Friday, August 31, 2007
Work is progressing on our upstairs addition, but not always as fast as we want, of course. Everyone who builds or remodels a house in Mexico (Mexican or gringo) has similar experiences: only about half of the workforce shows up on Monday (San Lunes) and some days, the workers don't show up at all (algo paso, or "something happened", i.e. their truck broke down; there is illness in the family; a sister is getting married). The casual pace of life here is part of what attracted us to Mexico; it takes some getting used to, and you must park your sense of time urgency at the border.
When we moved in, we were getting our electricity from a spurious underground "extension cord" that ran from our neighbor around the corner, through the field next door and under the yard to our back door, where there was a breaker box with ONE 10 amp circuit. In two more days, it will have been a year since we moved in....and this week, we finally got our new electricity hooked up! Yes, it has taken that long. We had the house rewired for 220v electricity last year, but the new wiring required a new meter and new account with CFE (the federally-run power company). Getting the new account approved took weeks, but that was just the beginning. The first problem was that we were too far from the nearest connection on our street. After we hired a lawyer, they came to the house twice and measured (over several weeks' time) , and decided that it was within their guidelines after all. Then the CFE installer decided that the standard to hold our line was not strong enough. We had to rebuild it. We did. More months passed. They came and looked. Adjustments were needed; it should be taller. OK. We made it taller. Months passed again. They came back and looked. Some tree limbs would have to be cut. OK. We would cut them immediately. They said they would be back in una hora (one hour). Weeks passed, and they didn't come back. Finally, Jerry flagged down a passing CFE truck and begged them to come and hook us up. It took 35 minutes and a $200 peso propina. ($20 USD tip). Hooray! I can finally use my wonderful Ron Popeil chicken rotisserie!