Jan 14, 2012

Time Shares and Human Acupuncture in San Jose Del Cabo

The life you live is the lesson you teach.

Inside typical bus
We are entering our fourth week in San Jose del Cabo. It has been a very enjoyable stay but we are starting to itch for new sites and experiences, especially now that most of the small jobs and fixes needed after the shakedown sail down the Baja coast have been completed.

We notice that living on a small simple boat is somewhat like being in a tent in that you are much more aligned/close to nature. You notice cold/hot days, windy/quiet days, air smells, animal behaviors, etc. Several mornings in the last two weeks we have been entertained with white cranes fighting (I think) over territories by flying at each other and hitting one another chest to chest accompanied with loud shrieks and continuing until at least one of them would fly away. Were we to be within the four walls of an air conditioned/heated home/RV we probably wouldn’t notice these things. Fish eating the green growth at our waterline. Ospreys are still looking for the tallest masts to ‘fish’ from. Thankfully we are not one of them.

Nikki has become too comfortable in this new boating environment. She has learned to jump off the boat onto the dock, something she hadn’t done for the 6 years she has been aboard in Long Beach. The other day she missed and had her two front legs on the dock while her two back legs were still on the boat. The boat was swinging away from the dock so the two back legs had to give way and Nikki was hanging by her front legs only on the dock. I had to rescue her but wondered what she would’ve done had I not been there to help her out. I am working on a net to keep her in the cockpit while we are away so she’s not tempted to do this again. At the same time however, I’m glad she’s comfortable enough to move about.

Fun English “isms” (Mexican business people are trying to entice the gringos with the following terms):

  • ‘Dely’ for deli (hey, adding a ‘y’ at the end makes it sound English right?)
  • ‘Shopping Cars’ for shopping carts
  • ‘Sweet bagels’ for English muffins

Walking nearly every day, discovering new areas of town or noticing new things in the areas we already know we noticed the following:

  • A stop sign in Spanish is ALTO. Mexicans must not pay much attention to this as we’ve seen additional signs put up under ALTO which say TOTAL (complete stop)…
  • We have seen a yield sign at an intersection to a major highway followed by a stop sign 2-3 feet further… Which one are you supposed to follow?
  • The post office is quite colorful: white, bright pink, and neon green. Mail is delivered by BMW motorcycles of same color scheme with drivers wearing helmets to match. Not sure anyone in the US would like to be caught wearing these colors around certain cities.
  • When shopping at Home Depot, you need to pre-pay for anything pre-cut like wire, chain, rugs, etc. In the US you have it cut first then you pay when you check out, not here.
  • To use most public restrooms, you have to pay about 5 pesos. An attendant is there keeping it clean and stocked up. Unfortunately this means a lot of public urinating as folks do not want to pay that fee. There are several signs on lawn areas stating ‘do not urinate here’; which at first I thought were meant for people with dogs but now know they are meant for the two legged kinds.
  • In restaurants you can use the restrooms for free but can often find only one sink for both genders to wash hands. It is usually found outside the restrooms where staff and customers can easily see who washes and who doesn’t.
  • Another style of public restroom is free, includes several stalls but only ONE (yes one) roll of toilet paper at the entrance. You need to measure and cut what you think you’re going to need before going into a stall.
  • Most small car repair shops or part stores do not have parking lots. People pull on sidewalks, across sidewalks (beware as pedestrians) or on the road. If they cannot fix their ‘dead’ vehicle it sometimes stays there for several days with the hood up.
  • Local public buses are decorated by their driver seemingly as they please. From Jesus on a cross with blinking red lights to the Virgin Mary surrounded by flowers to $2 US bills pasted above the windshield to having several chrome accents, mirrors, fuzzy dice, pompoms, or boom boxes made of 5 gallon buckets and curtains for shade. There are ALL kinds. It is kind of neat to be on different buses to see the various creations.
  • At grocery stores’ bakery sections, you pick up what looks like a pizza pan and a pair of tongs to choose the various goodies laid out in various bins which you want to purchase. You return your ‘loot’ to the bakery counter where they’ll bag and tag everything before you head out to the check-out counter.
  • Most everywhere you go, you get accosted by people trying to sell you timeshares (their own because they don't want them any longer or they work for a real estate or development company). This bar was, I think, very clever with this ad:

We DO NOT sell timeshare

  • One of my 'I couldn't help it' picture.

Instead of the 'alien' kind?
Walking the beach or taking the local bus along the beach we are still blessed with seeing several whales heading here for calving season. We have, unfortunately, yet to see a live turtle. We have seen large empty shells and one small dead baby turtle but no live ones yet.

Baby turtle brought in by the waves - didn't make the cut
The folks with the large fancy fishing boats coming mostly from Canada and the US sometimes check the local fishermen’s boats to see how the fishing is before heading out themselves. Interesting that with all their fancy boats, equipment, and technology, they would still depend on the locals to find out what the fishing is like.

The locals say fishing is not as good due to extra large foreign fishing boats invading this area. The Sea of Cortez was once full of oysters and they were over picked, it was once full of clams and they were over dug. Is the same fate coming up for fish? Although the locals get something out of helping the big fishing boats by providing them with bait it is sad to see that mere subsistence fishing is becoming harder.

Latest census says that Mexico has 5% unemployment and that minimum wage has now moved up to $4.79 (US equivalent) per DAY (not hour!)… The average Mexican works 10 hour days and many work 5.5 days per week (1/2 day on Saturdays) or all 7 days a week!...

Deal of the week: 1 kilo of carrots for less than 15 cents/kilo or 6.8 cents a pound.

1 comment:

  1. I love the way you share your experiences and thoughts about Mexico. Your perspective on your surroundings is a treat to read about and I feel fortunate to have met you in person :)


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