Sunday, August 23, 2009

Alone again- naturally

Well, hubby has disappeared. Evidently into a "cauhuama" which I am not even sure how to spell. Just think giant bottle of Corona. (Believe it or not, there is actually one called the Family size. But in his family they don't share it, they buy one for each.) I have spoken to his niece and she says, "yes, I have told him to call" and "yes, he is drunk" and "no, I don't know why he won't answer his phone."

So... Adios, my love, adios my love, goodbye... as the song says. (Trust me it is good that you cannot hear me singing it.) I guess for once there is nothing left to say. I sent him a text message at midnight telling him God bless and goodbye. Text messages- what a way to end a marriage, huh?

I have been on the fence for several months about what to do with my 5-year marriage. I left last October after a year of abusive hell (and some good times). They must put testosterone in the water in Tuxtepec, 'cause it is Macholandia. But we had been working it out the last seven months. He has been trying so hard, and that makes me sad. But now he has taken the decision from me, and maybe that is easier.

####As I am writing this, he sends me a text message. He can't access the phone card I bought for him three days ago so he could call (because I put it on MY cell last night!) and wants me to call. I won't. I don't want to cry and I don't want to hear his excuses (because I would listen and believe- again.) So I will leave my phone here today and go with friends and visit my yerno's (son-in-law) grandmother. And eat, and laugh, and have a good time with "normal" people. And I will be a little sad.

Thank you, Frank, for lending me this great family of yours.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


We are moving. Or maybe not. Well, definitely we are moving but may be not far. Who knows? Our landlady wants our apartment for one of her sons. But maybe he isn't coming now. Who knows?

Two months ago she told me we would have to get rid of our dog or move. I told her we would move. Then after we searched for a new place for a few weeks she dropped it. Last month, as I paid the rent she informed me that she wanted the apartment August 26 when our month is up. Again we have been searching frantically for another apartment here in San Diego.

Tuesday she told me we could have it another month, but now I am tired of the game and want to move. Also, my husband left Monday to find a truck in his hometown so we can just move back there. I DO NOT want to go there again (long, whiny story), but we have looked and looked and looked here in San Diego.
We are in the back apartment top left of the picture, you can just see my livingroom window. And above, two of the water tanks.

Answer to the question "What is different in Mexico (from US)?
Note: I realize as I am writing this that there are certain things not normal in the US that all apartments/houses pretty much all have here. In Mexico, there is a concrete sink outside in the patio to wash dishes and clothing. No, there is not another sink in the kitchen.

Side of my brother-in-law's house showing where I launder and wash dishes, etc.

My sink in Tuxtepec
There is space, often on the roof, to hang clothing to dry. There is a big black plastic water tank on the roof for the days when we don't have water; in San Diego, we have water every other day 9AM - 5PM. But it depends on when the little man, sometimes late to turn on, sometimes late to turn off, comes and opens the tap under the street a few blocks from my house. Seriously, I watched him one day, he opens a lid in the street and turns on a tap with a big "key". In Tuxtepec, we have water, usually, every day, but only from 3 PM until 7 PM, and I don't know how they turn it on there.

In our apartment here we have bedroom, kitchen and livingroom, with a tiny water heater
for the shower (which I am fighting with at the moment because I want to shower and it doesn't want to give me lukewarm water) and a real shower (never any tubs here).

The apartments we have seen are (no pictures, because some one stole my camera):

1. three unfinished rooms on the first floor of a neighbor's house, with no doors and rough concrete floors, and sharing a bathroom with the owner, his wife and child, who live upstairs and whoever lives in the other rental room upstairs. (Was loaned to a nephew before we even got to see it.) $1000

2. the other rental room upstairs from #1, which is one room but we could use the small patio downstairs for the dog and one side of the kitchen for our "extra" furniture and things. Same floors, walls, and bath as above. Has a door! And I would share the kitchen with them. And- they have a refrigerator! $600

3. a cute little two room apartment, sharing a concrete patio with all the other residents. Kitchen and living room are combined in one long but very narrow room. The floors are tile and the paint is good. The killer here is the bathroom which is so small (less than 1m sq.)that you would literally have your foot in the toilet when you showered. Not sure how you would bathe at all to be honest. I told hubby that you could flush to wash one foot as you did the front, and flush to wash the other as you washed your back. $1500

4. another single room, although I am told it is large, but which costs $1400, $100 less than we pay now. The sink & clothes line etc. are on the roof. My aching knees.

