ARROYO SECO, Jalisco, Mexico - Utilities are a really big deal in Mexico. I think having your name on the electric bill is almost as important as having your name on the property title.
So today, when the Tel-Mex truck pulled up and we knew we were going to get our telephone line installed, it was kind of like winning the lottery: Not only had we ordered a phone line, we actually were getting it installed.
Un milagro! (A miracle for anyone who hasn't run across that word in this blog before.)
Tel-Mex amigo clips phone line in place
When the installer pulled up, he looked around suspiciously and asked, "Donde esta su casa?"
We pointed at the Grey Goose Express and explained that the trailer is our house, at least temporada, prompting a very worried look on his face. He must deal with a lot of fairly loony gringos. I think he was thinking, "Who lives in a trailer in the middle of a dusty construction lot?"
But after about a hour of climbing around on telephone poles and stringing wires and chatting, we had made a new friend. He refused all offers of cerveza but gladly accepted a cold bottle of water when he came inside and found we had airconditioning.
He was good enough to explain to us that if we got a DSL line in the fall, to sign up for the slowest modem speed (and cheapest) because no matter what Tel-Mex said, the line into Arroyo Seco (for now) is ok but not sufficient to deliver the speeds Tel-Mex advertises.
He said if we could get more Americans and Canadians moving in - and asking for DSL - he was sure Tel-Mex would upgrade the system.
Oh and while it was fairly easy for me to understand everything the installer said in Spanish, he could shift easily into English to explain things, too. He learned English working in Pomona, California about 20 years ago, but decided to move back to Mexico where he has lived, happily, ever since.
Even on hot days installing phone lines for gringos living in trailers.