Mexico Notes for July
Posted by keelynet on July 21, 2008
The Attempted Breakin – Well, I knew someone was sniffing around my back patio which is surrounded by 12 foot high walls and connected to other houses on the sides and back. How? Because the wirescreen on my jalousie barred window was ripped and it looked like someone had pushed their hand through hoping they could open the locked door.
Today when I got home after about 3 hours for business in another town, I found one of the jalousie window panes broken and lying on the bedroom floor and the duct tape was ripped open from the outside leading in.
The window had been pushed open and clearly someone again pushed their hand in hoping I’d left the key and they could turn the lock. The brass securing screw was also turned all the way open. And my 10 month old puppy is so friendly he probably helped the thief!
Razor rat trap and High Voltage defense – Since the cops visit my house 3-5 times a week at least, I asked them if I’d get in trouble if I hooked up a live wire or some cutting blade to hurt the thief. They said no, when someone is breaking or trying to break in your house, you have the right to defend it. So I’ve been looking for one of those giant rat traps they use on farms but so far have found none, just the small ones which I might have to use.
The idea is to attach a thin plate with angled razor blades and mount the trap on the inside of my window frame where it can’t be seen from outside. That way when someone puts their hand in and trips the trap……the angled razor blades will slam down on his hand and when he pulls it out will slice him open.
In addition, I plan to hookup high voltage that will be tripped with a switch so if he gets far enough in, as in putting his hand BACK IN thinking the trap has sprung so now it’s safe, he’ll get a delicious jolt of electricity. Most people don’t like high voltage. It’s nowhere near enough to kill, will just zap him good as long as his hand is inside.
I thought about something weighted with a sharp blade but that’s a bit much. The police looked it over and laughed saying that should teach whoever it is not to try to breakin to this house.
If I can find my film camera remote activation switch, I’ll see about hooking it up to snap the thief’s photo. Plus it would be fun to have some kind of wire noose that would snap to his hand and trap him til I got home. Lots of ways to defend a house and I have no problem hurting the bastards since I have no sympathy for thieves.
New Ranchito for Sale – A new ranchito came on the market in the last couple of months. I’ve been passing it on my motorcycle after having a beer at the new Califa cantina on the way home, so noticed a ‘se vende’ sign.
Today I took some photos of the place from the back and the front and noticed a big lock and chain on the iron entry gates.
I had a mexican friend call the posted numbers and they told him it was 1,800 square meters which is about 1/2 an acre. They are asking $220,000US for it but I’ll bet they’d take $200,000 cash.
What makes it interesting is it’s location about 1/2 kilometer outside of my small towns. It sits between two paved roads and you can see the main Chapala to Guadalajara highway from the house.
Eventually I hope to have the financing to fund my research lab which will allow me to work on many projects and invite associates I’ve known for many years to come visit for a few weeks or months to work on projects.
A friend offered me an opportunity to invest in a high investment yield program which might make my lab possible without outside financial sources (to their great loss) and so far, it seems to be growing very rapidly.
If it works out as projected (and claimed) perhaps it will fund my lab and a lot more. It is clear to me that most people cannot afford new vehicles or the minimum of +$10,000 to convert a car to electric.
Fuel cells aren’t reliable and are very expensive. Batteries are also expensive, don’t hold a charge very long and take several hours to recharge.
So I think we need to come up with a ‘universal conversion kit’ where any mechanic could retrofit an existing motor to run from an alternate source of motive force.
Phone company Ripoff technique – I’ve noticed whenever you make a call in Mexico whether from your house phone or your cell, you ALWAYS have to listen to automated verbiage from an operator saying you are an esteemed client and please hold while they make the connection.
A friend tells me this is how the phone companies USE UP YOUR TIME so I placed a call from my cell and timed it until the connection was actually made. It was a full 45 seconds that we pay for with every voice phone call! What a crooked deal!
Mexican License – My Texas license was expiring soon so I tried to renew online as I’d done a few years back. They said if you renewed once online, the next time you have to come in person. RATS! So its a long trip to Texas from here so I decided to finally get a Mexican license since I’ve been here 7 years.
I happened to mention it to a fellow Norteamericano who has been here for about 20 years and still didn’t have a Mexican license so he asked if he could come. Sure, why not!
Of course the test is in spanish and they have a limit of 300 licenses they will issue for extranjeros (foreigners) per month in Jalisco state. But we can take a mexican translator to help. I checked their website and downloaded the 103 question test with answers. Then I translated it into english and printed copies for my friend and I to study the weekend before we planned to go.
A mexican friend offered to translate and of the three testing centers in Jalisco; Guadalajara, Ocotlan or Tlajolmulco, he suggested Tlajolmulco as it would be less busy. It used to be that most medium sized towns gave the tests and licenses but corruption was(?) rampant and you could pay a transito/validad officer or a police officer something on the order of 800 pesos to get you a license, often without any testing whatsoever.
