Friday, November 25, 2016

thanking the mail

I completely forgot about a very important event.

Not Thanksgiving. It is impossible to miss it here. Several restaurants actively compete for the small number of northerners, who have returned to the area, offering good to terrible interpretations of one of the most boring meal choices of the year -- turkey dinner.

And participate I did. The event gave me the opportunity to break out my dinner jacket. For me, Thanksgiving has long been a black tie occasion.

It also gave me an opportunity to do a dry run on how my new body fits into my old formal wear. I have a trip to Australia in the offing, and both my black tie and white tie outfits may accompany me.

Then, there is dry cleaning. I have discovered a place in Manzanillo that does a decent job on silk shirts.

Now, I need to give them an opportunity to show their stuff with my formal wear. Last winter, the company did a great job on my formal shirt. What needed to be starched was; what didn't wasn't.  Not every laundry can pass that test.

But, we were talking about missed events. The event I forgot was
Dia del Cartero -- Postman's Day. I told you about it in honor thy postman.

Almost everyone has a day here. It is as if the government decided the best way to squeeze the Catholic church out of Mexican culture was to fill every day of the year with another secular celebration.
Dia del Cartero is an opportunity to thank, in a very material way, the three men who keep me posted on local gossip and events, chat me up about politics, and provide me with the mail service that keeps me in contact with my non-internet friends.

The day to do that was 12 November. Instead of paying my thanks to Saúl and his associates, I was gilding a tale of moths for you.

While I was showering yesterday morning, I realized my mistake. My old laptop (the one whose hard drive has passed to the other side) would have reminded me thirteen days ago that I had a duty to fulfill. But the dead tell no tales -- nor remind we, the living, that we are forgetting something very important.

So, I grabbed three envelopes, stuffed a 200 peso note in each, and delivered the lot to the post office. Saúl looked startled. For a moment, I thought I had forgotten that I had already paid them my compliments. But he seemed only to be surprised I was as late as I was.

The Mexican mail service has taken a turn for the worse lately. Two years ago, my mail north would regularly be delivered within 10 days to three weeks of mailing. The same with mail sent from above the Rio Bravo.

Not any more. Two to three months is a more realistic benchmark.

Why the change? I have no idea. Saúl told me in December of 2014 there was a Christmas slowdown. If that was the case, it has taken a long spell for the python to clear its glut.

What I do know is the three guys in the Melaque office do yeoman work. Even if I did not stop there regularly to check my postal box, I would now stop in just to talk with them.

And yesterday, I bought a bit more of their time.

I hope you were better at remembering the day than was I. 

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