Jun 22, 2006, 11:51 AM
Post #1 of 23
Yesterday (Wednesday) morning seemed like a good time to take care of some things that have been pending so we took the opportuniuty to drive over to our municipal hall to kill three birds with one stone. First, we were planning to meet with the head of the catastro to resolve some property tax problem that had proven difficult to resolve in the lower ranks of that office, then we were planning to meet with the immigration people to begin the annual renewal of our FM-2 Visas. After those two issue were handled, we were heading over to DIF to get my INSEN discount card for old goobers so the day began with auspicious plans.
In order to be as efficient as possible, we planned to arrive at city hall at 10:00AM so that my wife could meet with the head of catrastro while I chose a spot in line to await a meeting with the immigration people who were supposed to open their offices at the normal 9:00AM. Oddly, the head of the catastro was in a meeting of indefinite duration with the president of the municipality and the immigration office had posted that they would not be opening until 11:00AM - an unheard of delay. So we walked over to the DIF offices only to find the office and the streets leading to it to be strangly deserted like one of those old science fiction movies of the 1950s.
Then, suddenly, it dawned on us. Mexico and Portugal were playing their World Cup match and, except for the occasional roar coming into the street from various bars, restaurants and billard parlors we passed in our walk, the town was oddly silent. There was even ample parking just about anywhere.
Of course, we took all this in stride since we have lived down here long enough to know that these sorts of things are to be expected hereabouts and, more importantly, that just because absolutely no one was doing a lick of work anywhere in the municipal complex or DIF offices. that fact did not mean that, during this unofficial hiatus in the normal operations of governmental functionaries, there would, in reality, be any actual loss whatsoever in normal productivity. We were correct of course and added to our list of things to do about an hour of sipping espressos and capuchinos while reading the local press and, upon having thereby refreshed ourselves, we set about our original chores immediately after the game ended and got it all done in record time.
The fact that Mexico lost the game to Portugal seemed to have no detrimental effect on morale in the community and it was almost as if the game never actually occurred. Everyone had rallied together in a marvelous display of patriotism and team spirit but, the minute their team was eliminated, it was back to life as usual without the resultant wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth. This was quite refreshing to me as an Alabama boy since, had that been an American football game played out on the community television screens of, say, Birmingham and with the Alabama team playing for a spot in a world championship, had the local team lost, the whole community would have been plunged into this deep depression as if the meaning of life itself had been thrown into doubt.
I was reminded again how pleased I am that I chose Mexico as a retirement home. Thanks to Mexico´s loss, the crowds of drunk soccer fans around the Minerva Glorieta can go home and stop obstructing traffic and we can all look forward to 2010 when the Mexican team can disappoint us again. Meanwhile, back in Birmingham or Lincoln or Terre Haute they are still crying in their beer over nothing.