May 7, 2009

Category 5 doldrums

Mexicans are free to go back to work and non essential government jobs, since the H1N1 flu virus appears to have been slowed through social isolation. That, for the past 10 days or so, was the unwritten rule!
But now, we are free to sit in a crowded restaurant, if only we could find one!
I went to Centro this morning to pay the water bill and enjoy some of Lenora's chilaquiles at Alexia and Geovanny's. I took the long way in, past the church and hospital, past Manana and Ciro's. When I took my table, I looked around the loncherias and among the few customers there were five non-Mexicans and then Donna Jane came in. With me about 8 now!
Afteward, I went to pay the water bill. I saw two people at Jax as I drove by. That was it for my gringo head count.
All in all, Isla Mujeres feels like it did after the three-day hit of Category 5 hurricane Wilma! It is dead.
I cooked in the last two days, saving money to pay the guy who washed out the apartments' water tank, dug up failed zuccini, washed the deck, painted over stains.
At breakfast, I shared a table with Luis, the bartender at Sergio's. He pointed to a newspaper, Sunday's, that showed empty beaches. They are going to be that way again today.
I guess every Mexican dark cloud has a silver lining. The government is giving property owners tax abatements in the form of credit on last years monthly declarations as reconciled on annual returns filed. Also, a 25 percent discount on health insurance paid by employers. All in all, the average small business stands to gain 2500 pesos. Aren't you all glad I pay an accountant to file all the declarations and pursue the rebate?
That is the kind of government action that helped islenos build second stories after Wilma. Now there are also low interest loans available for that sort of thing.
Meanwhile, at the ferry dock, everyone is having their temperature taken with infrared thermometers, coming and going. Despite advise to eat more greens and vegetables, there were few takers when the fruit truck came by yesterday, and almost no veggie ladies on the corners this morning. So I am picking the India spinach and being creative, using it in omlets, salads and soups.
I kind of like the island without a lot of tourist and the favors we are doing for each other. Reminds me of post Wilma days.
My headline of a post earlier "Under the inluenza" is catching on here. Baja la inluecia translates to under the influence, a commonly used phrase in Mexico. Baja la influneza will be our state for a while.

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