As I sit here at 10:44 PM on a Wednesday night listening to my neighbor's noisy party complete with norteño music pumped up to the max, I realize it could be worse. It could have been one of their karaoke parties with norteño music pumped up to the max while they sing loudly off-key. I swear one night in the recent past I was picking fruits and vegetables out of my refrigerator so I could start launching missiles from my bedroom window. That's no joke, folks. Don't these people realize I have to get up at 5:30 AM? Do these people care? Am I asking retarded rhetorical questions? Their parties usually start after 10 PM and can go on until 3 in the morning.
Paybacks can be hell. Other revenge plots have crossed my mind. What would they think of loud Czech polka music blaring from my bedroom window at 5:30 AM? Nah, not a good idea. It sounds too much like norteño music so they'd probably like it. Seriously, folks, the so-called Mexican music with the accordion is not really Mexican at all. It came from the German and Czech immigrants to northern Mexico. And the Mexicans have the nerve to brand it as their own! If you don't believe me, google it.
Anyway, I thought I finally got my revenge last Saturday night at my patio party. After a couple or ten rounds of tequila (who's counting?) the final encore of the night was a very loud and off-key sing-along with Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody around 2 AM. That oughta fix those noisy neighbors except now my throat hurts and my voice is hoarse. And they are back to partying again. Who got the last laugh? Not me, I guess, but I've an assortment of tomatoes and oranges ready to be launched.
1. the money looks normal and no longer reminds you of Monopoly money. 2. you know where all the potholes are located in your city that are big enough to swallow donkey carts and you can drive creatively to avoid them. 3. seeing a donkey cart no longer makes you stop and stare. 4. you automatically say "gracias" instead of "thank you" even to your English speaking friends. 5. you've developed a taste for salsas with super hot chile peppers. 6. you understand the difference between the 30 taco choices on the menu. 7. you start speaking Spanglish. For example, "Let's go to cama. I'm feeling cansada. La perrita needs to go a fuera so she doesn't hacer pipi en casa." 8. you can read #7 and it makes perfect sense. Por favor, add your comments. Me gustaría leer todos!
These translations made me chuckle. The first two were taken at a tourist site called Mikos in San Luis Potosi. It is a beautiful place with waterfalls, hiking, kayaking and swimming. But they really need to stop using the online translator. If I followed the command not to enter the water within an hour or more, I should never enter the water.... ever! At least that's what the sign said.
This sign really made me laugh. How does one lock their car half-assed? I guess I could just lock the driver's door and leave the rest unlocked. And please tell me what "forgotten malfunction" means.
The last photo was taken a few months ago in the bathroom on a bus in Mexico. As I sat on the toilet, this sign stared at me and for the life of me I couldn't understand what it meant. In English. Oh, duh, flush the toilet!
I am going to start off by saying I have many positive things to say about Mexico. I've met two amazing American women living here in Reynosa with their Mexican husbands. They are blog writers so you all can probably figure out who they are. One of them was my lifesaver by inviting me to San Luis Potosi over the holidays when I was going through a rough time. I like teaching and I like my students. I LUVVVVV the food.
I don't like my apartment. Or maybe I should say it doesn't like me. I've had a multitude of problems since the day I moved in last August. I bitched and moaned about the air conditioning or lack thereof until Mr. Luis from the school showed up with a mini-split. I have to say it is wonderful. It cools the entire apartment and it also is a heater that will almost sufficiently warm up 2 of the 4 rooms. Cockroaches that could live through a nuclear bomb occasionally take up residence inside. The pilot light keeps going out on the water heater, hence, cold showers. The water heater is outside so you would think the pilot light would be more likely to go out on a windy day. Nope. It usually goes out on the calmest of days. Again, Mr. Luis came to the rescue and built the handy dandy shield as seen by the uploaded photo. And there are days when there is no water. Nada. Not a drop. Yes, I am American and used to "luxuries" such as hot, running water inside the casa and not being afraid to go to sleep and worry about insects crawling around my bed. I realize that many here in Mexico do not have these luxuries, but if I wanted to do without hot water or live with bugs I would have joined the Peace Corps.
I have tried to keep my bitching about these inconveniences to a minimum because, well, they are inconveniences but not life threatening..... until last night. I was drifting off into dream world when something startled me awake around 11:30 PM. It was a peculiar smell. As I got up, POOF, out went the lights. Using touchy-feely, I found my flashlight and made my way into the living room. It was full of smoke. Checking the control panel, I looked to see if a breaker had switched. The breakers were all intact, but I could see the charred remains of wiring. Damn! This is serious! Geez, who do you call in this sort of an emergency? The fire department? 9-1-1? I didn't have a frickin' clue and I still don't a frickin' clue. I tried to call the director of English from the school but he was unreachable so I called the former director who is now a teacher at the school and got a hold of her sister. Ruth was able to contact poor Mr. Luis who came out at midnight, switched off the breakers, and duly deemed nothing could be done until mañana. Mr. Luis is truly a wonderful person but I've had enough of the mañana crap especially since the weather has taken a sour turn and we are expecting below freezing temperatures for the next several days. So this morning instead of dressing in uniform, I put on my dirty jeans from the day before without bathing and showed up at school with an attitude. The boss was all apologetic and everything until we went to the apartment and he declared it's not that bad. Not that BAD? Did the apartment need to burn to the ground to be declared bad? Maybe my death needed to occur to be declared "bad". I had complained several weeks ago about getting a buzz when I plugged things into the outlets. I could have gone ballistic, but I didn't. I just calmly stated that I would return to work when I had a livable place because I was going to Texas until such time. By 5:30 this evening, all the wiring from the street to the house and the entire control panel was replaced. I guess I'll have to show up to work tomorrow even though with the cold weather I am willing to bet all my jalapeños that I will have less than 6 students out of 34. And while I am on a roll can anyone please tell me why I have never seen a smoke detector in Mexico? Is there a ban from using such a device? Good grief, we had smoke detectors in Iowa way back in the 1970's. And now that I am thinking of it, I don't think I've ever seen a fire truck in Reynosa. What happens if there is ever a fire? Do people use garden hoses? Maybe so, unless they are dead because they didn't have a smoke detector.
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.