"A Single Gringa in Mexico" was all about Bekka's living in Mexico over 10 years in Ajijic, San Miguel de Allende and moving to Baja California. "Mexico A Sunny Place for Shady Men" is her latest book,about her 3 years living in Baja California: Ensenada, Puerto Nuevo, Rosarito and her move back to San Miguel de Allende. Both books are sold on Amazon as a ebook or paperback.
A Single Gringa in Mexico & Mexico a Sunny Place For Shadey Men.
One of my Vampire's in my life claimed that he owned the photographs I used on my covers of my two books so they were removed from Amazon while they investigated his absurd claim. He was proven wrong by the properties of the photographs. However, I made a new cover and combined the two books as one. Something I wanted to do anyway. If you are given a lemon make lemonade.
The new title is, "When Given an Avocado Make Guacamole," with both books within, with the same titles. The book is finished and up as a Kindle & a paperback. You can order the Kindle version via this link to read on your Kindle, laptop or Iphone.
You can order for your laptop or PC download this free
Before my trip to Baja California I had experienced my
third ATM fraud since living in Mexico. All three times the fraud happened in
San Miguel de Allende, never Baja California or Ajijic or when traveling in
Mexico. I woke up the day before my flight to Tijuana to a call from Wells
Fargo asking me if I had been in 20 different states that night buying pizza
and Netflix movies. I was glad they had called me to ask and reversed the
almost $2,000 in charges after pointing
out that it would be impossible for me to be in 20 states in one night or eat
that many pizzas and watch that many movies. But I was not happy that they
canceled my debit card when I was traveling the following day. I had been to an
ATM machine that night on my way to have dinner with friends and had paid for
them as they had ATM fraud that day and had no cash. Now I only had 700 pesos
to travel from Leon to Tijuana and could not get cash until I went across the
border to my bank in San Diego. Wells Fargo would not over-night a new card to
Mexico and would only mail it regular mail to my mail forwarder in Laredo. It
takes two to four weeks to get a new card when you live in Mexico. We call our
mail forwarders donkey express.
My dear guy friend Texas whom I knew in Ajijic had recently
moved here to San Miguel de Allende and was nice enough to loan me 3,000 pesos
to get supplies for my Chihuahuas while I would be gone and to spend on my trip
until I could cross the border. I am sure many of my friends would have loaned
me money, but he is the only one I would ask. We have known each other since
1994 and he has been to one of my weddings and has helped me bury a husband. He
and I have a lot of history together. Only
my Chihuahuas have as much history as we have together.
When I returned to Leon from Tijuana I took a red eye on
Volaris, an airline that has no leg room, seats that barely recline, and even
charges you for water. The size and weight limit for your checked in bag is the
size that most airlines allow for your carry on. If you don’t print out your own boarding pass
at home they will charge you 100 pesos to print one for you. I was obviously
exhausted but my first priority was to go open up an account at a bank that would
cash my US checks without ever needing to use an ATM machine again.
After unpacking I walked to the bank with everything that I
knew I would need. After all, I had over the years, 7 different bank accounts
in Mexico. I had my passport, permanente card, 2 different utility bills and 2
references all with 3 copies. But this bank wanted something no bank has ever
asked for before, proof of payment of my property taxes. I had already filled
out the application and showed her my originals and given her the copies. I
found a taxi and hurried home to get this document and make 3 copies of it. As
I walked in the door I immediately realized that I had left my document bag in
the taxi. I ran out and he was gone.
I went back to the bank and gave them this document. Then I
went to the radio station to offer a reward. The taxi drivers listen to the San
Miguel de Allende radio station all day listening for rewards of left items in
taxis. I then went home and called my attorney and the consul to report my
missing documents and ask what I would need to do to replace them. Both told me
to wait a week as if you report this to us your documents will be canceled and
you will need to reapply. I called the California Driver’s License bureau and
the Sentri office and was told I would need to come to California in person to
get new ones. So I waited, and one week later I got a call from the radio
station to come in and pay the 1,000 peso reward as they had my documents. My
entire life was in that bag: driver’s license, Veterans card, credit cards, ATM
cards, Social Security card, Medicare card, passport, permanente card, Sentri
pass, a blank check from my U.S. bank account and 4,000 pesos cash to open the
bank account with. Everything was returned including the 4,000 pesos. I have
heard that a U.S. passport can fetch $10,000 U.S. dollars on the black market
and anyone would have been able to do identity theft with all these documents.
