Thursday, December 4, 2008

A Temporary Hiatus

Dear Diary,
I'm back in Phoenix. Got back Sunday night.

My friend Jeanne has been kind enough to being receiving and relaying my mail for me. Last Saturday, she told me that the AZ State Retirement System had sent a notice that one piece of my retirement paperwork was missing AND HAD TO BE INTO THEIR OFFICE BY DEC. 2. "*!#**#!," I thought, "I'd better get myself back to Phoenix and get this straightened out." There is something about the allure of that lifetime pension check that really motivates one to get moving! a Keystone Cops comedy, I made a headlong rush to the exit. I was in San Cristobal de las Casas, high in the mountains of Chiapas, the southernmost state in Mexico. I took a 2-hour bus ride down the mountain to Tuxtla-Gutierrez, the capital. From there a 12-hour overnight bus trip to Mexico. And it was freezing. When we left Tuxtla, it was hot and the bus's airconditioning was turned on. As we headed up to Mexico City, it got cooler and cooler. And my jacket was packed in my luggage beneath the bus. I finally resorted to holding my backpack on my chest just to keep warm. That, and with frequent stops, I didn't get much sleep.

When we got into Mexico City, I took a cab from the bus terminal to the airport where I caught a 2.5 hour flight to Hermosillo in the far northern part of the country. From Hermosillo, I got a 8-hour bus ride back across the border into Phoenix. Jeanne was her usual sweet self and picked me up at the bus station in Phoenix. After my 36-hour odyssey, I was exhausted.

I woke up Monday morning with a head cold (no surprise). But I girded my loins (why do they only gird loins? Why not gird your ear, for example?) to go do battle with AZ State Retirement System on Monday morning. I went down to their office when it opened Monday morning like some raving madman. I've always felt that a bit of constructive raving goes a long way. And it did. Apparently, we've straightened out the mess and all is in order now for me to start receiving my pension checks. I've got my fingers crossed. And with TWO WHOLE DAYS TO SPARE before their dreaded deadline!

My plans now are to hang out in Phoenix with Jeanne and just do errand kind of stuff until I leave mid-month to do a "Tour de Family," visiting loved ones for the holidays. And then I will resume my Mexico journey in early January. Between now and then, I will take some of this down time to reflect on the places I've seen and my thoughts about life in Mexico.

Thanks for following the blog....and happy holidays!