The here and now... and what and why

Complacency is a trap. At least that’s what I was thinking when I up and left the comfort of a Yankee prep school gig, where I taught music, amongst other things, for 28 years. There was also that life long career as a composer, musician and artist.

First, it was a year in St. Thomas, USVI, working as a reporter and shooting photography and then, a year in San Agustin Etla, Oaxaca, Mexico.
Time passed.
More time passed and a year back in the Athens of America followed by a hasty return to Oaxaca where it is all happening.
A couple of years in San Sebastian Etla and now, just down the road in San Pablo Etla. Life is good.

Click on an image to see it larger.
For additional photography please visit my flickr page.
You can find my music on Jango (World & latin - Worldbeat) and at iTunes and most online stores.
¡Soy consciente de todas las tradiciones del Internet!
If you are coming to Oaxaca, please contact me for tours or advice.

Santo Domingo

Santo Domingo
The view from Corazon del Pueblo

The hereafter re me

My photo
Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico
Musician, photographer, videographer, reporter, ex-officio teacher, now attempting to be a world traveler

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Whew!  I'm glad that's over.  Yesterday, with the help of a friend, I finally managed to pay the tenencias, taxes, on my Lamborgini, uh,  2004 Jetta.  I have been trying to do so for a couple of months, but hadn't managed to crack the system.  When I first got the car, I went along with a fixer through the bureaucratic maze that is the Oaxacan equivalent of the DMV.  It took hours and I had no idea what he was doing as we went from desk to desk getting things stamped and he greased a few palms, but after a while, I had plates and all the paperwork done.

Time passed.... without me knowing that I needed to go and pay them every year... more time passed, so that, as of yesterday, I owed for the last four years.  I tried to get another fixer, but he did not work out.  So yesterday, I went with a friend to colonia Reforma, where we found no lines and were through the process in less than thirty minutes.  It cost an arm and a leg, but I am all paid up.  Yes, I had some extra charges for being late.  I asked if there was a discount for stupidity, but they said no.

A bit more on tenencais.  Oaxaca, Mexico's poorest state, has the highest tenencias in the country.  My friend's four year old RAV4 was over $300 US just for 2013.  Many oaxaqueños avoid the high costs by registering their cars in a nearby state, like Puebla or the DF.  Ah so, it now becomes clear.  That's why there are so many out of state plates here.  My fixer offered me this option, it was about a quarter of what I would pay here, but as I say, it did not work out and I decided to pay the corrupt officials here rather than the corrupt officials in some other state.

Maybe this is why there were no lines at the DMV.  People have just stopped paying the absurdly high fees.  Either they can't afford it or they just think it is too much.  The government gives tax breaks when you buy a new car to make it easy, but then the government raises the taxes on that car each year and fewer people pay them.  In order to sell your car, all the tenencias must be paid up or they will be subtracted from the selling price. 

All in all, not a bad experience or education.  I think I can walk the walk myself next time.  However, it did make me appreciate even more the fact that I re-registered my car and paid my MA excise tax with a couple of clicks online.

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