I found out tonight that Sergio has another skill that I didn't know he had. He can sew sock puppets. His daughter needed to make a rat sock puppet for school. I figured this would be a chore automatically turned over to me, but NOOOOO... he took over the duty himself. He threaded the needle and tied a knot with the expertise of a seasoned seamstress. What is the male version of a seamstress? A tailor? At any rate, he cut up an old sock, sewed up the ends, added eyes, and a nose. I can't give him all credit because I did the ears. It was his brilliant idea to cut a few of the strands from the broom to make whiskers. He wouldn't allow me to photograph him as he was sewing but I got a shot of him with the finished product laying on his head. I was truly impressed. I'm so proud of him.
Sign Sign everywhere a sign
Blocking out the scenery breaking my mind
Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign
I might be immune to the seeing all the signs in the United States, but in Mexico there seems to be a sign for everything on the highway. I bet I have counted over 100 different types of road signs. Most of them are typical like "Curva Peligrosa" warning that a dangerous curve is ahead. However, there are some that makes you wonder if the Mexican version of the DOT is in cahoots with the sign makers. In other words its like some official said "Hey, let's get a kickback by putting a sign every 10 feet telling the drivers the most absurd things."
Below is just a sample of some of the more interesting ones.
No Destruya Las Señales - Don't Destroy The Signs(I swear this is an invitation to make sure the sign is destroyed, hence, the need for more road signs) No Transite Sobre Franja Separadora Central - Don't Drive Down the Middle of the Road (I would say, DUH!, but you need to see my other post about driving in Mexico) Maneje Con Precaucion - Drive With Caution(as opposed to driving without caution????) Si Toma No Maneje - If You Drink, Don't Drive(and I thought drinking and driving was considered a national sport in Mexico) Obedezca Las Señales - Obey the Signs (I guess it is necessary to have a sign telling drivers to obey the signs)
and my personal favorite....
No Deje Las Piedras Sobre El Acotamiento - Don't Leave Rocks On The Road
This last one is just plain puzzling. When was the last time you left rocks on the road? Did anyone ever have to tell you not to leave rocks on the road? Mexico has a sign telling you not to do this. I'll make double sure that I never leave rocks on the road just because the sign told me so.
I've disappeared from the blogging scene for a while. A few things have happened to keep me away from my computer. Sergio and his daughter Angeles arrived from Mexico City on Friday, October 30, just in time for me to take off on an airplane for Iowa. I had to make a quick trip to my hometown to help my mom and dad drive to Texas. The parents bought a home in Edinburg which is exactly 25 miles from my apartment in Reynosa. I am lucky to have family living near me. And now I've got Sergio and Angeles. Well, at least Angeles. She is attending school here in Reynosa. Sergio left for Mexico City last Sunday and should be returning tomorrow. That means mañana. You all know what mañana means in Spanish. Maybe he'll be back next week. I need Angeles's birth certificate and school papers to get her properly enrolled in school. Do you think he will remember to bring the documents? Stay tuned, folks.
We had another "balacera" last Saturday night. We were at a birthday party for the son of our friends and we could hear the machine guns going at it. The gun battles are barely mentioned, if at all, in the news anymore. I've heard that the reporters are afraid of retaliation. I'm not sure of the real reason, but, at any rate, it is weird to sit around with balloons, a piñata and birthday cake and then watch the mothers come running for their children yelling, "Balacera!" The normal person would run and duck inside the hacienda, but, NO, not us. We sat outside so we could hear the tat-tat-tat of the rapid fire machine guns. Sh*t for brains, yes we are.
Last night I had the grand experience of going to the hospital. I was miserably ill with 103 degree fever. Normally I would have toughed it out but, sheesh, with all the influenza stuff going around I thought it best to get it checked out. I don't think all the mommies want me passing around influenza germs to their precious darlings. The staff was efficient and I didn't have to wait long at all. Amazing! And I don't have the flu. I'm still not sure what I have. I'm not sure what medicine they put in the IV last night. All I know is with my insurance card through the school, the hospital bill was a grand total of $437 pesos. For all the friends and family who have no idea how much that is, divide by 13 for American dollars. And for my math deficient sister who is a nurse, it is easier to divide by 10 and take an extra 1/3 off that. Or just use your calculator that you take with you wherever you go.
I taught 5th grade for 2 years in Mexico near the border of Texas. Unfortunately, gun battles, grenades, narco-blockades, and thieves ran me out of town. Then, by a twist of fate, I became the guardian to my orphaned nephews and moved to the safer, saner, and much colder state of Iowa.