Well, it’s the holiday season here on Cozumel, and I expect to be writing a few of my “fluff and stuff” blogs in the coming weeks. I call them that because they are seldom about earth shattering events. Just pleasant introductions to local businesses, cultural activities, local people, and our many, many fiestas. I have had great experiences here and enjoy sharing them with everyone. Oh, and the reason I do this is that I’m not one with lots of money to contribute to my favorite charities, this is my way of giving back to the island I call home. Well, this and volunteering, but that’s just fun. However, every once in a while I get an urge to write about topics that might be just a tad controversial. I can’t help it, that used to be what I did for a living. As a professor in composition and rhetoric, I chose assignments for my students that were based on inflammatory, topical events and we’d spend weeks discussing said events prior to putting them on paper. It gave everyone a chance to air their opinions and hear opposing thoughts, all of which then encouraged the writings of well informed compositions. It was a lot of fun and I miss it. That said, as an expat I’ve got a bug up my butt about something and, before all the “fluff and stuff” begins, I thought I’d air it out. I’ve heard all the sides to this argument, now it’s time to write a short, and informed, “composition.”
When I moved to Mexico I was aware that I was entering a different culture with different ideals, a different language, and different perspectives. I think everyone who moves here is aware of that fact. However, I wasn’t aware that moving to Mexico meant that I was required to become a saint, a zen Buddhist, or just plain numb. I still get affected by many of the same issues that most humans do. I don’t like to see animals abused, and, yes, I’m aware that happens everywhere. I still get affected by teens on a rampage, and, yes, I’m aware that happens everywhere. In fact, since moving to Mexico I still react badly to petty crime, burglaries, rapes, and murders. And, yes, I’m aware that those occur everywhere too, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it! And, finally, I also do not react well to inconveniences such as loud noises late at night, trash that has been torn up by animals just looking for food (both of those ideas bother me actually, so sue me), or drunken neighbors who cause me to feel threatened, or worried about going out of the house. These are unpleasant circumstances that would bother me no matter where I lived. My point? The fact that these circumstances bother me is not because I’m an ungrateful expat who doesn’t know where she lives and needs to be reminded daily. And, it does not give others, often folks who either don’t live here, or don’t know me, the license to tell me to move! Enough already!
Now, before the opinions begin, yes I have Mexican friends. Yes, I’ve spent time with them and will continue to do so. You won’t hear me complaining when the banks are closed for days at a time, or that milk comes in boxes. I’m okay with having Miracle Whip muled down, and I expect things to take longer. I’ve lived through dengue, dehydration, and sun poisoning. I’ve managed to get my residente permanente card, and my plan locale, both of which were great lessons in the fact that this is a different culture with different ways of doing things. I use lime to get rid of ants, I know to use acido when cleaning my shower, and I throw all my toilet paper in waste baskets. I will continue to learn Spanish, eat late at night, and attend a mass that I don’t understand much of because it’s the thought that counts. And that’s what is most important, it’s the thought that counts. I love this country, as do most of the expats I’ve come in contact with, but, like I’ve mentioned, I’ve not yet become saintly, or zen. And I’m certainly not numb. It’s just not going to happen, ever.
So, to get to the end of this rant. If I vent on an open page about an unpleasant experience, there is no need to tell me to move. Why? Well, first of all, if I was going to move I’d have done so by now, so that suggestion is just not helpful. That’s the first thing. But, more importantly, if I’m venting, that probably means that I’d like folks to give me some useful suggestions to help with the situation. And I’d like those suggestions to be from folks who’ve lived here, have been through it, and know of what they speak. I know how to move, I’ve done it already. It’s living here I’d like some help with. I may not be a saint, or zen, but I do want to live in peace (both online and in real life). Salud!