Friday, May 26, 2017

Meeting New People

Traveling is always an interesting time.  One meets or greets a bevy of people in an eight hour period or however long one is traveling.  Wednesday was no different.  It was actually enjoyable.

Oscar was the van driver who drove me to Leon for my flight.  Then there were three passengers besides myself.  John, Ellie and the husband of Rebecca who never said his name.  John lives very close to me, farther up the hill.  He was on his way to Corpus Christi.  We have many mutual friends it turns out.  Then Rebecca's husband indicated that she is in real estate.  To prove it is a small world, she and my son John have a real estate sale that they are working on to close!

Ellie was visiting San Miguel for the first time for a week.  She is from Portland, Oregon..  A retired school teacher and cosmetic tattoo person.  She came to check out San Miguel.  She had already found a house for sale and was going back to sell everything and move.  One week!  I suggested she not sell her house yet in Portland, but, rather, come down for six months, rent and make sure.  Yikes,
people astound me when they make such a major decision so fast.

My flight to Houston was uneventful and smooth.  With a half empty plane, I was able to sit where I was on the row alone and look out the window when the Gulf of Mexico came into sight.  Aaah.  Water.  It is always astonishing to see how green the fields are in Texas after being in a semi-arid area for a year.  Gorgeous.

Even getting through customs and all that rigamarole was smooth and before you know it, I was at the Super Shuttle counter to get my ride to the rental car lot in Houston.   Johnny was the driver.  A lifelong resident of Houston, he was fascinated to hear about Mexico.  Truly fascinated.  He asked lots of questions. And, you know me, I love talking about Mexico.  By the end of the ride, I would not be surprised if Johnny and his wife werw to show up in San Miguel for a visit!

Got the rental car with no problem.  I had used Hotwire for the first time.  Saved $450USD on a three week rental.  Amazing!  Who knew?

Thankfully I know my way around Houston.  Even though it was a little after 4PM and fast approaching that 5 o'clock traffic, I quickly got on West Gray to San Felipe and was at my destination in about 20 minutes.  Smooth as glass.  Amazingly.

All in all, it is surreal to get up in Mexico and then to be having dinner in Houston.  We live in a
great time of conveniences and interesting people.

Yesterday was the day for the dreaded task of going to AT&T to get minutes in my US cell phone for the time I'm in the USA.  I knew it would not go smoothly..........and it did not.  It seemed at first that it was. but when I tried to use the phone with the minutes on it before I left AT&T, it would not work.
It turns out that that series of phones no longer is "viable" as they have stopped allowing service on it even though I purchased it only three years ago.  Long story short, I ended up buying a new phone with minutes.  It's a flip top phone.  Last night I discovered that I can even take photos with it.  The cost of the phone and the minutes - slightly over $100USD. 

I must say that Gary at AT&T was the most patient and persistent man in helping both myself and my friend Martha.  If he did not know the answer, he either figured it out or got help.  It turns out his wife writes a blog and free lances for the Houston Chronicle and other publications.  She even has a book deal coming up.  Interesting all the things you learn without even expecting to by talking with people that you meet along the way.

One major observation of the past two days has been the courtesy of people.  My friend Martha has a walker.  People have stopped in parking lots to allow us to cross in front of them.  They have held doors as we entered restaurants both coming and going.  It is lovely to see the courtesy and manners of strangers as well.  It is expected in San Miguel.  I was not sure how it would be in a big city.  I had forgotten how welcoming Houston is.

Welcome to the USA!


Tancho said...

Glad you had a safe trip!
We got tired of all the BS ATT was doing and switched to T mobile a few years ago since we could use it in started and Mexico cheaper and with more features like a hot spot if our landline Internet crapped out. And the coverage is better since they use Telcel as the network
Having a 3 year old phone that they will no longer support is obscene.
The polite people are more prevalent anywhere but the coasts. I could not believe how rude people were during our last visit to California. Especially the younger generation the ones that video games failed to teach any manners or etiquette.
Too many single or working parents who don't take the time and effort to pass down social skills.
Another reason Mexico is good for my blood pressure and wellbeing.

Jvineyard said...

I was bothered to read in Mexico News that 4 taxi drivers were lured to a site outside of the city and then were shot supposedly for a dispute over drug activity. That makes me sad. I thought that area (SMA) was able to avoid the worst of the drug conflicts. What's the local view?

Babs said...

I discovered Tancho, that the phone was actually a model that was about 10 years old or so, but I purchased it at Walgreen's about three years ago. Hopefully this new one will be good for a while. Thanks for your comments.

Jvineyard. Yes, I read the article too. I know no details as I am in Houston. I can say that in the 17 years I've been in SMA nothing like this has ever happened before.
As the mayor said, it is not the norm. I presume there are drugs in SMA as American tourist ask where they can get pot and I always tell them I have no idea. We have had no "drug conflicts" in the past and hopefully won't in the future.

Jvineyard said...

I still hope to be there in Oct., regardless. It makes me sad but it doesn't change my plans. Enjoy your family.

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alcuban said...

I'm amazed people are still making those split-second decisions to move down here.

Here's an article by Paul Salopek, someone I used to work with at the paper, about the phenomenon of "xenophilia"—the love of strangers. He is walking, yes, walking, around the world and says that most people he's encountered are actually pretty nice.

Emily Shorette said...
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Retired Teacher said...

I hope that the fact that you haven't posted for quite a while is simply due to the fact that you are so busy spending time with family and friends.
Hope all is well!

Babs said...

Hi Bill - It was too hectic in Texas. Yesterday, with the laptop, I started a post and it deleted 3/4 of the way through. I was so exasperated that I did not retry.

Hope to get something written this evening or tomorrow, for sure! Lots to share.......