Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Check Is Not In The Mail

I tried in vain to make pancakes for the boys this morning. The stove wouldn't light. Hmm . . . could it be that the gas bill I had been ignoring finally caught up with me? Yes, indeed. I had to face the challenge of paying bills in Mexico. Today was the day. I managed to call the gas company and get an address for their nearest office (and yes, I spoke Spanish, without any help whatsoever -- a definite sign of progress!). So, I paid in cash and we now have a functioning stove, dryer, and hot water heater. Ta Da! A small success today.

After a bit more hunting, I also found the offices where I needed to pay for electricity and water. Also cash transactions (although I paid cash to an automated bill collection machine at the electric company). There may be an easier way for me to pay bills, but I haven't figured it out yet. To pay the rent for my apartment I put cash in an envelope and deliver it to my landlady's house. The only bill I know I can pay online is the cable bill -- it's good to know that the cable folks trust their own connections.

Perhaps I could pay some bills with checks, but I wouldn't trust the mail delivery system. I'm posting a photo of the mailbox where I receive my bills. One single, overstuffed, open mailbox for eight apartments. Yup, 8 families receive their mail in this box. Some bills stay in the box for weeks, I've noticed. Many people have bank statements gathering dust in this mailbox. I wonder if identity theft is a big problem here? In any case, since this little mailbox has lowered my confidence in the Mexican postal system, I will continue to pay bills in person and in cash. Now that I've figured out where to go, I may even pay on time!


logan said...

Bills! Those nasty devils. I would imagine they would send you harassing letters and phone like in the US but then agin your're in Mexico.
Good Luck

Aunt Beth said...

Hi Laura! It is fun to read all the news. It is cool how when you have a big language success, the whole day seems like it was worth it. I'm glad you got the bills paid and even have a bit of a system. Figuring out all those details is so time consuming. I like the picture of you teaching too. Is it fun? Are you remembering that it is not about the job?

Love, Beth