5. another small room with a large bathroom, but no sink or shower and no hot water. We would need a big barrel to pour water for bathing. This one also has a very small room for a kitchen, and they are going to put in a window (there is a large window hole) if we want to do the work. Unfinished floors. It is the 3rd floor and has a tiny circular stairway outside to reach it. We looked at it when it was raining. Wet climb, wet kitchen. The view is great. $1200

6. a room (small) with a bathroom (large) with shower but no hot water. Unfinished walls and floors. There is also a separate room for a kitchen. Separate as in go outside and in other door. This one has a little dirt patio, but neighbors tell me there are a lot of rats in the patio. Big rats. $1000

7. one small 1/2 double that has (someone else's) space in front of it for the dog to run, bathroom finished, with sink, toilet, shower, small kitchen, tiny patio with laundry sink, large livingroom. Unfinished floors. We went to see it as soon as the sign was up, it was occupied, but were told the renters were moving Thursday, could we come back Friday as there were three others coming then to see it. Would it be ok if we came Thursday night when my hubby got home from work, didn't want to lose it since he worked until 7 PM. Sure. So Thursday about 8 PM, my very-tired hubby and I walked to see it. It is a ways down the road. "So sorry, they still haven't left. Maybe tomorrow you can see it." "We are pretty sure we want it, I will come by first thing in the morning." 8 AM Friday morning, there I was. No one home to show it to me. The 7-year old said his mom had gone to Texcoco. I checked out the house and told him I would be back at noon. At noon I talked to a daughter-in-law/sister-in-law/aunt? They rented it out Thursday night. After we left. ??? I was ready to cry as I left. This was when my hubby and I decided we would have to go back to Tuxtepec.

8. the last hurrah: my english student and her parents really don't want me to leave. They took me to see one more. Quiet street, a little far from the "area" here, loooong walks to buy food every day, but do-able. Closed gate like all houses here, private, owner a few doors down. Opened the gate and GRASS! Lots of space! And a room with broken window on one side. Long room with one window on the other side (we are talking about 10 meters away.) Bathroom (big) BUT... No water tank on roof, no shower, no water heater. No nothing, oh and the bathroom is attached to the long room but no connecting door, so you go outside and enter from another door. $1500. I told them that we would take it but at $1000... but she says no because of the space, and I, sob,sob, said no because of the water,
shower, bathroom...

So, hubby is in another state, looking for a truck to rent big enough for our things, and I haven't hear from him in two days and can't reach him. Maybe he forgot that he is not going to drink... The last I heard he had found a truck and they wanted $1000/plus tolls and gas (we hope not more than another $1000.) BUT... it doesn't have a gas tank. ????? They do have a 5 liter jug they use, but how far would that go? 20 kilometers? And how the hell does that work? Anyway, here I sit, waiting, waiting, waiting. Don't know what is going on, and need to leave before Weds. aaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrgh

Oh, well, enough whining, going to go shower- if there is any water.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

My First Post- How Young Is TOO Young?

When I first thought about blogging and what to blog I had many ideas, actually I still do, but my first blog is different than I thought it would be. This is because something is bothering me. That happens a lot as you will find out.

I am an American living in Mexico; stay tuned and you will get a glimpse of my life south of the border. That said, today I want to talk about my neighbor.

I was here in San Diego about 8 years ago, visiting my daughter and her husband and their family. While here I met a
neighbor and friend of the family, he had a wife, but they were separated. She was living in Mexico (City) and would come down to wash the clothes, etc, and see her sons, every couple of weeks. My daughter and I both found that fascinating. They were NOT together. And she came and cleaned his shit. How weird, or not maybe if you are Mexican.

When I came back to San Diego in October of '08, being that I am nosy and "una chismosa" (gossip, buttinsky), I spent my time watching the neighbors. Don't go there, you know you do it, too! I asked about the people I knew from before, including Mario, the neighbor. (Oh, boy, there are a lot of new babies, and that means gossip. But you will meet some of them another day.) I was told by my consuegra (co-mil) that he had a new "wife"* and that she was very young. This is a man who is about 60. I
recently met her, finally, after almost a year!

Everyday, at 6 AM, I can go get in line and get a bag of "government" milk. It is cheap at $9 nm/2 liters, since whole milk is at least $11/1 liter in the stores. Since it is "government" milk, we who don't have "cards" to get it stand in a line on the side of the building waiting until the others have passed. There I got talking to a young girl who is always in the "other" line with me. She gets it for her 8 month-old baby. She is Mario's new "wife". She is young. She doesn't have a card because their baby isn't registered yet.

