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Fear and, Well, More Fear in Ajijic
May 8th, 2011 by Les

“According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking.  Number two is death.  Death is number two.  Does that sound right?  This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.”  Jerry Seinfeld, American Comedian and Actor

“When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.” Samuel Langhorne Clemens aka Mark Twain, American Writer and Humorist

The day began like the unfolding of Scheherazade, the symphonic suite that starts slow and quiet and builds to an all encompassing crescendo of sound, music and emotion.

“This is the American Consulate calling.”  I had answered the phone when it rang, checking it like I always do I noticed the “anonymous” read out.  The call had come in on our US phone line.  My first thought, it was my son.  Of course that idea vanished when I heard the female voice heavily accented in Mexican with an English lilt.

Okee, dokee, now what?  Did I do something wrong?  I mean, let’s face it my take on living in Mexico is weird, unfettered, humorous and often absurd.  Had I offended someone?  I do rely heavily on self deprecation bearing in mind I find just about everything funny – particularly my ineptitude.  Quite honestly my funny bone has been tickled so much since moving here my mantra has become “are eyebrows considered facial hair?” to throw people off.

What type of animal is a Snuffalulffagus would have been easier to answer then my manic attempt at calmly answering what I perceived she was asking me.  Had my address changed?

If my eidetic memory served me right, it had changed almost two years ago.  I distinctly remember the drive from Laredo to Ajijic.  Not something I could possibly forget.  Well, I said we live at Hidalgo 71A (I even used the Spanish pronunciation “Ah” for the letter “A”). Her prompt response….for how long…. made me stop in my tracks?  Why was she asking these questions?

Without giving the impression my knickers were in a bunch, I asked what this call was all about.  To which she replied – you move to Mexico from US and you change your address at the IRS just a few months ago.  The IRS let us know.   Whoopee, the all pervasive IRS.

 Okay.  Who is “us”?  The US Consulate. I mean, does the US Consulate now have a file on moi? Good grief what have I done to put my name on the table in Mexico?  Shades of the Borne Conspiracy.  I could see myself commandeering a mule (ala Juan Valdez) and heading into the Sierra Madera’s.  How would I handle climbing when I have trouble with my body 2 feet off the ground? I really need a mattress to sleep on as I’m sure I’d wake up with a bad back after sleeping under the stars…as nice as that might sound.  My mind was racing so fast my brain, as usual, was obviously left in the dust.

Well, the US Consulate has a Social Security office and I am, how you say, following orders, she said interrupting my manic train of thought and pulling me back into my version of reality.  You need to sign a form.  You need to come to Guadalajara to sign the form.  I also need your passport number.

After about 15 more minutes on the phone with the Seniora where she picked up on my dismay, she explained all your Social Security needs can be handled at the US Consulate in Guadalajara.  (A good thing to know.)   She went on to say, after hearing the abject fear in my voice when she said I’d have to DRIVE to Guadalajara (read this as the all encompassing crescendo), she said she would send me the form.  I should sign it upon receipt and send it back post haste.  I can do that, I breathed with a sigh of relief.  I may be a few kangaroos short in the top paddock, but the thought of wasting away in a Mexican jail had flitted through my mind.  I had become one with my fear and quickly felt the heebie jeebies disappearing and my breathing pattern return to what I call normal.

Next time the phone rings I’m letting David grab it.  Viva Mexico!!

BTW, for those of you currently living in Mexico the web address for the US Consulate in Mexico’s Social Security division is: http://guadalajara.usconsulate.gov/service/other-citizen-services/social-security-and-other-federal-benefits.html

Each year on May 3rd processions of singing pilgrims carrying streamers and flowers wend their way through towns, cities and villages of Mexico to decorate the crosses along roadsides and on mountaintops to honor and remember the Holy Cross.  Below are some of the photographs David took on that day in Ajijic.


2 Responses  
  • Melissa writes:
    May 12th, 20111:46 amat

    Hi Les, I love your blog and witty quotes!! My husband and I just arrived in Ajijic today and are spending a week here to celebrate our wedding anniversary. I didn’t realize how off-season it was going to be, oh well… We are having a wonderful time anyway. Your blog is fun to read and I will keep up with it when I go back home because I would love to live here some day. If you have any off-season tips while we are here that would be great too! My email is melissagiarratano@gmail.com. Gracias!! MG

  • Sheryl writes:
    May 9th, 201110:16 pmat

    If Jesus really looks as hot as the guy in the above picture, I definitely want to meet him el pronto!


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