Saturday, December 17, 2011

Neighbor Kary May's Radio Show: The North Of The Border Brain Disorder

Some of our workers

A good holiday is one spent among people whose notions of time are vaguer than yours. ~John B. Priestly

Day 95

Welcome to another Act Like I'm Not A Drunk Saturday morning episode of Neighbor Kary May's Radio Show.  This week has been whacko!  I went to a party down the calle Wednesday night and remained sober, (yay!) and then went shopping the next day for 900 kids.  I was ready to shop 'til I dropped and I think at least two of the elves that had also been at the party the night before wanted to wallop me in my cheery little head.  Last night went out to dinner with a couple of friends, when they pulled up to my gate the husband asked me if I was still on the wagon.  I replied, "Yep!" and he threw me the keys.  Imagine that. Me the designated driver.  Today we will be bagging up the toys, I remember last year when we did this, I was one hungover elf.  Not today, what a difference a year makes.  So I'm on the run this morning but I wanted to take the time to drop in and say, "Hi!" Things will settle down after Tuesday when Santa hits town. 

I swiped a post from my other blog.  It was written after I returned to Colorado last year.  I hope nobody thinks it is derogatory, it is just the way things are down here.  I would have made the comment I made in the previous blog about Mexicans not getting in a hurry to any one of my Mexican friends down here and they would have just looked at me with pity.  They no comprendo gringos' angst when it comes to the concept of time.  It's one of those things we love about them and are envious of but it drives us freakin' loco!

Here's the blog:

I've been back in Colorado for a few days now and I'm having to re-learn everything.
"Now where do I keep the toaster and which drawer is the silverware drawer? " I can't even ask myself, "Now where would Gaby, (our girl Friday in Mexico) put this?

"Oh look! I have a dishwasher!" (Clapping hands excitedly).

I've finally remembered where the button is that rolls down the window in the car but the one thing I can't seem to retrain my brain to do is turn on the hot water in the kitchen. It should be easy. It's just one of those simple faucets with a handle that swivels to the right for cold water and, of course, swivels to the left for hot water. What's the problem? This is universal, isn't it? Umm…not necessarily. You see, after I had our plumber/electrician guy (they are often one and the same in Mexico) hook up our new kitchen faucet, I found that he had hooked them up the opposite way. If you swivel the faucet to the left you get cold water. If you swivel it to the right you also get cold water… for about twenty minutes at which point the water instantly turns boiling point hot for, again, about twenty minutes then it turns cold again because you have depleted the 5 gallon hot water tank. (For some reason our house has a bathtub you could almost swim laps in. I have no idea why. It would take me until the next Olympics to fill the thing.) If you are asking, why I didn't just call the plumber/electrician guy and have him come back and re-plumb the faucet correctly, you've never lived in Mexico.  Here is what would happen:

Monday morning:

Me: "Hola, Miguel. Como esta?"

Miguel: "Bien. Bien." (Miguel is thinking, "What does the gringa want now?")

Me: "Miguel, there seems to be a problema with the faucet. Could you come by sometime today and
look at it?"

Miguel: "Si. Si. (Miguel is thinking, "Posible, I will have time on Thursday.")

Me: "What time will you be here?"

Miguel: "9:00" (Miguel is thinking, "Why do they continue to ask me this stupid question?")

Me: "This morning?" (Disbelief)

Miguel: "Si. Si. " (Miguel is thinking, "These gringos, they will believe anything.)

Monday, 11:00 am

Me: "Hola Miguel. Donde esta?"

Miguel: "I am on my way. I will be there in 15 minutos." (Miguel is thinking, "Posible I will have time on Friday.)

Me: "Okay, because I have to be somewhere at 1:00 pm"

Miguel: "Si. Si." (Miguel is thinking, "So what?")

Monday, 3:00 pm:

Me: "Hola Miguel." (I'm not even going to ask.)

Miguel: "Lo siento, Senora. I will be there manana." (Miguel is thinking, "If she would have stopped calling me, I probably could have made it on Sabado.")

So instead of being held captive in my own home for a week, I decided that I would just wait until the next time I had to call "Miguel" for another more urgent problem and then I would corner him and not let him leave until he fixed my faucet. In the meantime I would just learn to use the faucet the way it was wired, I mean plumbed.


 I have the scald marks on my hands to prove it.

I swear up until the minute I left, I continued to make the same mistake so why now that I am back in the states has my mind finally decided to rewire itself and start working the way I wanted it to in Mexico?
Oh, I get it.  My mind is waiting for manana.

"Ow!!! Damn that water's hot!


  1. LOVE this post! Although I'm a US born Mexican living in the US I know exactly what you are talking about. The only difference is your "Miguel" in your life is replaced as my husband or brother in law. The water in my sister's house is also "reversed" in the literal translation.
    I went to my aunt's house to pick up my mom and S. My mom was watching S and decided to visit her sister. I was to pick them up there. I drove up and S got very excited to see my car pull into the driveway. She called my mom over and my mom flipped on the porch light since it was already dark. WRONG. By flipping that switch my mom blew a circuit that made the whole house go dark. It took forever for us to get everything straight. Later we were told you weren't supposed to flip that switch. A few years back my uncle replaced a light fixture in my aunt's dining room and since then flipping the switch to turn on the porch light would make the whole house go dark. So now we know not to flip that switch.

    When I read your posts about living in Mexico I am in no way offended. All that comes to mind is, so now she knows :)

  2. Missing your posts. Hope you are just busy...