Good fences make good neighbors.

I love Mexico.  And Mazatlan is an awesome place to live; but, like anywhere else on the planet, it has it’s downside.

Someone stole a new lawn chair from our roof.  I’m not sure exactly when. We’ve only owned it a couple of weeks; and, I’m sure I noticed it a couple of days ago.  Last night it was nowhere to be found.

It would not take Sherlock Holmes to deduce that the thief lives next door. No, not Poncho, the owner, but either his son or one of the two grown sons of his new wife.  They all live there together.  (It’s Mexico.)

Two years ago one of these same “cholos” stole the propane tank from our roof while we were in the states. When I confronted him, Poncho admitted it had to have been his son. We forgave it. And, then, hired our friend Lencho to add another meter to the wall between Poncho’s roof and ours. Now, the wall is too tall to lift over a 100 lb. propane tank; but, it’s no problem for aluminum lawn chairs.

Petty theft is always more of a problem in poor countries than in wealthy ones.  Mexico is no different; and, we live among the poorest families in the Central Historic District.  Most of the homes in this area are expensive, even by American standards. Our little alley is the exception.

When the town was laid out, nearly two centuries ago, the city lot at Nicaragua Street number 22 was subdivided into a dozen tiny lots.  Most of the houses in the alley are little more than brick and cement boxes with the necessary basics of lights and plumbing.  The current occupants inherited them from parents and grandparents, or (as in a couple of instances) are renting from cousins.  Most of them are related in one way or another.

Our house was built new in a lot where the original house had completely tumbled down. I’m sure the builder, an American, regretted building the house here because afterwards it was on the market for a couple of years.  That was why we were able to buy it on easy terms at a bargain price.  Even though it’s a beautiful little house, nobody was interested in living at the end of a dark alley.

Most of our neighbors are wonderful; and, we consider them to be good friends.   We love it here and are not going to let one bad apple ruin the “bolsa.”  (That literally means bag; but, it’s Mexican slang for alley.)

So what will we do?  I think we’ll borrow the last line from one of the poems of Robert Frost, Mending Walls “Good fences make good neighbors.”  We’ll call Lencho and buy more bricks.

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