Saturday, March 8, 2014

You Can't Make This Shit Up- Chapter "Still Trying To Get Outta Here!"

So the house has closed, the money is in an account, the water and power are switched over. What's left? I sold the car last Tuesday after driving it down to San German for a mechanic check. The friend of a friend wanted it to we headed to her bank around lunch. Lines out the building like everywhere here. We had lunch, she went into the bank and came out strangely clutching a bag to her chest. "What's Wrong," I ask She has $9,500 in 20 dollar bills in that bag...the bank doesn't have any 100's! Can you believe this crap? 20 dollar bills! We continue on to a couple errands and then to the collectoria. I know where it is but no one else does since it is in an unmarked building so there are no lines. We go in, sign over the vehicle and pay $10 for stamps and she will have to go to the dreaded CESCO (but I don't have to). That went smoother than expected.

The next day we try to tackle DISH and Claro. DISH has to SEND AN EMPTY BOX IN THE MAIL so Jeff can mail back the receiver. Bizarre. Claro on the other hand says I have to return the modem IN PERSON. What a pain in the ass. Then I get the news that I have to go to the Mayaguez Office (45 minutes each direction away) to return it. Can't mail it in. So I dutifully drive past 30 or so Claro offices to get to the one...take my number (271) and wait in line when I have a million other things to do in my one day left (we kind of needed internet to be able to do things so I couldn't shut it off sooner unless of course I had guessed that I had to drive to Mayaguez to do it)! Next stop a different office of Oriental to close a bank account and wire money out. This went smoothly. We tried to do it at a different office and the women had us sit and wait (even though she wasn't really doing anything and wasn't with a client) and then wasn't helpful and didn't make eye contact. That is the shit we are sick of. As a person here you don't matter. They'd rather watch their phones or chat with each other and ignore everyone (Puerto Ricans and gringos alike) as a passive aggressive power trip than do a little work. This office was very efficient and the deal was done in 5 minutes. Hooray! Then off to Optical Express for Jeff's glasses (this place is reasonable and efficient) and then home to pack up! So all that is left is closing Banco Popular but we can't do that yet due to auto bill pay and auto deposit of Jeff's checks. I won't be here so I am sure there will be some kind of problem but maybe not since all important things here are done by men and women don't count. He can forge a note and signature from me and do it himself I am sure!

So off we go to the Land of Enchantment! I am sure it will have problems but not all the stupid shit that takes up entire days here. We aren't even there yet but have 2 rental house appointments, know which car lots have the car I want on them and know what is required to get a driver's license and bank account. There appear to be procedures that make sense and are consistent. Now all we have to do is survive the flight with 2 frightened kitties, survive 2 or more weeks in a hotel with them until we find a rental house, find a car, get a rental agreement so we can have an address and get a driver's license...then Jeff can come back to ship cats and boxes and we'll be well on our long road back to a sane life. It may not have the super adrenaline highs of Puerto Rico caving but it also won't have the filth and exposure to the animal horrors that are part of Puerto Rico's landscape. No more Bi-Polar PR. Countdown begins...7 hours til take off!


reinaldo said...

Just remember Katrina adapting is the magic word in your success.In my opinion whiteys day os overpriviledge are numberd , your States are not the same States are your parents .Demographics have changed too much if President Obama or Hilary in 2016 give Inmigration Reform a break like Ronald Reagan did in the 80s your kind will be the next new minority group in the Nationand will probably have cockfighting here in Orlando and bullfighting in the Long State in Texas in near future

Britton said...

Best of luck on your move and new adventures. I was thinking that you should update the "SE VENDE" on your header image to "SOLD!".

Moving is always a hectic and stressful time. I hope that you two and your animals settle in soon and wish you safe travels!

Anonymous said...

Are you going to abandon all your cats, hens, roosters, & chickens , just like you did in San German?

Jeff and Katrina Kruse said...

Anonymous, you need to identify yourself. We let Reinaldo’s comments stay even though we disagree with him because he does not hide behind anonymity.

