She is 65 years old. They refused to take it because they won't take blood from anyone over 60.  I don't know if he died because he didn't get enough blood or if that had anything to do with it but I think it is a shame that they refused to take my friend's blood.

I wrote in the previous post that a very expensive private Mexican health insurance company won't accept anyone over 64 years old.  Are we that worthless when we are over 60? Most expats living here are over 60 and the majority are over 70.   It seems tragic to me that we are so easily discounted.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Private Health Insurance in Ajijic

I found out some information about private health insurance. Not good. I talked with Jesus Guillermo Mejarad at 045 333 667 0499, If you want to call him. Their age cut off is 64. Their yearly cost is 30000 pesos plus you pay 20000 pesos for each illness per. year.....  He said there is a man who also sells it on Thursdays at LCS and they take people up to 69 but it is just as expensive. looks like I am going to have to stick with IMSS........

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Another Wednesday Market in Ajijic

Another Walk in Ajijic

I took another walk to the Lake Chapala Society. It hurts when I walk but hopefully it is a good hurt and not a bad hurt, meaning it is getting stronger from the walk and not weaker. Here are some photos of my walk and of LCS.