The Long Road Home

Good day, folks. Monday, June 28. Not counting the days anymore. I don’t want to hit 500. And it sounds like things are quieting down (maybe just for now, but we take it where we can get it). The Delta is bad, but the vaccine (2 doses, 2 weeks later) is highly effective when complete. Not so shit hot until, though — so run, don’t walk, when they open up your age group to second shots.

I do want to reach out and thank all those who sent me an email about PJ. It was very kind of you and helped me feel better. We all go through it, those of us with dogs. And I did the best I could for him. I still miss him but I know in retrospect (once I get to that perspective), it will be a case of ‘to every thing – turn turn turn – there is a season’ – see song at end of blog – a really wise one. Of course, this Ying/Yang thing has only been around for thousands of years. There’s a reason it lasted that long. It’s still a sad story. But I’m done with sad for now. Time for better days.

Not my photo but I love it

I also stopped counting those days because while we do mask outside, we have seen vaccinated friends. We’re still cautious and not spitting on each other 不不不 but I think counting the days was for effective lockdown. We’re coming out of that. For now, anyway.

Bruce is back on Broadway. That’s a sign that things are looking up. I’ve got stuff to organize but I just got rid of a lot of things this morning (useful but not worth carting home) to our friends from Mexico City and their kids… they came for the weekend and it was fun and it’s really good to see people again.

I want to do things again. That’s a good sign. What kind of things? I’m not entirely sure – but music things for sure. Concerts. I can’t believe how much I’ve missed them when I stop and think about it. Dinner parties. Small ones. I miss seeing people. Maybe just sitting on a bench and watching people go by. Then, all that food. Delivery. That’s another topic.

A friend’s pool

But I also want to do something worthwhile. Define ‘worthwhile’. Well, okay then. Something that matters (to someone other than me, or my immediate family but those too, of course). The first thing is to figure out what it is that I can do that would be of value and go from there. I have a few weeks before I’ll be doing anything, so I’ll think on it.

Wednesday, June 30. Two weeks to D-Day. In two weeks and one hour, we should be wheels down on Canadian soil. Glad. The Delta variant is increasing cases in Mexico by 15% a week. Deaths and extreme illness are still lower – which they are chalking up to herd immunity. But if they really had herd immunity, they wouldn’t have an increase. Although I get what they are saying – people who have had it before can still catch it, as can vaccinated people, but they won’t get as sick and not as many will die. But you all probably know that by now.

Ok, so we are holding flight reservations on July 14, with Rosie flying in cargo (pressurized, temperature controlled). However, she pants heavily when we put her in the cage (stress panting). So we have a nigling feeling that the wrong gate agent will turn her back. We have a vet health certifiate, stating that she has no respiratory (or any) issues. But specified. We’ll try not to worry about it. We have a few options (and will lose our tickets) if she is turned back. One is to go back to CW driving, but that’s complicated because we are giving the van to our friend for his ranch and have to do that before we leave so would have to get it back. And then I’d have to fly anyway. Another option is to leave Rosie with her long time sitter who loves her and really wants her. But I don’t think CW can do that and it’s his call totally, she’s his dog. The last option is to book a private jet (small one, 6-seater) and then eat Ramen noodles for two years (I could do that but CW couldn’t). But at least we have options 不不不

Life is sure complicated. But I guess it is for everyone. Especially these days and especially if you’re trying to get out of Casablanca.

Another friend’s pool

Oh man… July 8, new moon in Cancer tomorrow and today – a totally new plan. (Surprised? Most people aren’t.)

Rosie will stay with the dogsitter (they love each other) for a month or possibly two until the borders are open and Mexico’s “highway of death” settles down. We are flying, CW and I, on Wednesday July 14, wheels up at 6am. CW will fly back and get the van and Rosie, all things working out (she may die, if she does, it was her time, she is almost 14). We have no qualms about leaving her temporarily as she adores her sitter. I think more than us.

So, that’s it. We’re out of here and not a moment too soon. Covid infections have hit 50% higher than May, which was bad enough, and while deaths are down, only about 25% of Mexicans have been vaccinated, so this is only going to get worse for them. We are grateful to have been vaccinated in the old guys group, a much smaller demographic in Mexico than it is in Canada. Here, the average age is 29 years old. La Paz and Cabo are completely shut down, beaches and malecon closed, non-essential business closed, restaurants open til 11pm at half capacity but no booze in stores or restaurants after 5pm. I chalk it up to the throngs of unvaccinated (and infected) Republicans allowed to enter Mexico without so much as a negative Covid test. They make their own beds in this country but I feel badly for La Paz.

La Paz sunset. Too bad about the Republicans.

I almost have to pinch myself to believe that in six days from now, we will be wheels down in Canada. Can I kiss the ground? Will people think I’m crazy? If living in Mexico for almost nine years taught me anything, it’s to appreciate Canada. I find myself wondering if I will ever come back to Mexico. I think yes, to the beach (winter only) or to Mexico City. Maybe a side trip to San Miguel, depending on who is still alive. I want to go to Morrocco and Portugal (probably Spain) and Ireland first though (not one trip). For a while, however, I’ll be happy to bask in Canadian food. I’ve already changed my uber eats address and I’m checking out the first week’s worth of dinners. Chinese. Fish & Chips. Poutine. And other things.

I know the weather won’t be as nice. For as ugly and loud as Cuernavaca is, it has the best year-round weather that I’ve found, that’s for sure. But nice weather and cheap flowers don’t make up for things like kidnappings, robberies, garbage on the street, cabs swerving to hit street dogs on purpose, things like that. You’d think that with the abject poverty and the sad lives that some people have, it would create empathy for others. But it doesn’t. Our Mexican friend says if one lobster ( meaning a Mexican) tries to get out of the tank, the others pull him back down. And that’s one of the saddest things about this country.

