Monday, 31 July 2017

A REPOST - This is a repost from our adventure from a few days ago, back by popular demand.....

(This is a repost from back in July.  Various people inquire, and I offer explanations.  Yesterday, at a reception for a Rio Grande Valley notable's  birthday celebration, her 100th, perhaps a score of people inquired about our place in Mexico and my thoughts about the situation.  Several hundred people attended the home reception.   Their questions are reasonable and I feel obliged to begin a complex of answers for them and for the OROGs as well. So, finally I began telling folks to check this blog on Monday or Tuesday.   And so, here we are)

     The day before yesterday, this humble servant had to go through the rigours of any person, something that I, a true English aristocrat (that is a self-deprecating joke folks), tend to resent, at least a bit.   This rigour involved having to deliver a motorcar, that being a Jeep Cherokee with over 150, 000 miles, and 16 years of service.  It is a very presentable vehicle, a gift from my first son, who is a girl, who apparently had the mistaken notion that because we had given vehicles to them (also old and wasted) they had some obligation to unload their junk on us.
     The other thing is, this Jeep Cherokee Laredo....the super Deluxe model....actually provided incredible service with only the normal brake jobs, tire repairs, hood-support pistons, etc. being required to keep it running.  We have turned down the equivalent in dollars from people encountered on the road in Mexico of 6,000 USD because the noble old beast was still pretty, clean and kempt on the inside, no oil burner, a bit of a quirky transmission (but welcome to anything with a Chrysler transmission), and ever so comfortable.  For a 2002 model of anything automotive to have so many reasonable and passionate suitors should be a complement.

     We opted to sell.....yes, sell....the Grand Dame to our Mayordomo, the fabled Sargento Mayor Alvaro....the man who assists during the presence of clients and who stands the door and the properties of the Quinta in my absence.   He has 15 years with us.   I charged him to take the vehicle, and we did it all on the up and up, legal - legal, according to the Mexican, Tamaulipan, and Texian vehicular transfer laws that are presently pertinent.
    Why sell, instead of deign and grant?  Because Alvaro is not a peon.  He is a contract person, with professional blue-collar licenses and credentials, and a Paladin who rides alone through life. He sees himself as neither my subordinate nor superior.  He is not even an employee, but rather, a consultant and mechanical and tourism engineer.  And he does it all, along with pushing my old carcass around in a wheelbarrow when present, with aplomb.

     Alvaro and Don Rafael's Secretary made it to Ciudad Victoria and then to the Quinta right on time, no real delays.  They were stopped by a Federal Highway Police officer.  He was confused because Alvaro had all the correct paperwork and everything was in order. He complained a little because there was no "little error" for which he could collect at least a little bit for his daughter's dental braces.   My guys took pity on him and gave him 50 pesos, and they were "released" after about a three minute delay.  A big improvement since the old days when a freshly nationalised vehicle being driven by two Mexicans would have cost 2,000 to 5,000 pesos in bribes to the highway patrol.....but that was back when elections were held but did not matter.

All Mexicans look alike.  Except
for the ones who look different. 
this one is Arabic, a Maronite
Catholic, whose family came
from Lebanon.
His name? Carlos Slim Harp.
Member of secret Roman
Catholic societies, such as Opus
Dei, is fervent 
pro-American but is a

Democrat sympathiser.

He owns the New York Times.

Go figure.
     He also has a Mexican Peso triad of Mexican Treasury Notes that have 30 day, another at 90 day, and another at 180 day terms that he renovates at the appropriate time.   He deposits what we pay 1,000 pesos to each account at each term when he "renovates".  He had a considerable sum before he came to be associated with us, over 15 years ago.   The Mexican interest rates are between 5% and 7.5% depending on the term.  He lost money during the slide about a year and a half ago, and he has made it back in spades during the peso's recuperation of the last three months.  Such is the nature of playing Mexican paper.  The true rule, truth be known, is that he who is stupid enough to invest money in Mexico begins to appear wiser and wiser the longer he leaves his money on bank and Banco de Mexico term-definite paper.  Over any seven year period, one normally has moderate to significant returns.  No Mexican paper has ever defaulted in peso terms.
            That rule was followed by a fellow by the name of Carlos Slim, whose dull, boring day-to-day investment in Mexican paper resulted, indirectly, in his becoming the richest and/or among the top 10 richest people in the world.
     Besides being an apparatchik of the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) the old government ruling party, Carlos was also the son of his father, a Beirut native businessman who did not want his family subjected to the Ottoman rule of Turkey and the conscription of his sons into the Ottoman Army.  They moved to Mexico in 1902 to join a already large existing Christian Lebanese group in Mexico City as well as in various places in the north and west of Mexico (Torreon, Chihuahua, Monterrey, Reynosa, Matamoros, San Luis Potosi, Queretaro, and Guadalajara).

