Friday, November 18, 2016

Another reason it's cheaper in Mexico

I snapped this photo the other day while waiting for my wife to exit from the store we were parked at.
I was thinking to myself how difference things are down here as opposed to NOB.
Here were two workmen that were assigned the task of maintaining the overhead lights at this store. One appeared to be a helper the other was the "master" worker who was cleaning the fixture.
They were both perched high above the parking lot over 40 ft above the ground.
You would never see this in the US.
First of all, in the US they would use a snorkel truck, or bucket truck where one man would be maneuvered up and performed the job solo.
Second of all, there would be yellow tape or orange cones cordoning off the base of the platform, just in case the worker dropped a wrench or something.
Thirdly there would be or two workers guarding the base, so that no one came up to or even though of coming close to the workers.
We don't need all those extra expenses here.  No one backed into the scaffolding, because I saw them working at some other lights the next day.  No supervisors on the ground, nothing.
Plain and simple, a hell of a lot more cost effective too.
I know from personal experience of how expensive it cost to have someone come out to replace light bulbs like that, when we had tenants in a commercial building in Northern California.
You don't even get anyone to show up for less than a couple of thousand dollars.
The businesses here do not have to pass on the horrendous expenses of daily operation like they do NOB.  Like this job, it was plain and simple, no requirements for additional staff, safety equipment, etc.
Here we can purchase all the stuff we need at this supermarket and walk away with stuff for dinner for about 5 to 10 dollars.
Safeway in N.California you were lucky to walk out of there for 50-75 dollars.
But they do have a nicer paved parking lot, better shopping carts, better internal lighting. All more expenses.
Just thinking how lucky we are.

Monday, November 07, 2016

Curb Service with Important update!

A relaxed attitude is one of the many things that attract people to Mexico. A perfect example is curbside service.
Here you can drive up, walk up and even ride up on your horse and fetch a cone of delicious ice cream.

This scene would be impossible north of the border.
Because an independent vendor could not operate on the side of the road, day in day out.

They would be burdened with bureaucratic BS, like having to have a vendor permit, insurance, health department certification, a sink to be able to wash their hands in, multiple signs describing the ingredients of what was in the product, signs warning anyone with peanut allergies that their ice
cream may contain allergens, signs saying that eating the ice cream may be hazardous to your health.

This goes on and on, every day.

Here, they set up on the side of the road, set up a couple of coolers, and they are in business.
What a simple concept.

If the product makes you sick, the word of mouth will spread and no one will buy anything from them anymore.

Common sense.

We stopped by on our way back to the house and my wife decided to get a few cones in addition to a half liter of strawberry ice cream.
Big difference in the flavor. No added preservatives. No chemicals, No Corn or Fructose syrup, nada.

Two cones and a half liter of delicious real ice cream 60 pesos.

That's about 3 dollars. If I remember correctly the last time I got a cone at a Baskin Robbins it cost me about 3 bucks for a cone, not a half liter of ice cream

Now that's what I call curb service, that's still affordable.

So as I was writing this, I saw an article that was stating that this single mom could be tossed into jail for a year for selling ceviche.
Here is the info, can you imaging this happening in Mexico?  I think not.

STOCKTON — A single mother of six in Northern California says she could go to jail for selling homemade ceviche through a Facebook group she created as a hobby.

Prosecutors say, however, that Stockton resident Mariza Ruelas did not have the proper business permits required of restaurants that protect people from eating food prepared in unsanitary kitchens.

Ruelas was cited with two misdemeanor counts after participating in the online forum called "209 Food Spot" — a group for members to trade recipes and sell their specialty dishes.

"It was just like unreal that they were saying you could face up to a year in jail," she told KTXL-TV (

An order for ceviche that Ruelas unwittingly sold to an investigator got her in trouble. Ceviche is a popular Latin American dish often made from fresh raw fish cured in citrus juices and served cold.

Ruelas refused a plea deal with prosecutors to spend one year on probation and perform 80 hours of community service. She now plans to fight the case in trial.

Ruelas is raising money through the website She said on the website that she never thought that a weekend hobby she enjoyed with her daughters would end badly.

San Joaquin County Deputy District Attorney Kelly McDaniel said that the home-based enterprise went well beyond a hobby. She added that thousands of people each year across the nation are sickened and die from food borne illnesses.

People like Ruelas also undercut restaurant owners who obtain the proper permits, the prosecutor said.

"It's not unreasonable to be enforcing this type of law," McDaniel told The Associated Press. "When it can cause death, it's our responsibility to enforce laws that protect the public."

I guess you could be up in arms that the Mexican governement does not protect it's citizens .
My opinion is that people can make the decision on their own. Without the govmint putting their two cents worth.  In Mexico if the food is bad, you will not see anyone buying it, and the person is out of business.  In the states, she goes to jail.
Which is a better system? you tell me.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

4 days and counting

Today is the forth day that we have not seen any rain. The sky is blue, with a few puffy white clouds and it is in the mid 70's.

Last night it dropped down to 44 and was a little chilly, at least we have 3 fireplaces to keep the house warm and cozy.

Both dogs seem to like laying in front of the fire, even the longhair one enjoys the warmth.

As Patzcuaro fills up with thousands of people for the annual day of the dead, we try not to go down town because it is a madhouse. Between non-existent parking, to pushy tourists from other parts of the country, not even to mention the interior decorators who swoop in, and walk around purchasing this and that which will be shipped to the states, filling up decorator showcases and charging obscene price for what was purchased here for very cheap prices.

About 5 years ago, I remember hearing the argument from a decorator lady not understanding why she couldn't purchase a large quantity of these particular wood carvings.  This was the first day of the market and she just couldn't understand the concept that the display had months of hand work that the artist wanted to sell to many people not just one.

This season has been exceptionally wet, and we got hit by lightning several times.  At least our internet connection now is a fiber optic cable from our  tower which also relays the signals to half a dozen other towns in the vicinity.  We use to have a radio point to point and each time lightning hit the tower we would be down for a week or more, because those radio were extremely sensitive to the lightning strike. Now the fiber is pretty immune to the strikes but the tower still is susceptible.

We can bypass the Centro and go shop at the outlying stores, away from the crowds, this year we have no visitors from afar. That may change since I have been told that several airlines are considering flying to Morelia direct from the states, like it use to be a decade ago.