Saturday, August 16, 2014

It's Just the Way It Is.........in Mexico!

                                          A shot of Canal Street in San Miguel at twilight.

Mexico is still a CASH society.  Therefore, if one is leaving town for about six weeks, as I am, one must stockpile money for bills to be paid while gone.  Now with the ATMs only giving 6000 pesos (about $470US) at a time, that implies a couple, if not a few visits to the ATM.  Not a problem..........unless the machines are out of money on the weekend.  Aha, I learned that lesson and will never attempt to get money on the weekend ever again.  Once I had to delay my departure because there was not a machine in town with money on a Sunday!  I kid you not.

So, I've got that experience under my belt and won't ever let that happen again.

I've also learned that the two, only two kinds of meds I take sometimes are not in stock.  If I need 6 weeks worth, the pills usually come in 14 to a box.  Yup, not a month's supply in a plastic cylinder container like in the states, but we must by them in small quantities in a box.  Six weeks worth of two types of meds makes me look like I'm dealing drugs when I cross the border.  So, again, I never wait til the last minute to stock up for a trip.  I started a week ago by going for these meds.  They had one box of each.  Ok, I got those and asked when the others would be in.....manana.  Remember, manana does not always mean tomorrow.  It has been a daily trip not only to that pharmacy but to two others.  Finally today in a panic, I found one box and two boxes of generics at a pharmacy that I don't usually go to in centro.  Whew.  I couldn't leave town without those either.

So, I've got that experience under my belt and who knows what I'll do next time!

Money given to the maid to pay bills - Check.  Money to buy gas and pay tolls - Check.  Pills in suitcase for 6 weeks, just in case I have to stay that long - Check.  Two huge bags of food for Velcro - Check.    I'm on a roll. until.............

Whoops!  I purchase US car insurance for the month or so I'm in Texas.  On Friday morning, after finding out on Thursday that I need to hightail it to Texas, I talked to the agent in Laredo who always handles this insurance.  It is the most efficient and least expensive I've found.  Plus, I've found they pay their claims.   That's another story.  So in our conversation she asked for the number on my Mexican drivers license.  Holy moly!  It had expired four days before.  Sheesh.  I hightailed it, and I do mean hightailed it over there praying it would not be a complicated procedure.  Here's what I took, just in case.  My passport.  My visa.  My expired license. And, last but not least, a bill that shows my name and the address I live at. Often they want this.  I've stopped trying to figure out why............

It turned out to be the most efficient thing I've done in Mexico - EVER.  He needed the license, the passport and my visa.  I walked to a copy place to have a copy of the visa and passport made.  I then had a new photo done, told them I wanted this license for 5 years as well, was fingerprinted - two different fingers - one on each hand - and then given a form to drive to the Government payment office about 10 minutes away.
I came back with the paid receipt, handed it to the man and was handed a laminated drivers license.  All in under an hour.  What a deal!  In Texas they mail it to you and you get it in about three weeks!  AMAZING.

I'm "outtahere" on Monday morning at 0700 to drive to Houston to be a Grammy and "Mom in charge" for a week or so.  My daughter Julie will have her thyroid and lymph nodes removed on Wednesday at MD Anderson.  I'll be in charge of running the house or the kids running me or whatever.  They don't start back to school til the 25th so I'll have them for GREAT company.  Then when Julie gets home from the hospital, I'll be "Nurse Mom" for as long as she can stand it!  ha.

That's the plan, man.  There is a lot more to follow all that, but, for the moment I'm focusing on the first order of business which is get packed, get outta here and get to Houston to my daughter and son-in-law's house.

I'll see you on down the road, hopefully.

27 comments:

Life's a Beach! said...

The ATM problem must be universal down there. I always warn newbie friends and they never believe me. Safe travels and have a wonderful time in Texas!

Babs said...

Thanks Beck..I intend to do both!

Retired Teacher said...

Wow, your checklist is even more complicated than mine when I take off on a trip.
Safe journey to Texas, and I hope that all goes well with your daughter.

Babs said...

Thanks Bill. I appreciate your comment a lot.

norm said...

I had a wake up call with gas not being available in a remote area once.

It was a holiday weekend in a beach area, the tourists had bought all the gas for their run back home. I had to backtrack 50 miles on fumes, it gets below one half and I fill up the tank now.

Barbara Lane said...

