Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Why Does It Have To Be So Hard?

I skipped posting anything about Dia de Independencia this year. I covered it fairly well last year and there are thousands of entries online if you don't know anything about it. However, I did not skip the celebration last night! The zocolo, where the grito took place, was packed. I chose not to take part in that crowd and instead went to dinner and then drinks with friends. We could see the fireworks from where we were and they were stupendous. A lot of money was spent on them. We partied until 3:30 AM. Keep that in mind as you read on.

I find myself once again struggling to get the simplest of things done. Today it is the ongoing saga on this island of trying to get cooking gas. We bought an extra (empty) propane tank this year (20 liter) so that we would never run out of gas again. Ha! Fool that I am, I thought it would not be a problem getting it filled. I set it out in front of my house everyday for weeks. The gas truck (Z Gas. I hate them!) would drive by, glance up at the house, see the tank sitting there and just drive on by! For some reason, they will not stop at my house. They stop at every other house in the colonias and trade out tanks, so why not mine? Unfortunately, they are the only game in town. The procedure for getting gas from them changes at their whim and it is difficult, if not impossible, to ever know what they want you to do. As part of her campaign promises, the new Mayor promised to bring another gas company to the island to give them some competition. So far it has not happened.

Of course I ran out of gas last Wednesday. I had a brainstorm. I loaded up the tank and took it downtown to Aluxes. The gas truck goes by their about every other day and exchanges tanks on that street. Especially because Pizza Aqui is located right next door and they are always needing filled gas tanks. So we set my tank out Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings. No gas truck! They finally arrived yesterday morning, took every body's tanks for refill in Cancun and promised to return today with full ones. I had my doubts. Understand, we never told them that one of the tanks was mine. I think they hate me.

So I had to get up early today, after only a few hours sleep, and get myself downtown to pick up my tank from the sidewalk before it got stolen. (Aluxes and Pizza Aqui are closed today so there would be nobody there to take delivery. You pay them when they take the tank.) Downtown was a blocked off mess due to the military parade taking place. Vehicles being redirected everywhere. I finally got to my destination and, can you guess what? NO GAS! Of course not, today is a federal holiday!

I spoke to the manager of the hotel next door and he said that if they do happen to come to the island today, he will just put my tank in the hotel lobby for me. At least it will be safe there. More likely they will deliver tomorrow though.

So why does it have to be so flipping hard just to get some cooking gas? Whoever says retirement in Mexico is easy needs their head examined. Meantime, guess I get to go out for dinner again tonight!


Anonymous said...

I'm assuming a heart-rending lie (" Please senor,...my baby needs warm milk for her condition...!") posted on top of your gas container wouldn't do it..?


Sue said...

They just came down my road for the first time (that I know of) since last May! I went out in the street to flag them down, as did all my neighbors. They were very accommodating - carried the tank to the back and hooked it up for me, even when I didn't have the 'wrench' needed to change the coupling.

Normally we take my empty tank to another house in La Gloria where they seem to make regular calls. I hate hauling tanks around though, so would be so pleased if a solution could be found for this problem. I know the loncheria at the mercado was unable to cook for almost a week because they were out of gas. That's got to hurt their business!

Like you said - it just should not be this hard to get cooking gas, especially when just about every single business and resident depends on it. I don't get it either. But hey - enjoy dinner tonight!

Brenda said...

What a pain in the behind.

K.W. Michigan said...

Crock pots work wonders, but then you know that!!

Jonna said...

Are they expecting perhaps a little "bonus" for service not yet rendered?

Theresa in Mèrida said...

Wow,another reason that I am so glad that we paid the extra money for a stationary tank. Of course on Isla they probably don't have that option. What a pita! And only one gas company! Unfortunately even if there were two companies that doesn't guarantee it would be any better does it?

islagringo said...

Robert: they would have to get close enough to read it!

Sue: when your comment came in I was elated to hear that they were on the island. About 3PM I drove downtown to get my now full tank. Wrong! The truck never came by downtown today. WTF!

Brenda: you're just being a lady. I would say worse!

kw: but you have to think of that in advance.

jonna: ewwwww! That doesn't even bear thinking of!

theresa: we do not have that kind of option. Even then, I bet it would be forever before they came to fill it. There used to be 2 companies on the island. We used the one that left. They were great, carrying and installing your tank for you. PLus they always played that gas song so you knew where they were.

MD in Texas said...

They always played that gas song?!! Ok, so that made me totally laugh out loud! I think my husband knows that song! :)

Billie said...

And people ask, "So what do you do all day in Mexico."
Living here is work but I wouldn't trade it.

Jonna said...

ummmm.... I just meant $$$

Sometimes Mimi spots them up the road and asks them to come out to our place and they do. She gives them $20p as a tip and now they know her. She gets great service.

Sue said...

Um, sorry - I am not even on the island right now. I meant that they 'just' came by my house, meaning, just recently (last week). Sorry for the false elation. I hope you have gas now!

Babs said...

In San Miguel - you call a number, they come in 30 minutes, exchange your tank, hook it up (and they even relight my water heater), you pay them and they go. Bada bing, bada boom. Why can't they do that there? Have you ever tried calling the gas company to send a truck?

islagringo said...

md: LOL! I hadn't thought of it like that when I wrote it.

billie: you are right on both counts!

jonna: I always tip. I understand that that is part of the culture. But they never give me the chance.

sue: thanks for the explanation. I thought maybe they had downtown days and colonia days or something.

babs: I wish it were that easy here. We did try calling the gas company, which is located in Cancun, last summer. They took down my address and phone number. Said they would have a truck come by the next day. I'm still waiting.

Anonymous said...

mi mama she give coca cola or small foods to each the mens change the gas tank. mi father he give the beers.
*Thomas merida,yuc

IslaZina said...

Here, we have a system with Zeta boxes in the neighborhoods. One od their mailboxes is near me. They do check requests first thing and that is my guess as to where they go first.