     But I diverge.  The boss followed me to the border and she took up position in a pleasant enough dinette associated with a nice gasoline station.   There she was to wait until I would return in an hour and a half or so, all things being equal.  I ordered up an iced-tea with lime only, and then took off for the Reynosa Bus Terminal....which lies a little less than a half-mile from the main twin - bridges connecting the McAllen - Reynosa metropolis.   As I crossed over, it was noticed that the pedestrian inspection line was almost exactly one mile long, and it was not moving.   It could be seen that the vehicular lanes....about six of them....were also pretty much frozen in time.
     But, I as the true keeper of Excalibur and filled with the powers of Zobbozolom, knew that by the time I should return, the line would be evaporated, and the American customs and immigration officers would have processed everyone in the line with the efficiency and alacrity of the American administrative imperative.
     We proceeded to the Bus Terminal, found a fine parking space at the "estacionamiento" adjacent to the Terminal.  Clean, professional gate keeper, even pleasant.   I enter, saluting the Mexican Army Sergeant, who is in full flak-jacket, French automatic rifle, combat presentation.  There are two full platoons at the Bus Station.  The un-accustomed are turned off by this, but the deportment of the people at the Terminal is..."Thank the good Lord God Almighty that we have more and better fire-power than the Cockroaches, right here, right now.   People come and go without a second look at the soldiers....the whom of which will lay their lives down to protect the flag and the citizenry.
     I spoke with a lieutenant and a really ranking sergeant,  identifying myself by my number, rank,  and branch as a veteran and exchanging salutes with them.  They were more than compliant.   They indicated that they were at the Station as a mis-direction maneouver, because from this point, and due to the outlay of the really good streets leading away from the Terminal, they could respond to almost anywhere in Reynosa within seven minutes.
    There were hundreds of people coming and going every 15 minutes.   The best count of arrivals and departures of better 2nd Class, 1st Class, and DeLuxe busses arriving and leaving was 51 in the nearly 1.5 hours that I was stuck there.  Alvaro's bus coming up from Ciudad Victoria, the capital of the State of Tamaulipas would arrive about 25 minutes late, due to the intense inspection by the Army at a checkpoint about 90 miles south of Reynosa.  Dogs, federal police, but mainly Mexican Army personnel..(many having received American and / or Israeli and / or Egyptian/ or Brittanic training) check through luggage and personal effects at that point. The base also has a really fine "super clinic" with a couple of operating rooms and overnight facilities for ill or infermed people, and a large vaccination and general attention facility.  It is a marvel.  But it is also a pain in the neck when someone is waiting at the terminal, and he has  Brittanic blood. 
     On each of three occasions, El Gringo Viejo seeks information about the "new arrival terms" the boy (and yes, Virginia, I can say 'boy' because I am over 70 years of age) searches the position of the bus upon which Alvaro is mounted.  The last time, he makes contact with the driver and/or the relief driver on the closed circuit telephone and they say they are late because of this or that, they will be at the terminal at such and such minute.  And that is the way it was.
     About 27 minutes late....through no fault of their own....a still bright and shiny 1st class special bus comes into the TRANSPAIS bus company's parking area and empties its passengers.  To shorten the story, Alvaro and Don Rafael's secretary, a man whose name I still have not programmed into my brain, come up and we immediately go back out to the parking lot where the Jeep is.   Alvaro sets about attaching the plasti-carton (a real license, very solid construction, stronger than a metal plate) license plate on the rear of the Jeep.  He puts the required windshield sticker "at the point of the top of the head of the co-pilot" according to the instructions and it is placed on the inside so that it cannot "removed by pedestrian".     We exchange all of the documentation, titles, permits, and Alvaro's first payment, which is a fortune for the working man in Mexico.  And I drive the Jeep for the last time as owner (with my wife), over to the Mexican entry area.  That is where the pedestrian crossing is accessed.

     It is also where I learn that Alvaro will not be driving back, but rather Don Rafael's secretary, because he is very familiar with Reynosa, having many people there working in the Maquila, as it is said on the Frontier (the County/City of Reynosa has 40,000 people, mainly younger to middle-aged females, working in 3 to 10 times the minimum wage - 16 to 60 dollars/day..., plus housing allotment aimed at ownership, plus Social Security - medical, and scholarships for minors in family, plus one really nice meal).

    I show them, to be sure, where they can turn and follow the way to Santa Engracia and / or Ciudad Victoria and then travel a few hundred yards to the place where I shall say good-bye to them and then return to Gringo-Land on foot.  They leave, I go, and it is a joyous moment because I am only about 20 minutes late now.   The exchange of documents, and the transfer to the Mexican port of entry....very few minutes.....Hi - Ho, Hi - Ho, It's off to work I go....and I trudge towards the official pathway for the pedestrians who are going into the Gringolandia.   And then, guess what.....?

