THIRTY NINE STEPS, I COUNTED THEM
That’s on top of the five hundred and eighty nine steps I counted them… or rather my neighbor, Richard Hannay, told me at the beginning of his story that he had counted them, vertical and up the outdoor centuries old cobblestone road to the Casas on Privada Diego Joseph Abbad at the top of the hill, after and on top of five hundred and fifty to six hundred and fifty vertical stone steps and a number of lateral steps on the stone paved road we must climb from Calle Lerin to the Casa, which is on a private street called Privada Diego Joseph Abbad. Add another hundred and fifty steps on the mild incline from Plaza Vasco de Quiroga at the bottom to Calle Lerin on the way. El Burro is only five hundred steps to where El Burro is garaged. The street construction on the way to where we live is undrivable. We go down to Quiroga and climb back nearly every day, once or twice, usually in my case with a bottle of wine. A day without wine is indeed a day without sunshine here this month as the winter and cloud cover has kept temperatures here around 55. Due to El nino the winter temperatures in Maine are considerably higher than here! Also we climb carrying the groceries we get daily at the local Mercado, which are fresh, inexpensive and very good eating and are certainly heavier than those dumb bells females mainly are seen striding along swinging their arms with in the US. The walk with groceries is probably the best thing that ever happened to us, although we did not plan it that we would have this walk.
We meet or pass some ten to twenty people climbing or descending on the way usually, and some thirty or so workers laying stones, making cement and positioning and laying stones in the road way which will be the street to our home. It seems remarkable. Grandmothers and grandfathers, my age, blankets around their shoulders and of indigenous origins, and young mothers carrying babies, with their other children in tow, aren’t troubled at all by the long climbs. And of course we walk along through the road work of the young laborers, paid daily five to seven dollars if I guess right. often in baseball caps and T Shirts announcing New York. What is remarkable is everyone without exception is cheerful and salutes with a buenos tardes or buenos dias. This is indeed a very cheerful and accepting place.
It is good personally to be free of running a business or equivalents of wage slavery (a lot better as it is than having no work). Perhaps I feel less guilty as again if I got it right the retirement age when some government help kicks in is fifty five in Mexico.
But on vacation we are now still slaves to the digital age. Both la Esposa’s and my credit cards for some reason stopped being accepted at ATMS and, Travellers Checks or checks no longer being acceptable, we had to change the few US dollars we had held in reserve at no a very good rate for pesos to keep going. Then the phone got hijacked somehow by Mexcell, or else it just got stircrazy and refused to roam, and would only say Google has stopped working. Overall fixing the problems took at least three days on the phone and trouble shooting.
Why Google has anything to do with an ATT phone I still don’t get. Fortunately we had just bought a local Mexico Internet connection for the laptop (which unless you take a day to study up on how to get around the default, taps into the local search engines only, meaning Google speaks Spanish unless, despite translation possibilities, you take a day to figure a way out of this default), the Internet provider had required, (even though we had a US ATT cell phone with $30 a month Mexico coverage), as part of the Internet package, that we hook up a land line. Meaning we had to buy a land line phone. Earlier we had declined to buy a phone. Now I raced around town to find one and bought it! There was no accessible local help.The local digital folks and bankers did not speak English and to the extent they did denied any responsibility. We reached both ATT and the Bank of America International help services, however, and their help was just great. They were 24-7 available and excellent at fixing and trouble shooting, although neither seems yet to have figured the source of the problems which are partially fixed and on which we are still working.