Category Archives: El Paso

Everyone and their mother…

…was going to El Paso tonight.  I happened to be over in El Paso, running errands and whatnot, and when I came back in the early evening, the lines at the bridge to cross in to El Paso were really, really long.  The DCL (dedicated commuter lane) was backed up even worse than it was at Christmas-time.

Why was this?  Well, tomorrow is Mother’s Day in Mexico, which is actually a federal holiday in Mexico, so I suspect that a lot of people were going over to El Paso to visit their mothers or to take their mothers out for a special evening.  Since tomorrow is actually Mother’s Day here, maybe it means the cards I sent to my mom and that arrived today actually got there early instead of late.  Hmmmmm.

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Filed under Ciudad Juarez, El Paso, Mexico, Texas

Operation vaccinate!

While not nearly as complicated as taking out an international terrorist, taking the Diplocat to get her vaccinations gets a little more complicated when there are international borders involved. First, you have to get the cat in the carrier.  The Diplocat is actually pretty good about this and I’m good at catching her by surprise so this part is not too difficult.  However, the Diplocat does not seem to like car travel.  She meows the whole time she is in a car.  Since the Diplocat’s vet is over in El Paso, this means that she meows all the way to the border, she meows while I’m talking with the CBP officer at the border, she meows while the CBP officer is looking at her vaccination paperwork, and she meows all the way to the vet.  That’s 30-45 minutes of meowing, depending on the traffic and wait at the border.

Then, there’s the appointment.  Fortunately, her reaction to being in the vet’s office is not to go crazy and attack like some cats I’ve known, but to just huddle down in her carrier or in my lap after we’ve taken her out of the carrier.  She was well behaved for the vet and the vet tech while the checked her out and then administered the vaccinations.

Sufficiently shocked by the vet appointment, she was pretty quiet on the way home to Mexico.  She barely made a peep, even when we encountered some of the vicious speed bumps and pot holes we have in the road here.  As soon as we got home and I let her out of the carrier, she ran around the house and pounced on several things, so she doesn’t seem to be having any adverse effects from the vaccinations.

I do worry a little bit about her aversion to car travel.  While I don’t know where I’m going next, getting there will probably involve driving home to my parents’ house for home leave, driving or flying to DC, and then flying to the next assignment.  Based on my experience traveling with her to the vet’s office and the multi-hour drive home to my parents’ house, I don’t think that she’ll calm down after a bit and be chill for the rest of the trip.  So, I worry a bit about traveling that much with her.  I know that I should probably try to drive more with her on short trips to get her used to traveling, but driving around Juarez is difficult due to the security situation and all the potholes and speed bumps that would make the trip rougher on her.

So, we’ll have to see.  I did ask the vet about medicine options and he mentioned a couple of things, but I’d rather not go there if I don’t have to.  I’ve found a couple of hotels in El Paso and New Mexico that take pets and are nice so we may take some short road trips like that, I may try to drive around with her while I’m on home leave, and if I’m in DC for any length of time, we can maybe work on some driving there, too.  So, we’ll see.  Even if she gets acclimated to car travel, who knows how she’ll react when I take her on a plane. Maybe the medicines aren’t such a bad idea after all. 😉

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Filed under Ciudad Juarez, Diplocat, El Paso, Mexico, Texas


This weekend was nice and relaxing.  On Saturday, the Consulate’s Employee Recreation Association held a really nice outing at a restaurant outside of El Paso that’s actually located on a working ranch with lots of animals and wildlife that you can see and feed.  It was really nice to spend some time out with my coworkers and their families, and it was so nice to do it in an environment where we felt safe and could just relax and enjoy the good food and good company.

Today was a pretty lazy day around the house.  It was awfully windy here this weekend and, according to the news here, we had 70 mph winds in the area.  Around here, strong winds like that cause dust storms, so it seemed like a good day to just stay in the house.   The diplocat and I both took advantage of the opportunity for an afternoon nap.


Other than that, not much news.  I tend to have low key weekends since I’m usually pretty drained by the work week.  I did spend some time reviewing my car insurance stuff since it’s time to renew my policy for Mexico and making sure that it provides enough coverage for when I go in to the US, but the insurance/phone/customer service issues I’ve encountered here will take up another post in the future.

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Filed under Ciudad Juarez, Diplocat, Dust, El Paso, Mexico, Pictures, Texas

Well, it was a good idea in theory…

When I was home, I stopped at Bath and Body works and bought one of their Wallflower air fresheners for my house.  You connect scent bulbs that are filled with some sort of scented oil to the Wallflower and then plug it in to an outlet.  Since the bulbs are filled with a liquid, they need to be vertical or else the liquid will spill.  Which is fine, except I didn’t realize that all of the outlets in my house are horizontal!  I’m not sure if it’s common in Mexican houses or if it’s just my house, but it wasn’t something that I’d honestly ever paid attention to in my house.  So, I have one vertical outlet where I might be able to use it but it’s in my bathroom and I usually have other stuff plugged in there.  Ooops.  At least the candles I got work well.  Apparently, fire is the same across the world.  I suppose I need to stick with low-tech scent solutions.

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Filed under Ciudad Juarez, El Paso, Mexico, Texas