Ordinary Lives in Mexico

Last weekend in San Miguel de Allende, as I walked over to Starbucks for my daily caffeine fix, I passed the much-photographed old lady selling dried flowers, and I reflected upon the usual newly-landed expatriates’ proclamations about how Mexico fueled their senses, awakening spirits and urges long dormant. I asked myself whether the sight of the flower seller in indigenous garb, the church bells jangling and jacaranda trees in full bloom invigorated me. A resounding “no” echoed in my brain. And then I had to tell myself that all of that might be something special to someone who’d toiled away long hours in Peoria. Heck, the right moment in a place like Matehuala just might have the right affect upon some desperate soul.

Today one of the e-mails that hit my inbox asked the usual questions about what my life was life in Michoacán and whether I lived with all of the modern comforts that might be found in Los Angeles. Even though my town boasts neither Indian restaurants, assorted and affordable technology, Barnes & Noble, Saks nor even Nordstrom Rack, we manage to eke out a satisfactory enough existence. I’m happy to be planted here.

Eddie Willers is an educated Brit who traded his life as a wage-slave under the iron heel of English socialism to make a better life selling pots and pans to poor folk in Tampico, and he’s refreshingly honest about his lot in Mexico. Is he better off than he was in London?

I know that I am.

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3 comments on “Ordinary Lives in Mexico

  1. billiem says:

    I read this entry last night and thought about it for a while before I’m responding. The environment here in Mexico….San Miguel…is invigorating to me but so was/are places in Houston. The Houston skyline as we turned to go to our former house near downtown Houston thrilled my soul. The walk along Buffalo Bayou, the green, the space. I felt my spirit soar. It is the same here in San Miguel. There are sights that do the same.
    Life is different and sometimes difficult here SOB and I would think that after 6 years I would be past the honeymoon stage but I’m still in love with my life here. Some things have become ordinary but I hope that my eye and spirit continues to see the extraordinary in all the ordinary daily things.

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  2. Hi Jennifer
    Thanks for the links!
    I have thought a little more about what I had written on the subject of being better off and, on balance, I consider that in the longest run we will have a better life here – simply because we are economically improved (ie. greater disposable income) and so will have access to more options than had we stayed in London.
    However, there are many ‘options’ missing – which is why I am always wistfully referring to ‘The American Cornucopia’, even when that is only in a dinky town like McAllen. I do miss Barnes & Noble, decent radio programming, a more polished veneer of civility than found here etc etc…some days, the blogging is more cathartic than others!

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  3. I grew up in a suburb of New York City. Now I live in Manhattan and the thing I miss most about my former more pastoral surroundings is being able to look up at the night sky and see the stars.

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