By Victoria Schmidt
Another Day in Mexico
She was juggling two telephones, and the tears that were welling up in her eyes, trickled down her cheeks, as she apologized to me for making me wait. I told her “No, don’t apologize, and please, just cry it out, you need that.”
She wasn’t upset about her job at the laboratory. She was helping her expat friend who is elderly, and alone, who has ten children of her own but they couldn’t be bothered. There was a problem with the bank and her elderly friend couldn’t straighten it out, in fact, she couldn’t even give her full name. The lab assistant cried for her friend, and cried for problems in her own family.
When we went back to the work I’d come in for, just dropping off a sample from my husband. I felt a lot of admiration for this woman as she remembers our address, email, and doctor…everything but my husband’s birthday.
When I left, I gave her a hug and told her to let the stress out.
Then I was back in my car to take my husband to his meeting. As I was driving, I was thinking about all the help expats get from their Mexican friends and neighbors and wonder about the effects it has on them.
I had to be someplace at noon, and my husband forgot something at home, so we went back to get it, and then had to wait in line around a small snarl in traffic into Chapala. I drop my husband off for his activity, and go a different direction so I can avoid the snarl that delayed our entrance into Chapala. I took the libramiento. But was stopped and I waited in line. Stopped traffic means an accident, a breakdown, or construction. The problem is, you just don’t know. A car is rapidly approaching the rear end of my car, and I am grateful I just got the lights fixed yesterday as my hazard lights warn him and the long line in front of me tells him he, too, must stop and wait. I look at my watch, still plenty of time. And soon traffic moves, and I discover the delay was resurfacing which was badly needed.
I progress well into Ajijic, but on Colon only a few blocks from my destination, the road is closed. As I turn I can see it’s only a single block that is closed, looked like maybe it was utility pipe repair. So, I do the around the block detour, find parking and walk into the meeting only ten minutes late. “Mexican time.” In the time I’ve been here, I’ve learned many reasons for “Mexican time.” The aforementioned is just part of it.
I leave my meeting, and stop back in to check to see if the lab assistant was doing any better. I don’t know why, I just had to know. And she was, thank goodness.
Then I picked up my husband to go to another meeting. Only we had to go back because he forgot his cane. We arrived on time, however, but this meeting is one I was very nervous about. And this time, we were all on time, but we needed to wait. We were to be interviewed by the priest as we are acting as witnesses for our Mexican friend and “family” for their son’s upcoming church wedding. I get nervous when I must meet and conduct an entire interview in formal Spanish. And the Padre spoke no English. Luckily I was allowed a translator.
And then it was my husband’s turn. The entire process is fascinating to me. Each marriage in Mexico has to take place twice. A civil ceremony for the state marriage. Then they must have their church wedding. As we finally left for home, I wondered which day they celebrate as their anniversary?
Column: Editor’s Page
Victoria Schmidt came to Mexico with her husband, in 2007. She is a graduate of Moorhead State University, Minnesota and graduated Cum Laude with a BA degree in Radio, Television and Film. At 23 she was hired at multi-national media corporation, where she worked 10 years as their Director for Operations and Finance. She then ran her own business consulting company. She has won multiple community service awards. Writing has been a passion of Victoria’s since Junior High. She has been active in the writing and publishing business for over 40 years and has been a columnist for the Ojo del Lago since 2008.