I always hear people complain about scams. Usually it’s on their cellphones. I solve that problem by never answering a call from someone who isn’t in my contacts. If it is a legitimate caller and they’re not in my contacts, they’ll leave a voicemail.
I get bombarded with other scams by email. I’ve published two books and I’m always getting emails from supposed publishers who want to promote my books and promise higher royalties. I get at least one of these a week. Occasionally I glance at them out of curiosity. Their command of the English language is seriously lacking. And the names of the representatives are quite comical. Somehow a name like Jose Shakespeare or Mahalia Dickens don’t exactly inspire much trust. Neither does Bill Jones or Jack Smith. And the same representative will contact me claiming to be affiliated with two or three different publishers.
And then there are the testimonies published on their websites by authors they claim to represent. Unknown authors, books that have never been published. It’s easy to create a website these days. No. It’s necessary to do your homework when choosing a publisher.
I used the same publisher for my first two books. The jury is still out on whether or not I will use them for my third book. The genre is different and I’m exploring other options for this book. In the meantime, I’m enjoying writing fiction. No need for the disclaimers used in the first two books. No need to change names of people and places. Fiction is fun!
In other news, I’m in one of the rare states in Mexico that isn’t red. The USA seems to get their warnings out a lot sooner than Canada these days. I guess Trudeau isn’t as concerned about the safety of the citizens of his country.
The buzz words for this decade are “stay safe.” The ones I heard all the time in the last decade were “be aware.”
In Mexico I live alone, I take long walks alone and I often travel alone, very different from my life back in Washington. But in both places the above buzz words are always on my mind.
After having limited mobility prior to two knee replacement surgeries, I am extremely grateful to be able to take long walks every day. And I am very aware of my surroundings regardless of where I am. And I notice very different things.
Here in Aguascalientes, despite the fact that I live in a lower income neighborhood close to Centro (downtown), I am very comfortable walking the streets day and night. There are always people out walking. I’ve even grown accustomed to seeing young children out at night alone. Some of the shops have crazy hours too. There’s a dentist on my corner who is often there at ten at night. A hairdresser a block away is often cutting hair at midnight. Taco stands are open until the wee hours. And I think nothing of going out to the corner tienda at midnight if I crave a pinguino.
This past summer when I was in Winnipeg I stayed with a friend who lived downtown. Winnipeg can best be described as an urban reserve and is not a city I’d want to raise my kids in today. The downtown area is disgusting and filled with vacant office buildings. There is not a department store or a grocery store in sight. But the panhandlers are definitely out there in abundance. The streets are deserted at night except for the aboriginals who can be seen defecating or urinating on the sidewalks just as they do in the daytime.
When I walk in East Wenatchee I always see people out with their dogs. As I walk by the middle school I see kids out on the track. Further along by the high school I see the football team at practice. And of course there are always lovely gardens and trees as I stroll past the houses as I walk up and down the hills.
However in the blink of an eye things can change. I’ve had “interesting ” experiences in all three countries that I do not intend to ever write about. After all, we are never in control of everything.
Stay safe and be aware, wherever you are.
I am constantly being asked this question. My friends up north wonder why I spend 6 months of the year in a country ruled by a drug cartel. My friends in Mexico wonder why I spend 6 months in the gun-toting state of Washington.
I think about my hometown in Canada. Winnipeg for several years was synonymous with the highest homicide rate per capita in the nation. Just last week a three year old child was stabbed to death by his mother’s boyfriend.
So where exactly in this world is “safe?”
I long for the days when air travel was fun. Security has become an ordeal. Take off your shoes and jackets. Take out cell phones, tablets and laptops. No liquids over a miniscule amount. And I have knee replacements. Bring on the body scanners and pat-downs.
Do all these precautionary measures make me feel safe? Nope. Just makes me wonder what might come next.
Please stop asking me if I feel safe. In this crazy world we live in, no-one is safe. But what we can do is enjoy the time we have left in our lives instead of dwelling on whether or not we feel safe. After all, when you were a child, did you not just enjoy life without a thought to being safe? Maybe it’s time to start being a child again.