Prayers are already being said for your daughter and will say them for your safe journey as well.

Enjoy your family - I know they'll enjoy having you there.

Stay safe and be well, all.

Barbara

Barbara Lane said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
La Tejedora said...

Barbara, I'll hold you and your daughter in my heart and will haunt this site to see how things progress. xoxoxo Nora

Babs said...

Norm, I too seldom let the car get below half a tank. It's an old habit from when you couldn't find a Pemex, but, it's still a good rule I think. In fact, when living on the coast of Tx during hurricane season I ALWAYS tried to keep the tank as full as possible, just in case!

Babs said...

Thanks Barbara and Nora for your well wishes......I appreciate them very much.
Hugs.

Steve Cotton said...

May God's hand be with you on this trip -- and for the reason for your stay.

My pharmacy never seems to have the three medications I use. So, the pharmacist orders them from Guadalajara. They are almost always there the ext day. But at quite a premium in price. You reminded me that I had best stock up on pills for my sojourn. Like you, I feel like a drug dealer whenever I cross borders. And there will be several crossings on this trip.

Kay Cox said...

So glad you can be here for Julie and the kids. Please let me know if I can do anything. Would you like for me to be with you at Anderson on Wednesday or will you be with the kids? Do let me know how it goes. Holding Julie in my thoughts and prayers.

Babs said...

Yes, Steve, stock up for all your trips........and thanks for the kind words.
Safe travels for you as well.

Babs said...

Kay, I think I'll be at the house with Emma, Hannah and Andrew. Rich and Jessica will be at MD Anderson.
At least that is the latest plan.
I'll contact you when I get settled in.......in Kingwood.
Thanks for your offer.

steve said...

The photo is amazing. Was it taken at dusk or dawn's twilight?
Looking close I see people outside on a porch but that could occur at either time.
Wishing you safe passage to Texas and well-being for your family.

Babs said...

steve, it was in the evening....it's one of my favorite photos because of all the textures on those old, old walls! And, of course, "the light".

Ron Stephens said...

Hey Girl, tell Julie that Ron & Fred send their love and good wishes for all this to be over as soon as possible, so her Mother can get out of her hair, and get back where she belongs, BY OCTOBER 15TH, TOO....so drive carefully both ways....

Babs said...

Glad to hear from you. I'll pass on your message. Julie has dubbed me "Mom in charge" on FB. I think she had a lapse in judgement for a moment......ha.
Anyway, believe me. I will go, I will conquer, get eyesight again and come home.
Hopefully in there will be time for a little fun too.
Asked Jim today if he had heard from you.....he has filed for "squatter status" with the State of Guanajuato. Guess ya'll will have to find another place to live!

Calypso said...

Always need a plan when getting ready to travel in and out of Mexico. Good advice here.

You and your family are in our prayers Babs. I am sure they are lucky to have you.

Babs said...

Thanks Calypso. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed at the prospects of this trip, to tell you the truth.
Glad to have friends such as yourself and your lovely wife.

Dana Hill said...

Safe trip and best of health and healing to your daughter. We'll all be thinking 'bout you. Dana

Rick said...

Gods speed Babs - I'm sure this will work out just fine.
You are so lucky that you can do this for your family and they are so lucky to have you.

Shannon said...

It sounds like you are very organized Barbara! I am always running around like a chicken with it's head cut off right before I am leaving for a trip, not matter how much I tell myself it will not happen "this time".

Have a safe trip, our thoughts and prayers will be with your daughter as she faces this battle.

Babs said...

Hi Shannon, Dana and Rick - I'm in Houston with my old computer acting up! Sheesh. Thanks for your comments. If I don't respond again its because I don't know how to fix it.
ALL will hbe be well with Jewels. I'm at her house.

Great Cheap Bites KC said...

Barb, how do u get your meds, is it like it is here in the states? Go to the Dr and he gives you a prescription, or do u go straight to the pharmacy and ask for them? Also about how much is it to go to the Dr & meds? Thanks!

Great Cheap Bites KC said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Babs said...

If it is a controlled substance or an antibiotic, you go to the Dr.
A Dr.s visit is 500 pesos (which is $30USD at the current exchange rate)
Even a cardiologist........
Prescriptions for meds are less expensive in Mx, typically. Usually there is an equivalent to what you take in the USA under a generic name or another name, but the exact same ingredients. I do not get my meds from the US, I just pay for them here......