Thursday, April 19, 2007

antes y despues

Fernando and Fernandillo (the son, no longer called the diminutive "Fernandito") painted the front door and the garage doors yesterday. They look gorgeous.

Here's the before. This is what happens to paint here; it fades virtually overnight. The doors were stained wood when we bought the house, but the weather ~ salt, damp, dust, grime ~ isn't kind to wood. We first painted these doors in 2003 and figured it was time.

Here's the after. Much better, no? The house paint looks better here, too, but these were taken only a day apart, and there wasn't much sunlight. I like this color, too, but really want something with more green in it, a true Mediterranean teal.

Mexico has a privilege for those over a certain (unmentionable) age that includes a 50% reducation in property taxes, a 50% reduction in annual water fees, and a 50% reduction in the cost of long distance bus travel. You present your passport or FM3 papers, your last electric bill (a strange form of ID but one that is used throughout Mexico to show ownership of property), two pictures and the card is yours. I told the Patient I was going to get one of these and he inquired of my reasons. "Well, I can get 50% off on long distance bus travel for one thing." Then he inquired of my travel plans. "Just in case we have to make a speedy get away and the car won't start," I reasoned. Certainly not for the taxes; we pay about $100 US per year. And not for the water; we pay $70 US per year. So I guess it's for the bus.

However, the check cashing card that Marie and I applied for will come in handy next year when we are having work done here. In Mexico, your workers are paid at 2 PM on Saturday, in cash. The usual work week is Mon. 2 PM - Sat. 2 PM. Why late on Monday? Because that's tinagues day and everyone (traditionally) does marketing on that morning. Nowadays I think it is to sleep off the excesses of Sunday night. We went into the casa de cambio last Monday armed with the usual papers/photos, and were told to come back to day to pick up the card. I had completely forgotten that anything to do with "paperwork" automatically adds at least 3 days to the completion date. When we showed up we got a completely blank stare from the woman behind the glass. We reminded her why we were there and after stumbling around with some lame excuses she told us to come back on Monday. "Es la vida!"


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