As in Rome do as the Romans is that what you are advocating? I should reverse all the spaying and neutering, shots, vet visits, and proper nutrition to all the stray cats that we fed. We should let them bread like the locals and feed them left over rice and beans from plastic trays. We should dump the kittens in the middle of a busy road or we should just let them starve like the locals do.

Yes, we left three of the 12 stray cats behind in San German. One of them, Strippes, we had not seen in 3 or 4 weeks. Mini and Mars we just could not catch after going back down there 3 times and waiting for them. The new owners could not catch them either.

What would the locals do?

Oh, and you want me to catch 20 or more WILD birds (the chickens) and move them? All the chickens that came into our yard came from the locals. We did not mail order or buy any of these birds. It’s the local way to let the chicken be free and fend for themselves. We did not have any dogs so maybe the chickens felt safe in our yard.

Again what would the locals do? Oh that’s right, that’s what they did, the let their animals fend for themselves and bread uncontrollably.

We moved from Seattle with only one cat. We still have that cat and he is 16. How many local cats live to 16? Very few as the average life span for a stray cat in PR is only a few years.

It’s been 4 days here in Albuquerque and we haven’t seen a dead dog or cat. In PR I saw 4 to 10 dead dogs just on the drive to work every day. Not to mention all the garbage. The locals should be ashamed. They just burnt a big garbage pile at the Mirrodor on 112. It only took a couple of days for a mattress and couch to be placed at that spot on the side of the road. I can’t wait to see how much new garbage has been placed there in the two weeks I will have been gone.

Yah, we give gringos a bad name. Puerto Rico could be so nice but instead it’s a trash pile peppered with dead animals.

Jeff and Katrina Kruse said...


“whiteys days” Have you been oppressed? Why are you commenting about race on our blog. Our blog has nothing to do with race only bad behavior. Cockfighting and bullfighting is bad behavior and is being banned in the rest of the world as society improves. Are you advocating a return to the inhumane ways? Should we go back to slavery and killing Indians? Society is moving forward with or without you but we will have none of what you are advocating in the US. Eventually we will all become vegetarians because of economics, the toll on the environment, health, and last but not least compassion and enlightenment.

We welcome demographic changes and diversity. New ideas, we take the good and discard the bad. We move forward.


Anonymous said...

This is a recent article from one of your local papers:

New Mexico's animal abuse laws rank among nation's worst, group says

Animal Abuse In New Mexico

New research found New Mexico's laws on animal abuse are among the weakest in the country, and that has animal lovers outraged and demanding action.

A new study from the Animal Legal Defense Fund placed New Mexico in the top five states to be an animal abuser. The state found animal abusers often get off with a slap on the wrist.

From emaciated horses too weak to stand, to dogs starved to the bone, Alan Edmonds has seen a lot of unsettling things while working for Animal Protection of New Mexico.

"It's terrible stuff and it reflects the dark side of human nature," Edmonds said. "I don't like seeing the pictures, but they're a constant reminder that work needs to be done to protect the animals."

Edmonds said New Mexico's animal abuse laws have no bite.

"Most New Mexicans are horrified by the weak animal cruelty laws," he said.

His group has fought for years to get the laws changed. Last legislative session, they tried to make animal cruelty a felony.

"And then it didn't get heard on the Senate floor," Edmonds said.

Edmonds said the new ranking should challenge lawmakers to fight hard.

"What message are we sending to children who see extreme animal cruelty go unpunished?" Edmonds said.

Among the other reasons for New Mexico's poor grades on animal abuse laws, the Animal Legal Defense Fund said penalties aren't increased when abuse happens in front of children. Also, there are no provisions for veterinarians to report suspected abuse.

The group reviewed laws in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories.

Jeff and Katrina Kruse said...

So your equating toughness of laws to the actual problem? Puerto Rico has the toughest gun laws. How's that working out for them? A murder rate over 5 TIMES the national average. Over 22 murders per 100,000 people, per YEAR. NM murder rate is also unacceptable at 7 per 100,000.

