What Do You Do When There Are Just No Phones

By JOHN M. DERBY
TIMES PUBLISHER
April 13, 2017

Sometimes they will wait until 8 a.m., but often there will be calls on the Ship to Shore radio long before that.  They aren’t calling from a ship; they are calling one another from one house to the other in our area of Mexico.
We do not have phone service or cell phone service down here where we live. A person can go to the nearest town, Mulege, which is 14 miles to the north if it is so important to actually make a phone call, however, most people have Marine VHF radios, and that is our form of communication.
This means everyone has a call name and some of the names are as humorous as they are unique. Ours is Captain John, but others are the name of their house like Casa Rhea, or the name of their boat, Flying Dutchman. Often the names are in Spanish, our second language, even though some people have been down here for 20 years, and still speak very little of it.
Our Spanish is not good, and certainly would make a Spanish teacher’s eyes turn red with the abuse of the language, however, it gets us by in an area where most of the Mexicans do not speak English, or even try to learn the language. Why should they? It is their country and the predominant language is Spanish, along with many indigenous dialects used throughout the nation. The idea of learning a second language also brings to mind the situation in the United States, where many Hispanics struggle to learn English, or simply refuse to do so in places like California where the use of Spanish is widespread.
Getting back to the use of radios for communication: Between the beach communities which surround the Bay of Conception, there seems to be no lack of communication.
Oftentimes a rumor will start at one end of our development, and it will make it to the other end faster than one could run the distance. A really juicy piece of gossip will make it there twice as fast.
We think people make up fake rumors just to see how fast it will take to make it through our park and back.
Come to think of it, it is similar to what is going on with our U.S. government — fake rumors, fake news.
What’s the difference?
The beauty of it all is we can turn off the radio anytime we want.
It only takes a flick of the switch.
And, of course, there won’t be any cell phone buzzing in our pocket.
Ahhhhh, complete silence.   


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