My rose colored glasses were throbbing red yesterday as I developed a flu-ish chest cold and reconciled life here.
It has been a difficult year with no end in sight. It took a sharp turn for the worse in December. Government subsidies to the gasoline industry had been cut, so moving produce is more expensive than ever before. Most of those products are also more expensive because of a 70 year drought.
Government support of the government-owned electric company has been cut, so power is more expensive than ever before. I stared at a bill yesterday that said 24 pesos a kWh and could not tell whether a 1500 peso "transfer of power" charge was part of it.
We have a "progressive' system in which you are charge in usage levels. Both properties hit level 3.
We are coping with a rise in natural gas prices. The supplier no longer plays a happy tune off the trucks as they roll into neighborhoods. I have three tanks, two of them full. And I will manage. But people without refrigerators use gas to recook their meals several times a day. Factories that produce canned goods have also raised their prices as a result.
Gasoline has gone up a big chunk of change per litre as well. The ferry prices are so high many locals have had to give up better paying jobs on the mainland because they couldn't break even.
As a result of this, the market basket has gone up 20-45 percent in the last month. That's the measure of the cost of 45 essential items ranging from milk and oil to flour and corn meal. The price of tortillas alone rose 33 percent last month.
I am grumpy over all this. I am was even more grumpy when I got an email from 8 women who wanted to stay to two weeks and asked if I could discount further when one of them stays on.
Now, the apartments were never meant to house 4 adult women for two weeks at $300 and change a week. Two adults and two children willing to make adjustments works. Not four sets of towels, four showers a day multiplied...lights and hair dryers running, not thinking.
The tax we pay on rental income, before we pay income tax, has gone up from 12 percent to 16 percent. That is before all taxpayers, Mexicans and foreigners, pay a general income tax.
I am sorry for being so blunt. But several property owners and I have been whispering over the last month or so about how difficult it is and how selfish the prospective vacationers are being, making deposits, canceling and demanding their money back, for example. I won't carp about this, but I do want people to know that we have a serious gap in paradise here.
I hope it feels a bit better after my fever drops. But it won't change the reality.