Wednesday, September 30, 2009


When I was in Florida in September, I noticed the stores were getting their Christmas displays and merchandise ready for the Christmas season. Summer goods disappeared and Christmas decorations took their places on the shelves. I really dislike having to deal with Christmas in September. I’m glad I didn’t hear Jingle Bells or Silent Night as I strolled through the aisles! Oh well, I thought, that’s just the way they do it now in the States, and probably Canada, too.

I get back to Merida only to find the same damn thing! In September, Home Depot, Servi-Star, Sam’s Club, and COSTCO, each had their Christmas merchandise displayed for sale! And, GOOD GRIEF!!!! People were actually buying it! (Am I missing something here??) I even saw Christmas goods at my favorite supermarket, MEGA! It seems the gringo stores are influencing the local stores, and to be competitive, the locals are putting their Christmas goods out earlier, and earlier so as to not let the gringo stores get a jump start on them! (As I said before, I dislike having to deal with Christmas in September.)

I’m old enough to remember the way Christmas was celebrated by my (then) large family. The biggest part of the event was the gathering of the entire family for Christmas dinner. We embraced the religious aspects of Christmas and the spirit of the season. Gift giving was an added pleasure and always a welcomed surprise by kids, and not an obligation on anyone’s part. Things were actually simpler and less complicated then. The tree never went up until after Thanksgiving and all the leftovers were gone! Progress, ‘ya gotta luv it.

Have I mentioned that I dislike dealing with Christmas in September?

Saturday, September 19, 2009


I have a small condo in St. Petersburg, Florida, area that I have been trying to sell ever since the economy and the housing market took a dump a few years back. It’s completely furnished, absolutely exceptionally nice and a great little get-away, but not much interest from potential “get-awayers”!

I travel back and forth from my home in Merida to St. Petersburg to check on it and take care of some errands such as doctor, house and car insurance, this sort of thing. I have found it cheaper to eat every meal out (two per day only) rather than buy groceries and cook at home. Besides, I never learned how to cook for just one person. When I cook, I can usually feed the masses! Sticker shock is what I go through when I buy something in the grocery store, or just about anywhere for that matter! I’m too accustomed to Merida’s prices and our great markets.

Prices in the stores are out of sight! $7.00 for a medium size watermelon! Lemons, three for #1.29! Meats are at least twice, if not three times as much as we pay here in Merida, and aren’t any better! Absolutely everything is expensive and requires some smart shopping habits for those on a limited income and/or a budget. I see lots of price comparing going on by shoppers, and coupons are the name of the game! In-store specials are always a big hit.

I previously thought of my trips back to Florida as my “Gringo Fix”. But honestly, I’m no longer in need of a fix and will be quite content when I sell the condo and am out of Florida on a permanent basis. Everything there is so much “faster” and disorganized. Folks aren’t as friendly as I once remembered they were. Some of my favorite stores and restaurants have closed due to bad economic times. Traffic is terrific, people are always in a huge rush to get to wherever it is they are going, and generally speaking, folks seem to be a bit depressed and anxious. Many old friends are now residing in Nursing Homes, and I even attended the funeral of a close friend while there. The streets are full of homeless people holding signs and asking for work and/or money. The cost of utilities is out-of-sight and the State Legislature is considering one utility company’s request for a 31% rate increase! I could go on, and on.

I love my country and always will. Nothing will ever change that. I also love my adopted country, Mexico, and little could ever change that, either. It’s just that I don’t require a Gringo Fix any longer but will still have to travel back and forth a few times a year to check on things until I can sell the condo. Interested??