I shared an article yesterday from Matador Network about 10 things that someone stopped giving a sh*t about when they moved to Mexico. The article was very popular, and had over 600 readers. I was sitting here last night, and I got to thinking, what are some of the things I quit giving a sh*t about after I moved to Mexico. So I came up with a list, and I came up some things myself, and narrowed them down to 15 things. Here is my list.
- Watches and time. I was the kind of guy that always wore a watch. I remember since middle school, I wore a watch everyday for over 40 years. Not anymore, I don’t even own a watch now. I have gone through 4 or 5 watches since I left the USA in 2009. Every watch I have had down here has rusted out, or quit working because of the weather and humidity here. About a year and half ago, a plastic watch I had bought here quit working, so I have not even bothered to replace it. Time seems to stand still here, and I am never late or in a rush. I have my phone, and I use that to check the time. I don’t even have an alarm clock, or any kind of clocks now that I think about it. You wake up with the sun here, and you go from there.
- Zippers. I don’t buy shorts or any clothes with zippers anymore. I have gone through five backpacks and four fanny backs since I have been in Mahahual. Zippers rust up here and don’t last a year in this heat and humidity of the Caribbean. When I buy shorts now, I buy the tie draw string kind that don’t have a zipper. There is nothing worse than trying to go to the restroom with a stuck or broken zipper. So if you plan on living in Mahahual for any long period of time, don’t bring clothes with zippers.
- Underwear. Yep a lot of us who live here go “commando” a lot here, especially in the summer. I only buy shorts that are like bathing suits here to wear during the summer. Last month they had a “flea market” here, and I bought four pair of bathing trunks, or shorts to wear. If you wear underwear here it becomes soaking wet, in no time in the summer. It is very uncomfortable to go around all day with soaking underwear, so I wear bathing shorts in the summer. They don’t stay wet all day in the heat and humidity, and are very comfortable, and you have more freedom to move around.
- Cars and driving. If I never drive a car again, I will be happy. You don’t have to have a car in Mahahual to get around, and I love that. I ride a bike or walk everywhere. I used to hate my daily commute every day in a car in the USA, and all the time I spent driving. I even used to have jobs where I had to use my car for work, and some days I was in a car eight hours a day. Also I like the fact that I don’t have to pay a lot of money like gas, insurance, maintenance, and all the other expenses of owning and driving a car. My father when I was growing up bought a new car every year, and he loves his Cadillacs. A lot of people judge you in the USA by what kind of car you drive, here I ride a bike. Also you don’t have that fear here that some crazy person will hit you with their car, or cause an accident, and endanger your life. Also no traffic jams in Mahahual.
- Salt and Pepper and other seasonings. In restaurants and homes in the USA, almost every table has salt and pepper shakers on it, not here. I don’t put any seasonings on my food here either, just salsa every now and then. I have come to realize, I don;t even need salt and pepper anymore. No crutons in your salad here, and other things like that also. So I don’t miss using seasoning on the foods I eat, just natural tastes what I get now.
- Skoal or smokeless tobacco. I used to play baseball when I was younger, so I developed a smokeless tobacco habit. For 30 years I used to dip a can of Skoal a day. Not anymore, it is hard and almost impossible to get here, and it is around $10 usd a can, and is very expensive. I have not had any smokeless tobacco on a regular basis since I left the USA, and I don’t miss it. Someone brought me a can of it a year or so ago, and I tried it and almost passed out. If I was still in the USA, I am sure I would continue my habit, but I don’t miss it here, and I am glad I quit.
- Christmas and other holidays. USA holidays don’t mean much to me here, because almost every day is a holiday here. Christmas also is not big here, in fact there is not a lot of the commercialization here of Christmas like in the USA. Also we usually work on Christmas, New Years, and Thanksgiving because it is during cruise ship season, and we are very busy on these days. Holidays sneak up on you here, because you are not constantly bombarded by TV commercials or all the media hype about the USA holidays. Christmas lasts only a couple of days here, not like the USA where there are months and months of Christmas advertising to get people to spend money. I don’t even celebrate holidays like July 4th, and other holidays, just another day here.
