March 15, 2006 — Living in Mexico does call for a fair amount of flexibility. Sometimes things go surprisingly well, and that happened yesterday with the installation of our new water tank, a 660-gallon black plastic tank to replace a very old and slightly leaky 550-gallon tank which we had assumed was cement but then learned it was asbestos too.
The crew who’ve been working on our fence took on this job as well as the fence. They poured a cement slab just the right size, on neighboring undeveloped land right by the fence-to-be. (Did they ask anyone’s permission? Ya gotta be kidding!) After it had cured for a few days, and with the old tank completely drained, nine strong guys from teenagers to maybe their 40s gathered around the tank and heaved it onto said undeveloped land. As so often happens in Mexico, a use was found for it. They were going to break it up (ugh, and likely breathe some asbestos fibers) in order to take it to the dump in their truck when a guy came along and said he could use it as is. They warned him it had a small leak but he was going to use it for gardening and didn’t care, so off it went. I didn’t hear the details of how he got it away.
UPDATE: Now we see our water tank whenever we go to Ajijic, as it ended up at a nursery beside the highway. It’s lying on its side still, not yet in use.
Then they put the cement slab in place and put our new water lightweight water tank on it. All but two plumbers left. They have both worked in the US and Kelly said they did a US-quality job of plumbing… he was keeping a pretty close eye on it.
So within three hours, the job was done, and very nicely.
Water tank, 1.
Today I had a dental appointment at 2:00 PM at a place near the highway that runs along beside Lake Chapala. I left the house a little before 1:00 PM, to be sure I would be on time. As I walked down toward the carretera (highway), I saw a bus go by in the direction I was going. Hmm, could be bad news. But within about ten minutes another one came along, a small bus.
Now there are “big buses” and “small buses” that run along the highway from Jocotepec to Chapala, or some of them go to Guadalajara without going through the town of Chapala. The big buses are higher and more comfortable, a typical Mexican second class bus, and the small buses are more like school buses (not minivans). They cost the same (well under a dollar for anywhere I’ve gone lakeside), but the small ones leave the highway in Ajijic and again in San Antonio Tlayacapan, to meander around the town streets and stop for passengers frequently.
Since I was in good time, it didn’t bother me to be on a small bus. I got a good seat on the side where I could gaze out at Lake Chapala quite a lot, and the time passed pleasantly. When I got to the dentist’s office, I was early so I went to a nearby shop and while I was there, the power went out.
The dentist was without power too. He was chatting with some other people and explained to me that he couldn’t really do anything without power, not even raise or lower his chair. I pointed into another office where the lights were on and said that the power was back. “In there but not in my part of the building,” he replied. The power had been out for three hours the day before, he said, adding that the electric company had been notified again today.
The anticipation before a dental visit isn’t that much fun, so I kept hoping that the power would come back on. But after waiting around a while, I took his advice to reschedule and he found me an appointment for tomorrow at about the same time. I caught a big bus back home, noticing that the ride took about half the time of the small bus.