Thanks to a good friend, an honest taxi driver I not only got my documents and
cash back but was saved the money and time of reapplying for each of these
documents and traveling to California.
The irony of this banking adventure was that when I
returned a few days later for my account number and to cash a check, the
investment person did not remember me, nor could she find my paperwork. After
sitting there for over an hour while she searched, she finally found them under
a stack of papers and said she had tried to call me to ask who would be my
heir. I was shocked and replied, “I have an answering machine and caller ID so
I would know if you had called me, so you are a liar. I want my papers back and
I would never trust you to manage my money.” I then had to start all over again
with C. I. Banco, S.A. and they accepted my copies without seeing my original’s
since I explained they were all lost. When I got my documents back I then
showed them to the bank. I no longer need to use an ATM card for cash, and don’t
have service charges for cashing a U.S. check. I get the best rate of exchange
since I have a VIP card. A VIP card is a discount card that locals buy in San
Miguel de Allende that get you discounts at restaurants, bars, services like
gas, medical, shopping and too many other services to even mention. All that is
required to have an account at C I Banco is that you have $8,000 pesos in a
savings account with them. The interest is more than you would get at a US
The irony on this story is that there is now
a new banking rule in Mexico and no Mexican bank will accept a U.S. check. Some
will accept a wire transfer if they have a relationship with the bank you are
wiring from. All Expats from the U.S.
now have to use ATM machine with their U.S. Debit card. Social Security will
wire your benefits to a Mexican bank as well as certain investment accounts.
I knew now that South Carolina, Baja California, Port A in
Texas or Ajijic were not the best places for me to live. Especially with all
the support I get from my friends here in San Miguel de Allende. I made a excel
sheet of all my requirements to live in each place and rated and compared them.
There was no surprise; San Miguel de Allende rated the best. I rated them each
as best, equal or worse.
Places to compare and rating: Ajijic/13, San Miguel de Allende/33, Baja California/14, Port A/14,
I decided to not announce my decision until after I could
tell my little Mermaid in person who was coming to visit me in San Miguel de Allende
from Port A, mid-June, as well as my family in South Carolina who I was
visiting in July. I wanted to spend my one-year anniversary of being home with
them since they were the ones who made it possible for me to move back to San
Miguel de Allende.
During my healing process for grief, guilt, forgiveness and
anger before my trip to Port A or the Baja I had a healing with a famous
Sonoran Shaman who also was a medical doctor and surgeon. I had reservations
about this as I have never done a drug before. However I knew that if you were
healing in a rehab center you took Methadone, a drug to heal from an addiction.
I therefore did lots of research and trusted him. My Mini-me came with me and
said she would stop it if she felt that something he was doing might hurt me.
These are two full Interviews with Dr Octavio Rettig that explains
the entire process. Both these interviews made me feel confident in having my
healing with him.
The day of the healing you
had to be on time, turn your cell phones, off and the doors to the house were
locked after the shaman arrived so that no one could come or leave after the
healing started. You were told to bring a towel, blanket, food and drinks and a
change of clothing. It seemed an odd
list at the time, but made sense as the healings took place. There were three
of us that day and I was first. I was so glad to be first. If the second person had been first I would
have climbed over the wall to escape. The third woman held me tight and begged
me to not let what he was doing to this woman happen to her.
He called me to bring my
blanket and stand before him. He chanted as he danced around me with bells and
drums and some type of burning herbs. Then he prepared a pipe of Sonoran herbs
with the toad venom and had me smoke it. I fought him and it took three tokes
of the pipe before I fell down and he and I were together communicating through
our minds and no one else could hear what we said or know what my experience
was. Everyone has a different experience and most only need one toke. I can
only relate my mental experience and what people told me I said when I spoke.
When the toad venom took effect the sky disappeared and everything was solid blue
and his face kept changing from one face to another of ancient Mexican tribes.
I don’t know if these images came from my memory of books or from what I had
seen in museums. His face and costume transformed into Toltec, Mayan, Aztec and
others that I could not identify. He would become one of these images and then
he would return to his own face. I
remember coming out and crying and telling him please no more and he gave me
another toke of the toad venom and I returned to that mental place with him. In
my trance he told me to trust him and he gave me advice to change my life which
is private between him and me. Most
people never say anything. They just moan. But when he threw water in my face I
responded firmly, “No, I hate water, I can’t breathe in it,” and he replied, “But
you are water,” and I hissed at him, “No I am fire,” at which point he threw
more water on my face.