Now they are computerized so only three places give the tests. I called and they told me Tuesday was a slow day so come then at 9AM. We got there and my friend had an incorrect document so we had to come back the next day. Of course that day there were perhaps 30 people. It wasn’t bad though as we chatted with the people who didn’t seem too familiar with gringos. Most had an amused smile but all were nice including the validad officers.
Once all your documents are approved, they make you take the driving test first. It consisted of nothing more than parallel parking and was easy to do. The actual written test was on two computers and consisted of 20 randomized questions taken from the 103 questions on the website. But I noticed two questions which I’d never seen before.
Fortunately, my mexican translator explained it and both my friend and I made 90. With that, we paid 400 pesos for our Chauffeur licenses. For cars its 350 pesos but if you drive a ‘pickup’ you must have a Chauffeurs license. My friend was just beaming at this little conquest as we received our very nice and professionally made plastic licenses with our photos and details. They are good for 4 years so we are happy with that. All the people we met and especially the validad officers were very nice and forgiving towards us. Two of them told us they admired us taking a test in spanish and making such a high score.
I plan on posting the test as a rough english translation and the experience so others won’t have to go through what we did to prepare. There are some strange questions and answers but most are very similar to the US drivers license test.
The Drug Addicted Welder – My little 125 Honda has a small luggage type rack on the back. I use two bungie cords to strap down what I need to bring home. They didn’t have any of the 600 pesos fiberglass luggage carriers in stock when I bought the motorcycle for $1,800 about 15 months ago. But it’s a pain sometimes to keep everything secured. You know how it is when you go into a store thinking you just need a couple of things and wind up with a basketfull.
So I thought it might be neat to let the welder who’d helped build my rain-making machine, build me a 3 sided steel mesh basket that he could paint black and solder to the luggage rack. I told him I’d been thinking about it and he said he needed money. He used to be a chubby guy but has fallen prey to crack and lost a lot of weight, sunken cheeks and all. It’s sad and I know it is hurting his mother and father who are great people. His older brother is also a drug user but seems to keep enough control to not ruin his health.
He asked me for up front money to ‘buy supplies’ to build the steel tray. We had mutally drawn up a design and he said no problem and I should come back at 4PM on Saturday where he would weld it onto my motorcycle. This was on Monday and I gave him 200 pesos without getting a receipt since he’d done excellent work for me on two other occasions, I trusted him.
I drive over Saturday at 4PM as agreed. He was eating while telling his mother and father callate (shutup)…very disrespectful and he seemed really angry. I never saw the completed work but he said he’d come to my house with his arc welder to weld it on at 7PM. OK.
I wait and it is 7PM, then 8PM then 10PM, no welder. Not good. I wait another five days til Friday and he doesn’t show up or call me though he has my house phone number, my cell and he knows where my house is. I drive over to see what is the problem and he isn’t there. His mother runs a small cafe and I ask the father and mother where their son is, I’d looked in the workshop and saw no steel tray or any evidence of work on it.
His father said his son hadn’t build my steel tray. I told him I’d given him 200 pesos for materials and was to pay him 100 pesos more once it was installed. The father and mother shook their heads and apologized, saying their son had a drug problem and didn’t really work there anymore but the father assured me he would talk to the son and have him complete our deal.
That same Friday night, it’s dark outside and I hear the alarm go off on my motorcycle. I go outside to see what is happening and the welder is standing there with an unpainted box thing on the luggage rack. He is grinning and said all he has to do is clean it up. He asked if I was mad since that is what his parents told him. I said I just wanted him to complete the work as agreed.
The box was pitiful, made from shop leftovers and nothing even. It wasn’t sanded or painted and looked like something a 2nd grader would make. I drove over to his shop and checked the box out in the light, told him this is NOT what we agreed on and I would never put that junk on my motorcycle or anywhere else. He apologized and said he’d build another based on the design. He said he was sorry, but he had drug issues and wasn’t thinking straight. Again he asked me for the remaining 100 pesos and said he would call me the next day to weld the new steel tray to my motorcycle.
He didn’t call and its been another 5 days. I haven’t seen him and now the yearly fiesta is going on so tons of people are here to party. It ends on the 25th but I plan to drive over tomorrow and find out whether he is going to finish it or what? A good lesson, when you KNOW they are addicted, don’t front them money for anything, in fact, find someone else to do the work. I should just call the Honda dealer and have him order me the fiberglass unit. If the welder rips me off, I think that will be better.
And thats my report of experiences in Mexico for this month. Well, OF COURSE there is a lot I can’t tell you but thats the fun side of Mexico…jajaja…nos vemos!
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