- Clothes and image. I wear shorts, tshirt, and a hat every day here, rain or shine. I have not worn a pair of long pants in about six years. Not many people here “dress up” like the USA. People just wear what is comfortable here, and I have not seen a man in a business suit, in so long, I can’t remember. I basically wear shorts, Gamecock hat and shirt on cruise ship days, and that is about all the clothes I own now.
- Snow and cold weather. I used to like the nip in the air in the fall during football season, and even I liked it when it snowed in South Carolina. Not anymore, I plan on never being in cold weather again. If I never see snow again in my life, I will be a happy man. I am so used to the climate here, I don’t think I could survive anymore up north. If I can’t wear shorts, I don’t want to live there.
- Network news. I don’t watch ABC, CBS, ABC, or FOX news shows down here. I quit watching news a long time ago down here. All the news does in the USA now is try to scare and alarm people. If you are outside of the USA, you realize it is all bullshit. I have not watched a network news program in years. I do watch 60 minutes, ESPN, and shows like that, but no network news, especially Fox News and their biased journalism.
- Steak and red meat. Growing up in my house we had red meat and steak all the time. My father had to have red meat almost every day while I was growing up, so I was raised on that. Here I never eat much red meat or steak. I will have a hamburger every now and then, but not much other red meat. I can tell you, I don’t really miss it. I even managed a steak house in the past, and ate red meat every day at work, but not anymore. I also feel better without all that undigested meat in my system. Here I eat a lot of fish, pork, and chicken. Also to be honest, the beef here is kind of chewy, and a good steak is hard to find in Mahahual. They don’t pump the cattle here with a bunch of steroids and antibiotics, so they don’t grow to be 500 pounds, so they tend to be more leaner meat without the fat. They have carne molida here, which is kind of like ground beef, but not much fat in it.
- Guns. I grew up in a household of guns, my friends had guns, not here. Don’t need or want one here. The USA is a gun loving culture, and I don’t miss that at all. I tell cruise ship tourists all the time how safe it is here. It is hard to kill 29 people in a movie theatre with a machete, you would get tired after killing the first 10 or so. So if I never see a gun or own a gun here, I will be happy. I never was much of a gun nut anyway.
- McDonalds, KFC, Taco Bell, Burger King, and other fast food places. I have to admit it when I was in the USA, I was guilty of going through a drive thru a couple of times a week and taking food home. We don’t have any of these fast food joints here in Mahahual, and I can honestly say I don’t miss them. When I go to Playa del Carmen sometimes I will eat at one of these places, mainly because they are cheap, but not more than maybe once. I can also add, KFC and some of these other places does not taste the same here in Mexico, as it is in the USA, I don’t know the reason, maybe different ingredients.
- Mayonnaise. I used to like mayo on my sandwiches and burgers in the USA, not here. One reason is they don’t refrigerate mayonnaise here, and sometimes it sits out all day. In Mahahual, I am a mustard and ketchup guy only. They laugh at me now at all the places I eat and pick up food because I always order stuff “sin mayonnaisa” when I order. They have put mayo on several times on my food, and I have taken it back. They even put mayo on hot dogs here, which I think is a moral sin. Mexicans also love “elotes”, (corn on the cob) with cream and mayo, not me.
- A/C or air conditioning. I am now living without a/c, and it gets hot. I lived in a/c for the last six months until I recently moved. It was nice, but I have come to find out, I can live without it. As long as you have a fan, you can get by. In some places a/c can gt very expensive here, because it runs all night and all day.
If you live in Mexico or Mahahual, send me your list of things, you stopped giving a sh*t about since you moved here, and I will post them. You might have different ones that I posted, and I would be interested in reading them.
Thanks for reading,
Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina