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Credit Union vs Big Banks,

Conflict and complaining are not my thing. When I have to complain,it makes me crabby and I want to make it as effective as possible. Our credit union merged, was consumed or conquered by another credit union. I assume the other CU won because now we bank with First Tech. I wrote about previous problems here. This year they started charging us a 1% international banking fee. That means on top of the fees we have to pay to the banks whose ATMs we use, there is an new additional charge. Husband inquired about the fee via email. The response he got was that VISA was levying the charge since there is a VISA logo on our ATM/debit card. Husband then requested new debit cards sans the VISA logo since we only use the VISA option when paying for SKYPE. First Tech said that they could send us a those cards but the fee would still be assessed. Hmmm, so ...

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Eating and socializing,the expat life

After the IWC meeting, BK and I went to out to lunch. Having a short window of time, BK suggested BK (Burger King). Even though she eats more SAD (standard American diet) foods than me, BK is thin and healthy looking. We ended up at MacDonalds on Paseo in the Chedraui plaza, because we wanted to check out the costume store nearby.I’m always overwhelmed by the menu in those fast food places. It’s been a long time since I’ve eaten fast food NOB, but the restaurants here just feature combos on those giant menu boards. I didn’t want soda or a full package of fries. So I did something totally against my nature. I asked the counter person if I could get just a burger and a bottle of water? Receiving an affirmative answer further emboldened me. I asked if it was possible to get a Big Mac without bread? Adding with a smile, “I know it’s a bit odd. ...

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Black Friday? We don’t have it here!

Having spent most of my working life in retail management, I am intimately acquainted with Black Friday. People lose their minds chasing the good deal. I don’t miss it at all.Yeah, the bargains are incredible, the acquiring of stuff at a good price is seductive,  but I have long ago opted out of that game. Debi had a great post about giving services instead of goods as gifts. I like that idea, we have done things like that in the past. I am all for experiences instead of material goods. I once bought a pony for my kids with the money that I had been saving up to buy a new couch. I figured the girls (Mijo was still a baby) would remember having a pony forever but never think twice about having an old couch. I was right. I don’t truly recommend buying a pony or any other pet on a whim, it’s a big obligation. I have a ...

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¡Sí me disturba!

 Storing your tools at the last job seems to be a common theme here. A few weeks ago we had some work done that required scaffolding. The contractor’s truck was full so he asked if he could come by Saturday and pick up the scaffolding and the bags of debris he was supposed to also remove. He asked ” ¿ No le disturba?” I assured him that it was fine where he put it since he was coming back in two days.Today,the gardener made an appearance and I want to transplant a bunch of stuff to where the scaffolding is being stored. Well, now it is in my way. ” Y ¡Sí me disturba!”I realize that it could be much worse . One of the carpenters who worked for us 6 years ago has yet to reclaim his  ladder. At this point it’s been so long that I consider it abandoned. Honestly, I went several times to his house to ...

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Yearly Rituals

Glancing at our FM2 cards for some reason, I realized that our renewal date was upon us. Applications for renewal are supposed to be done 30 days before expiration. For the last seven years we’ve dutifully done so, and as a result our visas have gone from expiring in November to mid-September.  September is a bit problematic since El Grito is in the middle of the month, but we aren’t planning on going away again this year, so we’ll just have to wait and see how the process goes. I did everything the same as last year. Showing up at 8:45 we were number 36 in line to speak to the reception desk. We were issued number 27 and sent inside to wait our turn in the air conditioned lounge.Reasoning that most people arrive prior to 9 am and very few afterwards, next year we are going to try arriving at ten and see what happens. Choosing the option to use  ...

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Who buys this stuff anyway?

Unaccountable shortages happen here. When we first came here, for about two weeks, baking soda was unavailable. No one, anywhere,had any  bicarbonato to sell. None of the supers, the mercado nor the pharmacies. Then suddenly, it appeared on the shelves again. Doing a big grocery shopping today at Chedraui, I couldn’t find garbanzo beans (chick peas). Having lived here close to a decade I know to look for canned garbanzos next to the canned corn. I found chestnuts (the real kind, not water chestnuts) and escargo in cans but no garbanzos. I’m still scratching my head over that, this is Chedraui Itzaes not Chedraui Norte, who in my neighborhood buys those items? Furthermore, how long have they been on the shelf? When I paid for my food, I asked the clerk about the garbanzos. She informed me that they had been out of them for a month! Is there a big Lebanese festival going on that I don’t know about? ...

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Just when I thought it couldn’t get better

Servicio a domicilio (home delivery) is one of my favorite things. It’s not just pizza and chicken, everyone delivers. Cafico not only has great coffee,they deliver for free if you order a kilo. The drug store will deliver, heck, Mr. Dog had a sonogram in our living room, and the lab will send a technician to do a blood draw if you want to pay extra. Today, I ordered my groceries online. Thanks to Yucatango’s post Superama delivers, I learned that Superama on Montejo has a website which I bookmarked and then forgot about. I forgot about it until today. Husband and I want to make some Sangria. Unfortunately, you can’t buy booze until after 10 am. So our normal practice of grocery shopping in the cool of the morning wasn’t going to work. Besides, I had a manicure and pedicure this morning (on my terraza, La Manicurista also offers servicio a domicilio). One thing lead to another and it ...

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Adventures in bus riding

Immediately after reaching the corner, a bus came along. Checking the windshield to verify the route, we spied the name Chedraui. That was enough, we didn’t have time to read the rest of the stops, we barely had time to flag the bus down before it soared past. As we approached the intersection of Calle 77 and Avenida Itzaes, Husband felt we should get off at the Pemex. I confident in my greater bus riding experience, voiced the opinion that the bus would turn right and stop in front of the store. Imagine my dismay when the driver turned left instead of right. We conferred, maybe he would go south on Itzaes for awhile and then return going north again? We rode on, through neighborhoods new to us. After about fifteen minutes we reached the final stop, in Parques de Nuevo Mulsay. I asked the driver about Chedraui. He said he already passed the stop. I asked if he went ...

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Change comes to our lives

Over the years we’ve adapted to many things, accepted things that we would formerly have never stood for. We like to think of this as flexibility, not lack of backbone. A stiff backbone keeps you from bending after all. Tuesday seems to be a hectic day and lunch often gets forgotten until the last minute. This can lead to lunches prepared from canned black olives and peanut butter followed by cheese quesadillas when my blood sugar plummets. That is why I have Domino’s Pizza on speed dial. Tuesday is two for one day at Domino’s. After the worst Hawaiian pizza ever, I swore off Domino’s pizza forever. Like mañana,  forever, seems to have a different meaning in Mexico,I ordered pizza again Learning my lesson it was not on Tuesday nor was it a Hawaiian, I can take only so much ham like lunch meat . As usual the dispatcher wanted to know how I would be paying. Cash, but I ...

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New stuff

Last week we reported to INM for our  appointment. As usual we arrived early, checked in with the guard. When our number was called we received our chits and were ushered into the inner sanctum.When our turn came we handed over our  photo and the sheet of paper with our ID numbers. She asked us  if we had our receipts for fee payment. I explained that we hadn’t gotten voucher sheets yet. We answered a questianaire regarding religion,education and family status put our thumbprints on sheet of paper. While we were paying  our  fees our FM2s were being laminated. By 11 am we left, new visas in hand. Another new thing in my life  is a netbook. I picked out an ACER 10.1 inch netbook. It’s taking me awhile to get used to. For some reason the cursor seems to have a life of it’s own. I will be happily typing away, all of a sudden I find that I am inserting ...

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