"Most New Mexicans are horrified by the weak animal cruelty laws," he said.

I think that says it all. In Puerto Rico almost no one cares and in NM most people care.

Just face it in many ways Puerto Rico is a shithole.

Alaska to Puerto Rico said...

I am extremely offended by what you have written about Puerto Rico. This is a beautiful place, with wonderful people. I have seen many Puerto Ricans and Americans working together and apart to save animals on the streets, as well as cleaning the trash from our streets. We enjoy living here and choose to see the beauty Puerto Rico has to offer. I am sorry that you both couldn't see past the negatives of this beautiful place. I only hope you can learn to look past any negatives you may encounter in New Mexico, or where ever else you may end up, and see the beauty life has to offer. Good luck to you.

Jeff and Katrina Kruse said...

Why would you be offended for me calling a spade a spade? Sure there are some great people there and a few that do good things. It’s just too bad that so many more don’t. We are very angry we had to leave. If you can be happy ignoring all the animal cruelty, garbage, inconsiderate drivers, just because a few people are doing good things then oh well good luck with that. It could be such a beautiful place. It’s so sad. To many people are willing to tolerate bad behavior. Living in PR was an assault on the senses. If I forgot to close the vent in my car for just a few minutes driving to work I would be soon reminded by the violent smell of death.

We did our best seeking out all the best things that PR had to offer. If only it could all be like that.

We don’t plan on looking past the negatives, we plan on changing them. There is an animal rescue place right down the road from where we will be living. There is so little trash here we can pick up what trash we do come across. Remember, this is Albuquerque, we didn’t move to Seattle, Vancouver BC, Toronto, or other extremely nice place yet this is such a far cry from PR it’s like we are on another planet. We haven’t seen a dead dog or cat since we have been here. I would have seen over 30 in the same time frame if I was back in PR by now.
We saw more of the natural beauty that PR has than 99.99% of the people living there.

Anonymous said...

There are many americans whose children were born and recide in puerto rico. Depite all the problems there, they too are proud puerto ricans therefore is no doubt they would be very offended if they found out about all the trash you people talk about that beautiful island.

Jeff and Katrina Kruse said...

See that’s the problem. Your first reaction is to be offended. Your first reaction should be disappointment or shame (if your partially at fault). How is it trash talk when its true? Do you still see the island as beautiful when you drive over a dead dog or drive by garbage piles? I feel sad when I see that. My drive to work could have been a beautiful experience every day. How wonderful to drive on the edge of the Guajataca forest and see magotes and jungle everywhere. But instead I had to doge alive and dead dogs and see large piles of garbage every 100 yards.

Let me ask you this. Do you want proof? Am I making all this shit up? Up to now I have HELD BACK. I took 5 minutes one day on the drive to work and took pictures of all the garbage. Do you want me to post them? Would that make you feel at home? I am sorry to disappoint you but I have not taken pictures of all the dead dogs, I can’t bring myself to do that but maybe I can do that and post them all. How long of a time frame? Should I take pictures of all the dead dogs and cats I see in a week? Would that make you feel at home again?

adolfojp said...

Part 1 of 2:

Guys, first of all I would like to thank you for taking care of some of our stray cats and chickens even if you had to leave some behind when you moved from place to place. I hope that those animals are OK and I know that you do too. I know how hard it can be to help our animals and I know how much it hurts to lose just one of them.

And while I don't usually like to get involved in these conversations because they're for the most part just an outlet for people to vent I felt motivated to do so because it bothers me to see that you're missing the point once again.

No one here is denying that Puerto Rico, some parts more than others, is far from perfect. We've got problems with animal control, garbage, crime, bureaucracy, etc. We can disagree on the reasons for this situation and we could assign blame all day but in the end we can all agree that things in the island could be a lot better. Even Puerto Rico's staunchest defenders can all agree on this.

However, I believe that the hardships that you faced on the island made you lose perspective. Let me tell you why.

