Sunday, July 7, 2013

Ley Seca

Since moving to Mexico there have been quite a few surprises as I learn more about the culture. Ley Seca was one of the biggest ones. Ley Seca translates to "Dry Law" in English and prohibits the sale of alcohol for 24 hours prior to an election day and throughout the election day as well. Feels so 1920's, doesn't it? I guess the point is that everyone should be sober and clear headed before they go out and vote? 

Makes sense... right?

When we were out and about today we saw all of the liquor sections taped off or covered in plastic entirely at SMart, Soriana and Superette. Yes, we went to all of those stores today trying to find a place to pay our water bill a day late. In the past I probably would have been pissed off at the inconvenience but it was really to my benefit today. All I really wanted on this hot afternoon was an ice cold beer but I'm trying to stick to 1 drinking day a week and last week I had 2. Oops. Happy 4th of July?

Of course this ain't my first rodeo and I know there is a booming black market for alcohol during the elections. But who wants to pay 30 pesos for a can of Tecate? Not this gringa. Nope, I'm off to bed with a clear head.


  1. OMG. I know, dumbest law ever. LOL. Well not ever, but you know what I mean.... Here in Cancun one can still go to the hotel zone which is 44kms long and consume all the alcohol they want. Hahaha. Makes so much sense, right? However, $30 pesos a Tecate? Try $70 in the zona hotelera. LOCA!! LOL!

  2. We'd always stock up the day before. It really is a silly law.

    1. We usually do the same but we've been trying to cut back so...

  3. Just heard your "This American Life" piece. Made me cry. And laugh. And made me grateful for the progress recently in the immigration debate.

    I have a 24 year old daughter. In high school she met a guy named Carlos. They started the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) at their high school. When he was 18, right after graduation, he came out to his parents. They are from Mexico. His parents brought him to USA when Carlos was 6 months old. They had another son and two daughters after moving here. When Carlos told his parents he is gay, they made it clear he was not welcome to be gay and be their son. So, now I have a daughter and a son, both gay, who are 24.

    I told Carlos that if he were deported, I would go with him and stay with him until he got permission to come home, or he reached a place of confidence and means to the extent he didn't need me to be there with him. I told him that I couldn't imagine allowing my daughter to be deported to Germany or Ireland where my ancestors are from, and not going with her. My passport is always at the ready. Thankfully, that hasn't happened.

    Carlos has believed in "The Dream Act" since it was first devised. He never even imagined it might not happen. When it didn't pass the Congressional vote, he was devastated. I worried he might commit suicide. But he just stayed in his bed and watched TV shows on his computer for days.

    He was accepted by several colleges after graduation. But he can't get a Pell grant or government subsidized loans. He wants to be a music teacher. And he will be a GREAT teacher! Who wants to be a MUSIC TEACHER?!!! Of high schoolers?!!!

    He got a job at McDonald's. Within a couple of months, they pegged him for a management position. He was really a good worker, a fast learner, good with his peers, good with customers, proactive, detail oriented, etc. They ran a background check and discovered he is undocumented. They had to fire him. Again, he was devastated. He said he was embarrassed. I said I didn't understand why he was embarrassed about being fired because the USA has backward and asinine laws regarding the children of undocumented immigrants. He said he couldn't explain it.

    Eventually, he focused on taking two classes at a time at our local technical college. He applied for and was granted deportation deferment. On the way to INS to turn in the application, we joked that it would suck if this was a way to get undocumented kids to identify themselves so they could be shipped back to their country of origin . . .

    Once he got his work permit, he went straight to McDonald's where he had been fired. They rehired him with enthusiasm. Then he got a driver's license. Now he's a manager. He doesn't have to bum rides. He's radiant. He's proud. He's so happy. He is AMAZED that immigration is back on the list of things President Obama is pushing hard to fix before he leaves office.

    Thank you for writing this blog, for doing the work for This American Life, for showing others what and who "the enemy" is when the right talks about "illegals" who "take jobs away from REAL Americans."

    Good luck to you. Maybe your blog will say soon that you guys are heading home. To here. Where many of us await your arrival with open arms!!

  4. What a powerful story! And what a selfless thing you have done for Carlos. I applaud you and you have my utmost respect. I will keep Carlos in my thoughts. I have faith that there will be a resolution for everyone... eventually. Especially the DREAMERs like Carlos.

  5. one of my biggest borracheras ever was in Oaxaca the night of la ley seca. i still remember it fondly & am so glad i woke up the next morning in my hotel rather than in a ditch somewhere.

    1. Haha Dan! Let's give thanks for that! I've had a couple of those nights...