Friday, April 16, 2010

last of days

I have entered that stage where I am calculating the last of things.

You know.

Last Monday in Mexico.  Last church service in Mexico.  Last camarones a la diabla in Mexico.  Or, at least, the last until November.

Thursday was my last trip to Manzanillo to pick up mail.

Picking up mail has always been an exotic pursuit for me.  It probably started with me impatiently waiting for that special toy Roy Rogers promised on the back of the Sugar Pops box. 

But it did not die with my pre-school years.  While I was in high school,. I awaited responses from senators and representatives to my political missives -- just as avidly as I would await letters from girl friends or banana bread from my grandmother while I was in the military.

When I moved to Mexico, I knew that I would not be very happy unless I could receive my regular pile of magazines.  I initially wanted to set up a mail box at the local post office.

But the woman, whose house I was sitting, convinced me not to do that.  Instead, she suggested that having the magazines delivered to the house would work out fine.

It didn't.  I tried it for one month.  The magazines usually arrived three weeks or so after they were published.

Then, I discovered Mailboxes, Etc.  I concluded that if I had a Laredo mail box with them, it certainly would not take three weeks for magazines to arrive in Manzanillo.  Certainly, they were more efficient than the Mexican mail service.

Alas, no.  For the past ten months, my magazines have been showing up in my mail box about three weeks after publication.  Sometimes, two editions would arrive on the same day.

I would not mind that so much (after all, I do get the enjoyment of driving to Manzanillo) if the service was not as costly as it is.

The only thing that kept me using the service was the two young people at the desk.  They have always been helpful and cheerful.  And it was a joy to see them each week.

When I return in November, I will need to reassess whether I will use heir services or revert to my original idea of a Mexican post office box.

But today was my last day to pick up mail from them -- for now.

And on Saturday afternoon, "the last of days" will end.


Tancho said...

I wonder if you would have the same anticipation of getting mail from senators and congressmen nowadays....?

Steve Cotton said...

Tancho -- These days I doubt their letters would be least bit interesting to read. More spin than a carnival ride.

Calypso said...

What kind of fees are there for Mail Boxes Etc.?

Steve Cotton said...

Calypso -- About $30 a month. That gets me a certain number of grams of mail each month. Anything over that in weight, I pay. I receive several magazines (plus the remora of junk mail that accompanies any mailing list). I usually pay about $10 extra per month. To mail a letter, I pay about $3 per piece for handling plus postage. It isn't cheap. But mail is a habit I find hard to break.

Laurie said...

Don't come here, Cotton. We don't have home mail service. You have to pay your bills at the place of service or the bank.

Steve Cotton said...

Laurie -- Putting it into perspective, it really is a minor inconvenience. Especially considering the issues you have faced recently with your mission. Mea culpa.

Babs said...

It is MUCH less for service in SMA. I have a mail delivery address of Laredo. I usually get mailed letters within 5 days from date mailed - wherever in the USA. There is no additional charge for magazines but there is addnl charges for packages and things ordered - except new books and Netflix! If I remember correctly its about $16 a month and in almost 10 years I've only once paid any additional funds for something that I DID order.
Sounds like you're thinking of returning to Melaque! I'm really surprised........

Steve Cotton said...

Babs -- My plan right now is to return to Melaque for the 2010-2011 winter. After all, the place has really grown on my during my convalesence. Especially, the people. I will then start looking around in the highlands for my next stop.

Babs said...

Ahh well then we'll have to meet for breakfast when I come to spend January at la playa.........hopefully.

Steve Cotton said...

Babs -- And, of course, I will look forward to it as the highlight of my winter season. I hope all goes well for you.