Imagine for a second a hypothetical scenario where I moved to the USA and started a blog about my experiences there. To make a point I could pick some bad neighborhoods but for the purpose of fairness lets assume that the USA is an homogeneous place where the Hamptons cancel Compton and you end up with an OK place. What would my blog say?

If I were to follow your example I would talk about how Americans are ruthless and racists because they've got the world's largest prison population and most of the prisoners are black. I would talk about how Americans are some of the fattest and unhealthiest people on the planet and about how many Americans live in food deserts where they can't find fruits and vegetables and about how everything has HFCS in it. I would talk about how tyrannical Americans are, sending people to get tortured in Guantanamo, and about how they police the Earth, killing countless innocent people in the process. I would talk about how the American empire has intervened unlawfully with many foreign governments, sponsoring coups and establishing illegitimate governments. I would talk about legalized corruption in the form of lobbying and about how the middle class is crumbling under the weight of the oligarchs. I would talk about the spy programs and the patriot act and the indefinite detention of brown people. I would talk about the random gun violence and about the gang warfare that was created by the war on drugs. I would talk about your sorry healthcare and about your public debt and about how polls reveal that a large number of Americans don't understand even the most basic concepts of science. I would talk about how superficial your broadcast TV shows are and about how expensive your college education has become. Hell, I would even talk about how truckers keep chucking bottles full of urine on the sides of your roads. I would talk for days about how the USA is great only because those who have nothing and live in misery are averaged with those that make more money than they'll ever be able to spend.

adolfojp said...

Part 2 of 2:

But I won't. Because I know that there is so much greatness in the USA and that millions of Americans are absolutely wonderful people. And I know that even with all of its warts the USA can become once again a beacon for freedom and prosperity. And I know that for every American that authorizes a drone strike on a wedding in Yemen there is another one who comes to Puerto Rico to help us with beach cleanup or with an animal rescue program. And that's why I welcome every well meaning American to the island with open arms.

And I know that you've met many wonderful people here on the island, even though you've isolated yourself from them by not learning their language. But for some reason you always forget to talk about them. How do you think that they would feel if they read your blog? And do you think that the Puerto Ricans who've moved to the US have been treated as well as you've been treated here?

All that you do instead is talk about how the supermarkets in your poor rural Puerto Rican municipality don't carry some fresh vegetables that we might not even grow here, although you might find them in a place like Guaynabo where people can actually afford to import them. And you talk about the dead animals on the streets but you fail to mention how in wealthy places like Condado they've got dog parks and people pick up after their dogs when they poop on the streets. And you talk about how many Puerto Ricans consume cheap food and cheap cheese instead of the fancy food items that you're used to. Do you see a pattern here?

So now you moved on to a better neighborhood with a lower population density and you'll probably be happy there. But I'm certain that there are millions of Americans who don't have your means or your luck who will suffer through many more problems in the USA than the trivial problems that you faced on our island.

I wish you the best. And for your own mental health I'm actually happy that you left the poor rural parts of our island for a place where you'll be shielded from the grim realities of the world.

Jeff and Katrina Kruse said...

Thank you adolfojp.

The point is you should start that blog! All those problems you mentioned ARE problems. Don’t stick your head in the sand and ignore them. I will not be upset that you say those things. I agree with you probably on everything you say about the US!

This is not about the US vs PR! Sometimes we make comparisons and maybe we shouldn’t because mostly our intent is to only focus on the situation at hand and not somewhere else.

How much of the nightly news is good news? Not as much as the bad news. We blog about our experiences, good and bad. You won’t find another blog that shows more of Puerto Rico’s natural beauty than ours does. Unfortunately we have to temper that with all the nasty stuff also. We will also blog about the good and bad here NM.

It sounds like we agree it’s just that you don’t want us pointing out all the bad, is it that simple?

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, guys!

Wow, it offends me in a way to see that you have to defend yourselves like this. Just know that somewhere out there, there are readers who'd experienced the exact same things you did while living in PR -- the good and the bad.

I think you should take the lessons you've learned from PR and be able to appreciate all the more what NM has to offer. The desert is a beauty. A couple years from now, you may look back on your experiences in PR with nostalgia, but I predict you'd say that you made the right decision in leaving. Island life is not for everyone. And that's ok.

Linda said...

Well.. Good luck to you. although I don't live in PR full time I do own property there and spend a reasonable amount of time doing the bureaucratic shuffle. Yes there are problems but I have to say, you reap what you sow too. I walk into situations with a smile. It makes all the difference.
As to the garbage and problems.. better to lead by example not by disgust.
Hope you find some peace and tranquility in the desert.

reinaldo said...

Jeff fyi i have never said anything of race in your blog. If you read again i onlyrefered about future Demographics of US.This is the articles that.they show in tv news and internet news.By the way like to play the victim and like to other Grinos feel sorry about you. GOT an idea bring all your gringos buddies from Rincón to New Mexico and make a new community and move on and forget of living in th past

Jeff and Katrina Kruse said...

Hi Linda,

If you can be happy waiting all day for a Dr’s appointment or spending 5 hours just to change the water and power bill then more power to you. I can’t. Our PR friend took 12 hours and 3 days just to renew her license. I can’t be anything but angry over that. I have waited over 14 hours for a dr’s APPOINTMENT once.

How is not littering, picking up garbage, and keeping a clean yard not leading by example? Yes I am disgusted with the garbage. IMO it’s inexcusable.

Jeff and Katrina Kruse said...

Your “whiteys day as over privileged” seems a bit racist.
You seem to want all the “gringos” out of PR so you can continue your “culture”.

Jeff and Katrina Kruse said...

There are a few Anonymous comments that I won’t publish that seem to go on about how all our complaining is class based but to say being poor is an excuse for littering and mistreating animals is unacceptable. Ok, maybe I shouldn’t expect a nice shopping experience in a poor area but we are talking about the entire NW side of the island not just one rural town.

Should the fat Americans who eat a SAD diet be all offended when someone criticizes the American diet?

Just get over it. So we criticize the local diet and the music for all and we don’t like some of the fruit. No need to feel humiliated or violated. Go ahead and be proud of your island. What did YOU do to be proud of?
1. proud[ prowd ] pleased and satisfied: feeling pleased and satisfied, e.g. about having done something or about owning something

Jeff and Katrina Kruse said...

Linda - you can't really understand unless you are here full time and leave the familiar and limited area of Rincon ( we have regularly visited and commented on all parts of he island many of which you haven't and clearly won't visit). Leading by example doesn't help when there are no followers. Reinaldo - you don't even live here and maybe there is a reason for that - by the way, we aren't living in Gringo-land so shut up. Everyone - get angry with someone else or just stop reading. Read trip advisor - oh wait, they talk about crap too. But re-visit the blog for information on how to get things done and to find beautiful places to visit -what, no wonderful comments about the 50 plus percent of positive blog entries? Katrina

Jeff and Katrina Kruse said...

Reinaldo, I am not going to publish your remarks. Why are we lucky we haven’t seen you? Is that because you would be cutting people off on the road, running red lights, and throwing your trash out the window? If you like PR so much why don’t you move back? The US doesn’t want you with the kind of remarks you made. What the US does want are the Puerto Ricans who can follow the law and are respectful members of society, we are open to them with welcome arms. Go back to PR and work on kicking all the “whiteys” out like you want. Is your job so bad you blame all the “whiteys”? Are you repressed? And when you go back to your precious PR stop taking all of Uncle Sam’s money. Just stop taking the 20 Billon dollars they give you. Remember you don’t need it.

Jeff and Katrina Kruse said...

It appears that EVERYONE whining on our blog is frustrated too- otherwise the comments might actually have something to do with the post. The post is about LINES and Bizarre non-sensical procedures. No one can defend requiring people to drive for 2 hours to wait in line to turn in a box so you clobber us about other unrelated things. No more amusement for you. Read Puerto Rico Day Trips as your next target - they comment about filthy campsites and closed "attractions." We are out and will see our friends from the island when they visit us here. Katrina