Archive | December, 2015

Standoff With The Neighbors – How It’s Done In Mexico

27 Dec

The politics of land acquisition has a long and bloody history in Mexico. At least no blood was shed yesterday at the property line between us and our neighbors to the south. The policia were called and lots of IPhone video taken. We had our own telenovela (soap opera) going on.

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Local police who’s job it is to keep the peace and prevent bloodshed.

The property line along the Laguna has been drawn and redrawn many times over the years. There are landmarks (stone walls, buildings and fence posts) that have been in place for a long time and provide demarcation where records are sketchy. We have a clear title to our property. When getting permission to build on our lot, a topographer came out with a satellite gizmo and marked our coordinates.  Technology meets history.

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The neighbors take matter into their own hands.

We had met with the property owners more than once and had a handshake agreement as to where the property lines were. When the adult children got involved all communication ceased. Phone calls went unreturned. It was on our plate to resolve the boundaries upon return from NOTB (north of the border). They are claiming another few feet of lake front property. Seriously?!!

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Bringing in some muscle, the palaperos (palapa builders) provide “support”.

We called our builder David who’s command of Spanish is much better than ours, and who had been meeting with government officials to try and get clear markers. He showed up for a showdown. When more talks failed, he called in his gumbas to see that the fence building ceased. But it was Lisa pulling up posts that had both sides laughing. Don’t mess with the Tortas!

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David (right) police (left) neighbors in the middle.

The policia commanded cease and desist on the fence and set an appointment for 11 am Monday morning. I sure hope we can settle things peacefully and move on. The last thing we want is problems with our neighbors.

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Home, la Gripa and Electrical Outage

20 Dec

La gripa is a catch-all phrase used in Mexico for colds and flu. It may or may not include fever and/or the usual symptoms. Mine isn’t serious, no fever, but enough to not feel much like blogging. Also we had a big rain storm last night which took out the electricity until minutes ago. Say no more. 

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The beautiful sky and plains of Chihuahua.

Ours was a whirlwind trip from southern Mexico to Northern California and back. Extenuating circumstances prevented visiting friends and sightseeing. Mostly it was gas, pee, eat, sleep, drive, repeat and not necessarily in that order.

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An early start from Puebla into the mountain pass of the volcano Orizaba.

Once through the mountains of central Mexico, the temperature changed quickly and we were pulling out the shorts. Almost there.

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Rain shower heading out way.

Home sweet home Bacalar. We are recovering from a strenuous trip and bouts of gripa. Lots of fluids, garlic soup and rest. We’re glad to see our puppy who doubled in size while we were gone.

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Sitting on the dock. Lots of cuddles and fish watching with Luna.

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The reason for the trip, Max is one month old.

Happy holidays to you and yours from DOS TORTAS

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Traveling Tortas

13 Dec

Crossing the border at Agua Prieta, across from Douglas, Arizona was the easiest crossing into Mexico from the U.S. we have made yet. The Tortas have been on an epic journey to California to attend the birth of our grandson and bringing Lisa’s mom Alice to live with us in Bacalar. The guards took one look at my white hair and packed truck and said, move along. Gracias a Dios. The ability to speak Spanish always helps. 

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Sunset south of Phoenix, AZ.

Immigration did not make us offload our truck which would have been a major inconvenience.

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Packed to overflowing with “just one more thing”

There have been long days driving and we are so ready to be home in Bacalar. The odometer noted  five thousand miles driven, a few days ago. We’ve been gone almost six weeks.

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Looking south near Bisbee AZ

The mountains of Chihuahua have been beautiful. We have seen lots of Mexican terrain, but none of the culture, museums or people. Lisa and her mom have head colds. We have been pedal to the metal, hotel to hotel and getting lost following outdated maps. We’ll be home to our little house on Laguna Bacalar in a few days. Until next week, stay warm. Peace from DOS TORTAS.

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Mass Shootings or Farmer’s Markets

6 Dec

Bloggers living in Mexico notice with increased interest when scarey stuff happens in the USA. By comparison, Mexico is looking good. 

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Myself, I try to avoid the news. It’s hard to do I admit. Whether online or on TV there’s such a pull to understand the non-understandable. I refuse to be afraid.

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So instead, I will present another aspect of California that hasn’t made the news lately. The Tortas visited two really nice farmer’s markets on our recent trip to California. I always head to the ethnic food vendors. Mediterranean was especially good at both Windsor and Bakersfield markets.

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Olives, dates, tabouli, hummus and pitta bread are all impossible to find in our little corner of Mexico.

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Of course, every Mexican village has the most wonderful mercado. They are filled with hundreds of items you don’t get in the US, fresh coconut water, tree ripened bananas, and plants and pottery that are really, really cheap.

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US-style farmer’s markets are catching on in Mexico where there are large foreign populations. I attended one in Merida and they were selling bread! Mmmmmm. Fortunately or unfortunately one will never appear in Bacalar. We live in a part of Mexico with a very small foreign community. Which is just the way we planned it.

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Green juice vendor in Bacalar.

So if you’re looking to move to Mexico, don’t come because you’re afraid of the US. You’ll bring your fear with you and be equally unhappy here. Just my opinion.

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