After several days of casual conversation, I, being the nosy one, asked her how old she is. She is 14!!! She is a sweetie, but my God! 14!!! What in the world is he thinking? What kind of man takes a 13 year-old for his "wife"? Ok, ok it is a little different in Mexico. But even here that is illegal!

In Mexico a girl is considered a "woman" at 15, that is when they have a big coming-out party- the quinceanero, and after she is considered fair game for all the men. (My husband and I fight about this, since I say they are still girls, and he (being Mexican) says they are women and available.) Many parents then treat them as an adult, but many protect them
as if they were a child until they get married.**

But 13?
My granddaughter is 12, and my son is 12 and they are still kids, not even big kids yet, although maybe getting really close. They still act like kids, still play like kids, still think like kids, they are not even close to grown.

This bothers me, I know, I know - it's not my problem- but what kind of man would do this? I know it is not her personality, shared interests, etc. that have attracted him which leaves only sex. Are you f-in' crazy? Why would you want sex with a little girl, albeit one with breasts, but still a child? What kind of mom allows this? Her mom evidently has no problem with it all, as she was living in Mario's downstairs apartment until last week. Some say she sold her to him, I don't know. (I'm nosy, but asking the poor girl that is just a little crude, even if I do want to know.) His kids are in their thirties and forties, and now he has an 8 month-old with a girl young enough to be his granddaughter or even his great-granddaughter. Pisses me off!

She invited me over the other day. She was so happy to have someone to talk to. Most of the girls her age are just not into her life, and the older women shun her or just aren't interested in her. Her sil is almost 70! They live in two rooms upstairs, no "niceties". The stairwell is just a huge, open, concrete pit with no railing, no handrail. On the wall over their bed is a very large poster of 25 women in thongs and nothing else- lots of boobs, a poster of Gloria Trevi in a thong and a lot of cutesy animals hand-traced and colored on notebook pages. This is where a 14-year old and her baby have to sleep. A 14-year old with mommy breasts and a stretch-marked mommy belly. (Yeah, it isn't just us old mommies who get that.) I wanted to cry. I wouldn't allow a poster like that in my house, much less over my bed. There is no crib, no playpen, nothing for that baby. She is on the big bed or in her mommy's arms all day while she cooks, and washes, etc. How dangerous. I would be nuts!!!

I drive my husband crazy because I just can't bring myself to call her Mario's wife. I call her Gabriela (always when I talk to her), I call her "la muchacha de Mario"- Mario's girl, I call her "la nina que vive con Mario"- the little girl that lives with Mario, and sometimes, when it's really bugging me, I call her "Mario's granddaughter with the baby." My husband thinks I am loca.

* I use wife with quotation marks because it is used differently here. I am sure Mario is still married to his first wife. The 1st will always be his wife. Gabriella is not the only woman he has had since he split with his wife, but they don't count once they are gone. Gabriela will
be only "the mother of his baby" if they split-up. (I was thinking how sad for her, never to have the chance for a wedding, etc., but he will probably die of old age in a few years- about the time she is old enough to marry someone for real.) Few people here divorce. Many never marry. If you live with someone you are marido, esposo, esposa, vieja, mujer. If you only marry civilly, that is not as good as if you marry in the church, if you really mean it you marry civilly first, then in the church, which is legal and traditional.

If you have a baby when you are "with" the father, you are married. People will call you his first wife, forever. If you have a baby and you are not "with" the father or he dumps you, you are a slut. And men are usually free to find another, but women are forever "his wife." So there are all kinds of marriages here. People often ask me if my husband and I are really married and he repeats the popular saying- "por la iglesia, por el civil y por el pendejo"- for the church, for the civil, and for stupidity (jackass-ity). Which isn't quite true since we married in the states where it is illegal to marry civilly and in the church, but close enough.

** This seems to be a class thing in most cases. If you don't expect your daughter to finish school, go to college, or have a career you probably don't have a problem if she leaves with her boyfriend at 15 or 16 to start her "married" life. (My husband's niece moved in with her 14 year-old boyfriend and his family when she turned 16. The couple downstairs are 15 & 17 and they live here in their own room, but with his mom and dad.) If she lives at home, she is a child until: 1. she gets a man and moves out, 2. she gets a career AND moves out (which doesn't happen much, just the career- still a child), or 3. her parents die.

A friend at 28, couldn't go with me to another state because her dad, who hasn't lived with the family in 15 years (and lives with his mom in Texas), wouldn't give her his permission.