As soon as I get home, I’m also going to the doctor, pretty sure I have a bacteria/parasite – I’ve had diarrhea for over three weeks and I feel fine, but can’t put any weight on. (Update: have meds, getting better. It’s a parasite: Cryptosporidium, thank you, Mexico). Another good bye kiss – Mexico has given me so many. I now weigh 30 lbs less than when I arrived in 2012 and it’s not a good look, I’m far too skinny and so much of it comes from my face, I look like a Sharpei.

Only 10 lbs of that is the parasite I think, the rest is not eating much of the food down here except vegetables and fruit and frozen chicken breasts from Costco. Would eat a good Queso Fundido anytime, but they don’t do that here. They do things covered in green sauce or covered in red sauce and mostly pork and it’s gross. And everything is spicy. And not good spicy like Sezchuan. Just spicy for the sake of hot. We got invited out for breakfast on Sunday, to a place that serves virtually nothing but salted beef. In red or green sauce. For breakfast. We declined with thanks. Now, that said, there are some nicer restaurants (especially in San Miguel) but they are New York or Vancouver prices so we don’t dine out much. Besides, the first restaurant I ate in, post-covid, was a Mexican restaurant and a day later – liquid diarrhea (3 weeks ago). That said, we had some nice sliders with friends at the boutique hotel up the street last week.

I can eat sliders, anytime, anywhere.

So, that’s the news for now. I can’t imagine I would have any more news before we get home. But it’s six days away, so I will wait until at least Sunday before I publish. I think I will keep posting the blog, even if I’m not in Mexico. It might not be as exciting (but you never know). And you may even find me complaining about Canada, eventually. But after all the food treats I have coming up, there are thrift stores, and auctions and businesses to open and cars to drive. And I don’t have to be worried about talking to a crooked cop in Spanish. And oh yeah, I can finally call 9-1-1 again if we are really sick or being robbed. I am looking foward to this, can you tell? LOL.

I am going to see Dad in August, and hopefully, that’s when CW can come down and pick up Rosie – dependent on border restrictions and state of the northern Mexico area which I have to stop calling The Highway of Death. But it’s nasty up there. Maybe he should go through Nogales/Tucson. Ha, That used to be the bad area. He’ll figure it out. And he’ll have one of two savvy (very) Mexican friends with him.

A recent cab ride – the guy liked frogs. That’s pretty Mexican.

When we left San Miguel, we said we were looking for somewhere that was more authentic Mexico and we sure found it. Cant say I am too impressed with authentic Mexico. I vacillate between anger at the complacency of the people (around corruption, crime, cruelty to animals they just seem to shrug their shoulders) and sorrow because I dont see anything ever changing for them, especially with this president. Yet, they love him (well, no Mexican with money loves him, but the poor do). Im not able to live amongst all the sadness any longer. And I cant ignore it. I dont know if that makes sense but I see it everywhere. And it all makes me sad. At least at home I can go get arrested at the Fairy Creek blockade (old growth logging protests in BC) and try to change the injustices I see. I just cant sit around and watch it without trying to change it and theres nothing I can do here. It makes me sad every day. Plus, I can start any damn business I want in Canada without worrying about kidnapping or corruption.

So, thats my story and Im sticking to it. Plus, we met some strange gringos here in this town, climate change deniers, chem trail and flat earth proponents (seriously) I guess there are idiots everywhere. But it didnt endear me to the town. This is all just part of my own debriefing and ‘what when wrong here’ analysis. You know, you do it after every big project. At least you should. But in about five days, it won’t be my problem anymore. At least, it shouldn’t be.

I’m still sad about PJ but his whole life was so sad. Have I mentioned no more Mexican-bred dogs, rescues or otherwise. They are badly vetted and bred irresponsibly. And the street dogs are all so interbred they can’t he3lp but have serious issues. About a third of the dogs rescue groups bring to Canada from Mexico end in heartbreak, kidney disease seems to be the most common. I sure don’t understand why they spend all that money and time to do this with unhealthy dogs when Canadians shelters are full. I hope I don’t speak out too much when I get back (they won’t like it) there but it seems like another instance of gringos trying to help but they don’t understand the facts and all that matters is what it appears to be. I wonder if they check in after the fact and offer any solstice to the kids in those families who lose those pets to incurable conditions after falling in love with them.

That’s why they are a gringo category to me. The posers, the rescuers, the sex-pats. They are all over Mexico. And not my circus anymore which is a really uplifting thought

Ok, that’s it. We’re down to our last packing (it’s Saturday, July 10). We go to the airport hotel late Tuesday afternoon. We get our PCR tests tomorrow, within 72 hours of hour departure (works out to about 68 hours but that leaves the most time for the results to come back – Monday at 2pm, they say).

Ok, that’s a wrap, kids. Speaking of which, I’ve wrapped the hockey book and and on the 800-page memoir, we wrapped the cover and I’m so happy, it’s just so perfect and not so often things are. It’s Monday, July 12. Everything is packed and we have nothing do do. But we can rest. I am going to write next time about the hoops we had to jump through to get out of this country and back to Canada. You do NOT want to travel for leisure right now, trust me. Getting home takes three days worth of paperwork.

Until next time – stay safe, stay informed, stay kind. Get vaccinated.

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4 Comments

  1. Dawna Brown Reply

    Safe journey back home.
    Sorry I’ll miss seeing you at your Dad’s in August….so close! Next time perhaps!!
    xox
    Aunt D

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