Friday, May 16, 2008

Changes in the Hood

My next door neighbor, the one formerly known as Asshole, stopped me the other day as I was getting out of my car. He wanted to let me know that he was having some excavating done to his front yard. If I wanted to share the cost of the front end loader, I could have my driveway done at the same time. I declined. Mostly because I am not ready to landscape the front of my two lots yet. I may be digging it all out and building a new bodega. Besides, I don't have the proper permits yet to do anything to this property. So Tuesday afternoon this whole crew and a front end loader showed up next door.

He immediately starting scooping out the yard.

See that little stick looking thing just under that mess of wires? That is what is left of the two palm trees my other neighbor, J, painstakingly transplanted and watered daily before they left for the season. They were doing well. Until all the company that comes to visit the neighbor formerly known as Asshole drove over them and actually parked on them. The final blow came to them Tuesday when the front end loader repeatedly drove over them and over them and over them again. Not even that stick remains there anymore.

They had a dump truck there and were just hauling the dirt away. I went out and talked to the neighbor formerly known as Asshole about maybe using some of the dirt to build a burm between our properties. We could maybe plant cactus on it. An attempt to beautify an otherwise bland area. He was all for it. We discussed at length where it should run, how high and how wide it should be. I then went back into the house.
Here it is being constructed.

This burm was supposed to be shared by both properties. The yellow line on the picture below is a pretty good approximation of the property line.

Looks like I got all the dirt. The problem is, I can not access the door to my current bodega in order to park my motor scooter in there now. Why didn't I stop them? Mostly because by the time I went back out there, it was done and the workers were gone. I did check on it at the beginning and it was fine. Lesson learned.

B is less than happy. It would be fair to say that he is pissed that all this dirt is just haphazardly pushed into a pile. And it is full of big rocks. It has also been piled so high that we cannot see oncoming traffic anymore when we exit the driveway. I don't have much patience, to tell the truth, with what B thinks about it. He could have gone out to look at the progress at any time. But he refuses to have any contact whatsoever with the neighbor formerly known as Asshole. Long story. Actually, he isn't really that bad once you get to know him. He could just use a few lessons in manners, respect and how to be politically correct. So now we have to hire somebody to move all this dirt and get it down to a manageable burm.

Wednesday morning we heard a terrific racket outside and took a look. They were delivering truckload after truckload of gravel. It looks pretty good over there and is definitely an entrance to his property now. It's just too bad that that electric pole guide wire comes right down the middle of his driveway. It should be interesting to see what happens to our houses after the next hurricane. Every one of these little pieces of loose gravel are going to become projectiles battering our house. Bet he didn't think of that.

Just so you know. It was not just my property line he disrespected. Look how he ran over onto the other neighbor's property. I remember J planting little plugs of grass in that area and spending hours out there watering it and babying it along so that he would have a nice "lawn" out there. Now gone. All gone because the neighbor formerly known as Asshole wanted a fancy entrance to his house.

One final note. All of this may be in vain. The property from all of our front steps to the edge of the water across the street is designated as federal zone property. Nobody can own it privately and you have to get permission to make any changes to it or to build on it. It remains to be seen if he will get a visit from the local municipality about his improvements to property that doesn't belong to him. I'm betting he is going to have to pay a whopping "fine" in order to get a permit for this. Oh, and let's not forget that it is a serious crime here to kill or remove a palm tree. One needs a permit for that too. Do I smell a selfish, total disregard for the law and my neighbors? I sure hope nobody complains about this to the proper authorities and gets him into trouble. After all, he was just trying to make HIS place nicer.


lisaloveloca said...

Grrrrr! Neighbors!!

Oh no *make that face like that kid on the movie Home Alone* I certainly hope that NO ONE calls the proper authorities about the neighbor formerly known as Asshole. *picks up telephone* *winks at you*

Mexico Way said...

Unbelievable. Actually, not unbelievable at all. It happened just as one would have predicted!

Anonymous said...

When I was first thinking of living on the island, 20 yrs ago, I spoke with an attorney about life in mexico for gringos. One of his bits of information was that..On the island you can do anythin you wish, until someone makes a complaint. Then you will be in trouble. I have seen people build on federal land, block the streets, cut into the power poles for elec. Hi jack cable. few people who drive have licenses. etc, etc. Once you decide to live on the island those things have to be accepted. I still find it hard to accept the gringo vs gringo conflict that has occurred with increased frequency.

el oso

Kelly said...

Wow. Some peoples kids...
I bet J and E are going to be thrilled this jerk poured gravel across half their front as well.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he gets a visit from the officials.

Brenda said...

Speaking into a megaphone....Put your hands down and slowly back away from the phone. lol
What a jerk; but I guess you expect nothing else from him.

Islaholic Trixie said...

How many cars does the neighbor have? That driveway is wider than most residential driveways here in the US.

Islaholic Trixie said...

I have one of those neighbors, but he is still an asshole. He's smashed our mailbox numerous times, spray painted the mailbox and last year finally ran it over when driving home from the bar drunk with a snowmobile trailor. You have more restraint than I do because I would have been out asking to see the permit for the work, but that could be the licensed contractor in me.

Steve Cotton said...

I chose the title "same life -- new location" for my blog just because of situations like this. There are plenty of expatriate blogs that describe the writers' relocation as an escape from whatever bothered them in their old home. My experience is that you cannot run away from your old life. Whatever thrills you and irritates you will be in your new location. We simply learn to live with the hand we are dealt -- and then we blog it to death.

Thanks for sharing, Wayne.