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.