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Baja California Information Pages

Stories by Mike Humfreville

A Mexican Form of Honor    ( Posted April 26, 2006 )

Living in Bahia de Los Angeles is no simple task, especially for an airhead like me. Just in the last few months I have walked away from change at the market without thinking. At times it has been a significant amount of change. More than change actually, it has been in the $50.00 range. On two occasions I have driven back the rough road to the village as quickly as I remembered my mistake. My correct change was always placed on a shelf behind the checkout register. It was always the right amount. While I always expected to be treated honorably, one never quite knows.

A week ago I pulled into the Pemex station in the village. I was planning on filling up my 40 gallon tank and also a couple of 6 gallon cans to re-supply my generator at the house. I had forgotten to get the gas cap key from Mary Ann before I left. A young fellow working at the station said he might be able to open the cap and we probed the slot with every key on his chain but were not able to open the tank. I thanked him and left wondering if I had enough gas to get home. I did. I spent the drive appreciating the man's efforts on my behalf. I completely forgot my $100.00. I am far from comfortable monetarily; that money meant a lot to me, obviously not enough though that I would pay greater attention. Two days later I remembered the key to the tank and pulled into the Pemex.

"You have a credit of $100.00." the clerk told me.

Several days later we were having dinner at Costa del Sol restaurant/bar/hotel in the center of town. I was trying to catch up with our visiting friends who had paid for almost everything up to that point. We had been served in the warm spring evening under the outdoors palapas and had an excellent meal. In paying beside the bar I dropped my wallet. I knew it and recovered it immediately, paid the bill and we all left. The next day I returned to the hotel for a bowl of soup, always a cream base and excellent. I ordered from a young lady. She brought me a Pacifico con limon and my soup. A few minutes later Victoria, the owner, showed me two credit cards, asking if they weren\u2019t mine. They were. They had fallen out of my wallet when I had dropped it the night before. I would have no clue where they had gone. A local fisherman also inquired if I had recovered my cards. He had found them the night before on the floor.

Other than surviving my own stupidity I have received all the help I can get from my local friends. I have always known, growing part of my life in Mexico, how honest the people are. They recognize when help is needed and are most willing.

I'm not a participant in an organized religion. But I know honor, worth and integrity when I see them. I want to participate in those values; they were terminated in my family life when I was young. I am proud that I can continue to learn these values from my children. And my Mexican friends.

God bless us all.

Copyright 2003-2006 Mike Humfreville

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