Mini-me told me that she
tried to stop the healing when he threw more water on my face and then held my
mouth shut and held my nostrils together so that I could not breathe and he
told her it was okay that he was a doctor. So she sat down and watched and was
vigilant just in case. When the healing was over I cried on his chest and he
held me until I stopped sobbing. I had the most wonderful feeling of peace and
happiness. Mini-me and I went out for dinner and I did not even want a glass of
wine. As the waiters walked by with glasses of wine on their trays it did not even
entice me. I came home and there was a bottle of white wine open in the
refrigerator from the day before. I was told that you could not drink the day
before the shaman ritual. I equated that to mean 24 hours. Since my healing
would be at two o’clock. I opened up a bottle of white wine and had a large
pour in a glass with my lunch at noon. We were also told that we did not need
to tell him what we were having a healing for because he would know when our
minds came together in our trance. I had not gone to stop drinking but I did
feel that I wanted to drink less and handle liquor more responsibly. For a
month I did not have a drink or want one. Then slowly I started to drink socially
and not before five, unless I was out for lunch with friends.
I sent this email to all my girlfriends in the Baja, Ajijic
and here in San Miguel de Allende as well as my friends and family in the U.S. on
January 6, 2014 the morning of my healing with the Shaman:
I will be out of touch this afternoon & evening having
a healing session with Dr. Octavio Rettig, from Sonora who is also a Shaman. It
is the final stage of my year-long healing process, which I began when my
unappreciative gigolo pushed me so hard on Christmas eve 2012 that he broke my
foot off my left leg (both ankles, tibia and fiba) and I had to have surgery on
Jan. 7, 2013, to have it reattached after waiting in a wheel chair in a cast
for the surgery date. I was lucky to have wonderful girlfriends who took me to
the surgery, for follow-up appointments, physical therapy, sitting with me at
home to keep me company, bringing me food (while he did nothing for me), and
taking me out in my wheel chair with them for outings. They helped me heal from
my injury and also to heal my heart and soul and keep me safe and sane. They
then helped me escape the end of June and put me in my car when I was able to
finally walk again without a aid and I drove myself home to San Miguel de
Allende to my wonderful girlfriends here who continued to help me heal and
recover my life and sanity and regain my confidence and find peace and
forgiveness the past six months. Thank you girlfriends in the Baja, Ajijic and here
in San Miguel de Allende, without you all I don't know what condition I would
be in today. (You are too many to name) Also, thank you to my parents who
inspired me and helped me financially to make the journey by car home alone
with my four little Chihuahuas, leaving most of my belongings in the Baja with
friends. My good friend Mini-me is going with me for support, bringing me home
and staying with me tonight as I have to smoke a hallucinogenic made from
Sonoran toad venom and Sonoran native plants.
So today one year after my surgery my final journey to healing
spiritually and emotionally.
Now as I end this Chapter I and this book I say thank you
Dr. Octavio Retting for making me see my life path and make the best decisions
for myself. I also have come to realize that unlike my previous life that I
wrote about in my first book, “A Single Gringa In Mexico” I no longer need or
want a man in my life in order to feel happy or whole. I enjoy being with me,
me and me. I enjoy doing what I feel like and with whom I like, going to bed
when I chose, waking up when I feel like it and alone. I have actually met a
few very nice men since returning to San Miguel de Allende. They know who they
are and I have not written about them. But I am able to support myself and
handle my life alone. I have also begun
to weed out friends who bring nothing but drama into my life. Friends come with
responsibility so I have begun to be more selective when allowing a new person
into my life.
I have a male friend who is a writer who sent me a letter
eighteen years ago. I found it recently and it is perfect as my ending to this
book. I am therefore sharing it; “You
are writing the most important book of all, the autobiography of your life, and
you’ve many more chapters to write. There are plenty of pages left for love,
enlightenment, and vicarious moments of joy and ecstasy and caring… just a
wonderful richness of life still out there just waiting for you to tap. So I
say go forth into the world with your remarkable beauty and embellish society.
Your autobiography is the most important book ever published.” I was not
writing a book then, not until 5 years ago.