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My Retirement Journal: Day 10

I'm sitting at Scallion, just finished breakfast. (A lot of places here have Facebook pages in lieu of web sites.) As I was eating, a woman who could easily be in her late 90s came up and patted me on the back and said, "Isn't that the best breakfast ever?" It was a perfectly adequate breakfast of eggs, bacon, potatoes, and fruit, so I said, "Yes." She always gets the bagel with lox, and she can only eat half of it, and she takes the rest home for lunch. They're getting new coffee mugs with bigger handles because she told them the cups are too small and the handles are too hard to hold. She proceeded to tell me how she used to own a restaurant in Maryland, two miles from Washington. She asked me where I'm from, and when I told her "Seattle," she told me about her friends in Steilacoom. They've been friends for sixty years, and she is their daughter Gina's godmother. Sadly, Larry died of throat cancer eight years ago, but she remains in contact with Barbara and Gina and Ken (Gina's husband?).

Yesterday I attended "Introduction to Lakeside" class at the Lake Chapala Society. There was some good useful information (where to go to pay your water bill, your taxes, etc., plus good restaurants, how to ride the bus, which are the best ATMs, and more). One of the women attending the class (Valerie), who is here on her fourth visit and thinking of settling, mentioned a weekly trivia night on Thursdays (which was yesterday). She goes not for the trivia, but for the half-price margaritas. So I thought I should check that out.

After the class, I stopped by the office of an immigration lawyer and made an appointment for next Tuesday.

Then I headed home because Vickie (my real estate agent) was going to get the local handyman (Antonio) to come over and check why my water pump keeps shutting off, and also why water was coming in upstairs through the roof during the rains night before last. I heard back from Vickie that Antonio would be over at 4:30.

Meanwhile, I have a solution to my TV quandary. Vickie put me in touch with a guy who will set me up with Roku and a VPN. The initial expense is quite large, but then it's just $70 US per year for the VPN. But I need a faster internet connection. So I went over to Ilox, which has a fiber-optic network and much faster speeds than the phone company. The woman there said their system was down and I should come back after 5:00. They close at 7:00.

So I went back home and waited for Antonio, and he came right on time, took apart my water pump, and showed me that the sensor was burned out and I needed a new one, and it would cost about $2000. He'd go get it and he'd be back in twenty minutes. He goes and gets the new part, installs it, and then checks the roof. It turns out there are some roof tiles that have gotten misaligned (probably from the wind). He goes to get a ladder (he lives right around the corner, it turns out), climbs up, and adjusts the roof tiles. (They are U-shaped  terracotta tiles that overlap, creating channels to move the water down to the patio. If they aren't correctly aligned, water comes in.) Now that I know how simple it is, I can fix it myself in the future.

Total cost for the new part and for Antonio's time: $2300. I gave him $2500. (That's pesos, of course. $125 US.)

Now it was 5:30, so I went back to Ilox. The woman is on the phone. Long conversation, and I stand there waiting about ten minutes. Finally she hangs up and says, "The system is still down. Come back tomorrow."

I get home and start thinking about dinner, and then remember that trivia starts at 6:30, so I have just enough time to get there. I arrive and there's Valerie, and she introduces me to some friends, and I join a team, playing with Bruce, Jim, and Ilona. It was fun, though we came in second (out of three teams) by one point.

After the trivia was over, I get to chatting with Ilona, and somehow something political comes up and she gives me a spiel about Democrats Abroad, of which she is one of the co-chairs. She insists as expats we can't abdicate our responsibility as citizens of the US. And how many of us are here because of the guy in the White House. I mentioned I left partly because I fear that the US is becoming a country where, as a Jew and a gay person, I no longer feel safe. "I'm gay too," she says.

Next thing I know Ilona is inviting me to come meet her other gay friends on the Plaza. And we exchange emails and phone numbers and I go back to her house with her to pick up her dogs and we walk to the plaza and join a group of guys (Bill, Dan, Mike, and someone else who left after a short while).

I didn't get home until 11:00. It was a great night!

This morning I went back to Ilox (which is right around the corner from Scallion) and finally got signed up for their internet service. After it's all done, she says they will call me in 2-3 weeks to schedule an appointment for installation.

Yes, I have to wait 2-3 weeks...

Welcome to Mexico!

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic day of connections! It makes me think or our relocation rule - never turn down an invitation in the first year. You can rain check if you have a conflict...but even if you aren’t sure about the person who invites in all likelihood, will meet someone you like at the event :)


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