     The one mile line of the morning is no longer there, and so I smile and realise that my path is  bathed in fortunate indulgence.   Then, after turning the first big curve, a huge line...not the one mile line, but the one kilometre line.....not as much, but still a disaster.   The line moves very slowly.  My numbness of the forearms and calves and feet after about 30 minutes of very, very slow movements of the line, I had to "jump the line" and I approached the man about 200 yards up the line...who was controlling the line.   I told him the truth...that my electrolytes were diminishing, and yes I had bought some dry cookies and water, but a three or four hour wait would result either in my death or my incapacitation.

     I begged forgiveness and indulgence from the people I have passed up, and then I began the most arduous slide and half-stumble to the entry into the Customs and Immigration pedestrian inspection. The people left behind have a two to four hour the 104 degree heat, lined up like sheep for the slaughter....while the line moves ahead at ten or twelve people every 15 minutes.  Not very encouraging for a line of 750 yards.
     The problem is, that these people are legal.  Some are citizens, as is your humble servant.  Others have gone to great trouble and expense to obtain the border crossing permit that they use daily or weekly.  It costs about 250 dollars for the 10 year permit.  But one must render up the place where his grandmother is buried, and put his grandmother in a Dempster Dumpster.   (Almost, but not quite).  The "purification" is neither easy nor cheap.  And these people are left in to the heat, wind, old and very, very young....for hours never ending.
      The slobs and their supposed children coming from Central America to cross the Rio Grande as "refugees" last Summer and the Summer before last to cross over and are given everything and allowed to enter the country without even a birth certificate, while they go and glob onto an El Salvadoran barrio where the "immigrant" immediately also globs onto food stamps, section 8,  AFDC, Head Start, this free, that free, and never to report to their administrative hearing at the immigration hearing.  This is the case for 85% of the women who brought supposed children to "escape the violence" in their home countries.  They are aided by Catholic Charities and the Episcopal Church of America.....

     Frequently, these children are sold into sex-slavery or worse.  The Mara Salvatrucha are capable of things that normal people cannot even grasp, intellectually.  The Callejon 18 are the same.   It is nothing to them to sell a 12 year old girl to be skinned alive and butchered for the pleasure of one or several of these monsters to watch and video.   They laugh as it goes on.

      And we are lectured by the  Democrats about immigration.   The monsters do their stuff here, because we still have some semblance of due process unless the malcreants are dumbo 10th Amendment people.  In Honduras, if on rare occasion the Army happens upon these sub-humanoids, they simply machine-gun them into hamburger.  The Salvatruchas and allied types laugh as the bullets splatter their own brains.
       It is difficult for normal Americans.....people who know who Fred Flintstone and Lawrence Welk were and understand what kind of scum have entered into the United States since the last  Amnesty (1987).....and more especially during the Regime of Obama.   It is during that last episode that the negative impact was programmed and hoped for, in order to hasten that long desired fundamental "Transformation of America". It was necessary to induct as many unqualified people into the country as possible so as to convert the glistening city on the side of the mountain of Reagan into the Favelas of Slums where one is lucky to drink the blackish-yellowish-greyish effluent of the open sewers of Shariah and Socialism brought to us by Barry Soetoro and his minions.

    But, once again, I digress.  Finally I pass through the American Pedestrian Immigration Inspection, there are only two agents working six inspection positions.  The vehicular inspection is almost equally stationary. Your humble servant, after over an hour in the sun and standing around....nothing nearly as bad as the people he left behind....passes through without even a glance.  The officer does not even open my passport.

      I walk another 1/3 of a mile to the place where I left my boss at 10:00 am,  almost  literally stumbling away from the bridge compound during the latter part of the middle of the day.   By 14:00 hours, I make it to the Valero Station with its nice Stripes dinette, but the Boss has seen me and runs to our run-about and drives to pick me up.  She is apologizing!!!  I am the one who presided over holding everyone up, but she who has done all the real "blind waiting" is apologising to me.   Now all the OROGs know why I never "left home".   But I am exhausted.  

    With Alvaro's first payment and a few other shekels, and my pitiful old pre-corpse pretty much spent, we go back to our abode.  There I endure until being able to report all of the above to the OROG community and any others who feel the need to venture into absolute boredom.  The Boss just continues on her 14 - 20 hour daily circuit of Mom, profession, Old Gringo Geezer care, accounting for our businesses and our accounts and running the homestead.   I, of course, take care of Red China, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and the Democrats.  And other important stuff.

This entry should be enough to bore almost everyone to death.  But I render it to my Consuegros (my daughter's in-laws) first, then to the OROGs, and then to the Facebook people who have grown to constitute the vast majority of our listenership.   Thank you all for your time and attention.

El Gringo Viejo