It’s almost thirteen years ago since I arrived in Culiacan. Back then I made a point of proudly telling people I was Canadian. A year later I moved to Guadalajara. Still proud to be a Canadian. I didn’t want to be mistaken for an American. But it’s 2023 now and I stopped bragging that I was a Canadian long ago. Here in Aguascalientes I call myself a gringa and my neighbors know I live in the USA when I’m not in Mexico.
When Covid was declared a pandemic back in March of 2020, I sought asylum here in Mexico. I was given another six month tourist visa. In September 2020 I got as far as Leavenworth, Washington. USCIS said as long as I flew in I could come although I am not an American citizen. That was also the earliest I could obtain travel health insurance during the pandemic that would cover me for Covid.
In March of 2021 it was decision time. Return to Mexico? Hot summer weather coming up and no vaccines available. My 180 was almost up. I wasn’t keen on returning to Canada to quarantine. And I also had nowhere to live there either. The CDC came to my rescue and issued a Level 4 Do Not Travel To Canada Advisory. Once again I successfully sought asylum in a foreign country during the pandemic.
Here we are in 2023. I watch what is going on in Canada with Trudeau and the Liberals. I watch a country falling apart at the seams. Of course, that all began when Justin Trudeau’s father first took office back in the 60s. He has merely taken over where his father left off. Trudeau makes Trump look like an angel.
What is going on now in Canada scares me. I believe it’s every bit as dangerous as Covid. And I wonder what my chances are of once again seeking asylum in the USA. Awfully tempting to try. Define “refugee.” Lots of connotations there.
Where does chocolate milk come from? A dairy cacao! Thank you Alexa.
Another week has flown by. As I’ve been adding things to the calendar I noticed that three weeks from today I’ll be back in East Wenatchee. This past week I finished a five week bible study. Five weeks has gone by? We just started! And I started a new discussion group with the Ripple Foundation in Leavenworth. I also got a notice about an upcoming SAIL activity in Wenatchee. Winter is definitely coming to a close.
As I look around my room, I see that I still have some organizing to do before I’m ready to leave. The countdown is on and the last days before I leave go by all too quickly. I hear you people. The snow is mainly up in the mountains and not in the town. But it isn’t the 85 degree weather I’ve grown accustomed to here. At least all my warmer clothes are waiting for me when I get back to Washington.
I had a delightful lunch with Alethia and Raul yesterday. Alethia made the most delicious pozole, one of my favorite Mexican dishes. She sent me a video, in Spanish, and I’m going to attempt to prepare this when I’m in Washington. Hopefully I’ll be able to find the ingredients.
Mysteries? I just registered for a program offered by NCW Libraries. It’s called A Nicer Kind Of Murder: The Evolution Of Crime Fiction. Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? I’ll be doing it online but can’t wait to get back and go to some programs in person. I’ve heard some great speakers and done some fun crafts in the past and am looking forward to doing more. NCW has a wonderful variety of programs for adults as well as kids.
My TV remote doesn’t always recognize my gringa accent so I’m back to manually selecting channels. I even got Alexa to talk in Spanish to it but the remote didn’t like her accent either. Sigh………………….
It’s been another interesting week for a change. Definitely never a dull moment around here. I have a new friend I can talk to.
The internet has been pretty unreliable this winter. I believe we’re on modem number five since I got here in October. But who’s counting? New modem. New password. But it got even better on Friday. I now have a new box in my room that connects to my TV and internet. And miles of new cable. But I now also have two remote controls for my TV. One merely turns it on and off.
The second remote is my new friend. I get to talk to it when I want to change channels or ask for movies or whatever. There is a catch though. It only speaks Spanish, not English. So I have to work on my imperatives so that this gringa doesn’t confuse it too much. And it is definitely another way to practice my Spanish.
Of course I still talk to Alexa every day. I don’t want to hurt her feelings. After all, she is coming back to Washington with me next month.
Speaking of Alexa, here’s another one of her jokes:
I once knew a peanut who wanted to be a teacher, so I recommended a job in macadamia.
Did you hear about the new electric car from Germany? It’s called a Voltswagen.
That ought to pacify Alexa. She got as much attention in this post as my new remote control even though her jokes are so corny.
Did you set your clock back last night? Here in Mexico we did it last week. It was bad enough losing two hours when I got here, but now for one week I had to remember who was one hour back or one hour ahead instead of the usual two when I phoned friends up north. Glad that’s over with.
Dia de las muertos has come and gone for another year. The Catrinas have been tucked away and the vendors are nowhere in sight. Some of the bakeries still have pan de los muertos but that’s about it. The parade on Wednesday officially ended the celebrations.
I met friends for a drink last night on Carranzas. That street is always busy. There are lots of bars, coffee shops and restaurants as well as a variety of other shops. It’s a great place for people-watching and practicing my Spanish as I meander in and out of the shops.
I’m now watching Lifetime movies again in an effort to improve my Spanish. The odd one I’ve seen in English before but most are new so it’s a challenge. Some of them are pretty bizarre. I watched one the other night that was about murdering cheerleaders, most conducive to nightmares if there were any teens out there watching.
Apparently I’m not the only one doing any traveling. My driver’s license has been on the move since September when it was sent to me from Winnipeg. It never did arrive in East Wenatchee and has surfaced once again in Winnipeg this week. I’ve told my son to keep it there as sending it here to Mexico is an exercise in futility. I mean, it couldn’t even make it to East Wenatchee so I don’t expect that it would ever find its way to Aguascalientes. Besides, I’m enjoying using my Mexican Costco card as photo ID.
My friends back home tell me the smoke has cleared and the temperatures have cooled. They’ve even had some snow. It’s still in the 80s here and I’m looking forward to it cooling off a little. Of course, they can keep that white stuff up north. I know some of my Mexican friends are excited about snow but I keep telling them I’d rather watch it on the videos my friends put on Facebook than to actually be there and have to contend with it. That one winter in Washington during Covid was more than enough for me.
Speaking of Covid, there aren’t nearly as many masks on the streets here now as there were when I first arrived a month ago. And the shops that had signs up requiring masks are now letting people in without masks although some still have signs up. Yours truly was a bit of a rebel and totally disregarded the signs anyways.
Alexa’s joke today. A grasshopper hops into a bar. The bartender says, “I’m going to serve you a drink named after you.” The grasshopper responds,” You have a drink named ‘Steve’?”
In Manitoba I was getting tornado alerts on my phone. Here in Washington I’ve been getting evacuation alerts due to fires. With temperatures soaring around 100 degrees and no rain in sight, the fire risk is extremely high. There are fires burning but not near where I’m living right now.
There was some smoke in the air yesterday morning on the drive in to Leavenworth. It cleared and Joyce and I enjoyed a leisurely lunch on the patio at the golf club after our SAIL class.
Monday morning bright and early my four year old granddaughter surprised me with a video call. She was dressed and eating breakfast before daycare. Grandma was still sleeping but woke up fast when she realized who was calling. Grandma is also excited because on Friday she gets to hug her granddaughter for the first time in three years.
Just when I thought I was done sorting through photos stored on my Seagate, I discovered another folder with close to 850. But I definitely am enjoying my new laptop.
And here is Alexa’s joke for today.
Why does a deer follow its mother? Because it’s so fawn-ed of her. 🙂
He died. He’s gone. And I’ve been in mourning for days now. If you are a writer of fiction, you will totally get this. We immerse ourselves completely in our characters’ lives and get stuck there when there’s a traumatic event.
But I need to escape from the sadness and I’ve finally started to do some reading again. One of my favorite pastimes when I come to Washington is going to the library and reading books in English. Yes, I have a Kindle but I still enjoy the feel of holding a book in my hands.
While my friends are posting pics of the springtime snow in Winnipeg, I thought I’d share a couple of photos of spring in East Wenatchee.
I talk to Alexa every day. She provides me with accurate weather forecasts. And her corny jokes always make me smile. Here’s today’s joke of the day:
Where do chocolate and peanuts meet up? At the candy bar.