line, of course). If that doesn't work, the problem is in your pump or cistern,
and you'll probably need professional help.
I know some gringos who drink water from the tap, without benefit of a fil-
ter system--and don't get sick. I'm past the stage that I like to live on the edge.
My wife bought a beautiful ceramic stand from a gift shop and I purchase five-
gallon bottled water from vendors who drive the neighborhood in a pick-up
truck every day. If you don't already have empty bottles, you must either pur-
chase them or pay a deposit. I hang a hand towel on the front gate when I need
a bottle of water. My delivery guy sees it and automatically brings a fresh bot-
tle and my towel to my door. He leaves with a "thank you," a buck and a half,
and an empty bottle. The man will place a bottle in your holder for an addi-
tional dime. I also run all our drinking water through a Brita water filter.
The monthly bills for tap water runs about $4 U.S., and it usually arrives the
last week of the month. I pay it at the local bank as well. If you wait until after
the last due date, you will have to go to the company at Plaza Ley and stand in
a long line with a bunch of other procrastinators.
Electric and water bills are usually delivered by a delivery person, and are
not very timely, or for that matter, reliable. My friend, Sam, said he found his
water bill on the street one-half block from his house. So when you are out for
your morning stroll, don't just pick up that paper and throw it in the trash.
Take a good look at it, as it may be your utility bill.
Propane Gas: We have a gas stove, clothes dryer, and hot water heater. Our
propane gas tank is on the roof of our house. Every two or three months I call
Gaspasa at 981-0505 and request a delivery. I have waited for delivery any-
where from two hours to two days. They have a long hose that extends from
the big tank on the truck to the tank on my roof. One man goes into my house
and up onto the roof, then, with a rope, pulls the hose up and fills the tank.
Due to expansion, they never put in more than 80% to fill. You pay on deliv-
ery. There is usually a gauge on the tank that will indicate when the tank needs
to be refilled. Don't forget to check it occasionally, as cold showers are still cold,
in spite of the beautiful weather outside.
Some homes have gas delivered in cylinders. The driver brings a fresh tank,
connects it and takes the empty cylinder.
Cable TV: Most sections of Mazatlán have cable TV. For reasons unknown
to me, El Cid does not. They do, however, enjoy satellite TV. I subscribed to
Megacable and it cost me about $36 U.S. per month. For this, I got the basic
Mexican channels and two U.S. major TV networks.
The minor annoyance is that one of the stations emanates from New York
City and the other from Tennessee. That means that in order to see "Good
Morning America," I have to get up at 5:00 a.m. I don't consider anything
Char les A. Hall