It is morning in Mexico.
And I have done something I have not done in months. I have moved Mexpatriate's editorial room to the patio. The day is just too nice to write in my bedroom.
77 degrees and a clear sky. The type of Mexican day that people up north dream about when the hints of winter set in.
While northerners are pondering whether or not to come to Mexico this year, I am packing for another trip north. This afternoon, I will board my regular Alaska flight, and I will be at Redmond before today transforms itself into tomorrow.
Some northerners are holding back on their flight plans because of The Virus -- specifically, its delta variant, and, now, potentially the mu variant. Delta finally brought The Virus to the Costalegre, but it appears to have receded. And whatever variants develop will arrive both here and wherever people live. The Virus is like that. It does not recognize borders.
Some people are concerned with flying. I have flown to and from Oregon almost monthly since August of last year. I cannot speak of other airlines because I have no experience with them, but Alaska appears to have done about as much as an airline can to protect sue-happy passengers.
As far as The Virus goes, it matters little where one is on the globe. For the foreseeable future, it will be right there with you -- whether in Mexico or at home. And flying certainly seems to be as safe as staying home.
But there is another consideration, and I cannot be as sanguine about its reality. Whenever we are blessed with heavy rains, the runoff overwhelms the sewers. The result is that what should make its path from toilets to whatever treatment it receives is shared with the entire community. The sewers in Barra de Navidad are still bubbling and disgorging black water into the streets.
In Melaque not only is the sewer now topside, it has mingled with the mud that every flood brings. Within days, the mud will have dried into solid cakes that slough off layers of dust.
I am not a doctor (though I have more than once played one in a courtroom), so I have no authority to say whether the mud-sewage dust clouds contain anything that is medically harmful. But I would be surprised if a study showed that the dust is as pristine as a new-born piglet.
What I do know is that the particles in the dust present respiratory problems. It is why small particulate pollutants are considered amongst the worst for public health.
What is going to be done about the circumstances that lead to the flooding and the cough clouds? Probably nothing. And there are a lot of reasons why that is true.
All I can say is that I live here and I have learned to live with what is not going to change. And those of you who have been coming here for years have already faced this factor. If you are here in the winters only, you do not get to see the sausage being made. But you do get to taste it. It is just part of the background. And, perhaps, a tradeoff.
As I sit here looking across the patio, sipping (or, slurping, in my case) my green tea, and enjoying what is a perfectly presentable day, it is easy to forget about The Virus, the failing infrastructure, and a myriad of other problems that vex the people who visit and live here.
Because, in the balance, it is the place I have chosen as my permanent home. And, like a spouse you love and adore, a few corn chips in bed will never change that fact. There are fiestas to be enjoyed (hands up -- anyone who can calm a storm?) and lives to live.
Come on down. Your table is waiting for you.