I read this the other day, and I thought to myself, I can relate. This is an article from another blogger in Mexico. It is from a Facebook group I am in. If you have lived for any amount of time in Mexico, and not the tourist spots, you can relate to this.
I am way behind of this blog with updates on what is going on here. It has been a very busy holiday season here. Ships every day, and most days, two or three ships. I am all talked out. I have been answering questions about living here for the solid last two weeks. Mahahual is about to have a big migration of people from the USA and Canada soon. Don’t say I did not warn you. Real estate interest is real high now here. More later.
OK – hate is probably too strong a word. Or not. Depends on your personality and gringo-osity (new word, ©2016, me). Unirregardless (old word, coined by my late friend Arty in the 70’s to make fun of people who say irregardless), if you are here from somewhere else, there are some things you will love, and some things that will drive you nuts. The key is to turn the latter into the former. Here are some that stand out, at least to me. Enjoy. Just keep in mind that thoughts, in my head anyway, rattle around like bingo balls in the round spinny cage thing and you never really know what’s going to pop out.
Time. When I was growing up, one of the biggest sins my parents trained me against was being late. I can still hear it. “If you’re not fifteen minutes early, you’re late!” This was the source of endless anxiety for me for most of my life. While it could be argued that it also contributed to many successes, I question now if it was worth the price. There is no reason to worry about being late for something here, since whatever that something is, it will probably start late, so relax. After you’re here for a while, time becomes just a curious yet nebulous concept that invades your life now and again, but with little real impact. Witness this recent early morning, still in bed conversation at our house:
‘mornin – Merry Christmas
‘mornin – it’s Christmas?
Yeah…today’s….i think…..wait, here’s my phone….yeah, it’s Christmas
Hm. Well Merry Christmas
Somehow, five o’clock cocktails on the margarita deck seem to get more attention than major holidays. To me, this is a good thing, since holidays, as a rule, are a much bigger pain inee ass than they are worth. The long line at the store checkout is an opportunity to socialize rather than an annoyance. The guy pumping your gas wants to chat about your day. What hurry? The gas is only going to come out as fast as it comes out. Some adapt well, others, not so much.
Fireworks. For everything. For weddings. For national holidays. For the religious feasts that seem to occur three times a week and last for eight or nine days. Personally, I love it. Others hate the noise. One snowbird here wrote on her blog about how she printed out the noise ordinance and took it to the local authorities. (Author’s note: Nothing endears foreigners to our hosts like quoting their laws to them and informing them how they should be enforced.) She says she knows someone who was deafened by fireworks. (Author’s other note: You’re not supposed to put them in your ears.) Mexicans like to celebrate. In that sense, they are much like our sailing friends, to whom any reason (excuse) for a party is good enough. Fireworks just make it better.
Families. OK, other than that DeFao kid from Amityville, everyone has to love this one. Family life here is a half century or so behind (or ahead if you think about it) the old country. Ask a Mexican mother where her children are, and the answer you will get most of the time is “over there”. Families here are close. Family celebrations are huge. Everybody has a brother or cousin or a godfather who can do or fix whatever you have that needs doing or fixing. They’ll fight like hell amongst themselves, but defend each other vigorously against any outsiders.
Food. It’s fresh. It’s delicious. It’s spicy. It’s an experience, not just sustenance. It’s not like the Mexican restaurants in the old country. Lots of street food. We went to a local street vendor for breakfast. I had images of huevos rancheros and egg and cheese taquitos in my head. Nope. Tacos. Like sausage and egg tacos? Nope. Carne ó puerco, cuánto quieres. You sex them up yourself from a huge tray of limes, cilantro, onion, tomatoes, lettuce, and a half dozen different salsas from spicy to holy crap hot. Some of the best food here is in restaurants that are pretty much street vendors with a roof of sorts. It’s not unusual to see dogs in restaurants, or even sitting on bar stools.
Tequila. OK maybe no one hates this one but some don’t like it. Tequila comes only from Mexico, and there are very strict laws here about what can be labeled as tequila. In the old country, tequila is consumed quickly in shots and usually followed by a beer chaser. It’s consumed, much like another product for which Mexico is rightly or wrongly famous, marijuana, not for the experience but for the buzz. (Nobody smokes pot for the aroma or the flavor.) Here, tequila is sipped and savored. Did you know there is such a thing as a tequila glass? It’s stemmed and similar to a champagne flute or a wine glass but wider than the former and narrower than the latter. Did you know that you can smell four distinct aromas from a glass of tequila? Try it – you may develop a whole new appreciation for this marvelous beverage.
Animals. All kinds. As mentioned above, it’s not unusual to find dogs in bars in restaurants here. This alarms and even angers some gringos. Some to the point of shouting at the wait staff, and demanding to see the manager or owner. (This has as much positive effect as the aforementioned presentation and explanation of laws to local authorities.) To date, no one, to my knowledge, has died of dog poisoning. (Did you know that in medieval times dogs were used as napkins on which you could wipe your greasy hands at meals? Bingo balls – don’t say I didn’t warn ya.) Other critters. Ya know how you always read how dangerous it is to drive at night here? They make it sound like the roads are crawling with highwaymen waiting to rob, rape, and behead (not necessarily in that order) those foolish enough to brave the darkness. Haven’t seen it. Mostly around here it’s horses and cows and whatnot who roam onto the roads at night. I’m told it’s because the roads give off heat at night, although I’ve not been so informed by a cow or horse so I really can’t vouch for the statement’s validity. I can tell you that when driving home at night from one of the local watering holes, we almost always remind each other to keep an eye out for horses and bulls and stuff. Irene has never told be to keep an eye out for highwaymen. But then she’s pretty fearless.
Disfruta tu día,
Thanks for reading,
Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina