Tuesday, February 09, 2016

mexico knows best

Northerners have a tendency to be know-it-alls.

I know. I am one of them. No matter the subject, I have an opinion -- and that opinion is always correct. The Dowager Countess Grantham has a natural understudy.

Mexico is a syllogistic trap for my type. Whenever I have visitors (mainly from The States), one of the first things I hear is: "They could certainly save a lot on labor here by buying paving equipment and getting rid of all these men and shovels." Explaining that it would take decades of saved labor costs to make up for the cost of capital improvements usually falls on deaf ears.

I caught myself in the same error last week.

When it rains heavily in the summer, the street in front of my house turns into a small river. I suspect the street was once part of a natural drain field.

The water then rushes around the corner and flows out across an empty field where it joins up with a drainage ditch that directs the trash and sewage that has joined the temporary flood into our local lagoon. The field absorbs some of the water. But it reminds me of the winter floods around Myrtle Point where the dairy pastures were regularly transformed into settling ponds.

The field here in Barra de Navidad is quickly disappearing. The photograph at the top of this essay shows the start of the construction that is well underway today.

I talked with the Mexican contractor to discover what type of building was going up in our local flood plain. I was concerned that it was a house for a northerner who had never experienced our summer water problems.

It wasn't. It will be a commercial building -- along with boat storage.

The boat storage portion of the tale sounded practical. After all, there may periodically be enough water to put the boats to good use.

Up north, the building undoubtedly would be prohibited -- the concrete will simply re-direct flood waters into other people's property. Just as the builder of my house did by building up the grade of the house to cause water to flow into the neighbor's house across the street.

But this building is going up where it is. It is not Grand Coulee, but it will have an impact on the neighbors whenever it rains.

And, frankly, I appreciate the freedom here far more than the nascent nanny nations up north.

I have said several times I am very happy to miss this year's politicking in The States. This is just another example why I prefer living where I do.

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