Some days are better than others. I’ve heard people say that phrase so many times, and now I’m using it. Generally speaking, I’m doing fine here in Mexico. Our business is doing well and I’m able to speak a little more with people (albeit not fluidly or fluently, but they get the gist.) That said, life here is not without frustrations. As I’m thinking of my list of frustrations, I find that it’s hard to decide what’s the most frustrating. I guess it’s different any given day.
First & foremost: I miss my family.
Second, there’s all the NOISE. I know cities are noisy in general, but Mexico City takes it to a whole new level. There are several reasons for this – the lack of trees, the proximity of the buildings, the fact that EVERYTHING is made of concrete, the honking of horns “just because”, the sirens that are even on non-emergency vehicles, plus the LOUD music that reverberates through your entire home from the fiesta at the other end of your block (usually until around 5 AM, when it’s time to get up for work!).
Third, there’s the unusual amount of superstition and belief in what my dad would call snake oil. I dare not tell people here that I had a huge black moth (which they think is a butterfly) fly into our cafe not once, but twice in one day. The reason I can’t tell anyone about seeing this really cool-looking moth is they think that it is an omen of death or illness. There is the belief that if a child falls that they will “have a scare” and will need to be cured of the scare by rubbing them to “warm them and clear their mind” which is followed by an elaborate ritual of passing an egg (cracked open and placed in a glass) around the child, covering the egg in water, and placing it under the child’s bed for a day. There are MANY more things like this here.
Fourth, is the fact there is almost no intellectual activity here. Part of this is because so many people here work from sunup to sundown six days a week and have little time for thinking. The other part is because there isn’t enough space in the schools. Schools are done on s shift system, with half of the students attending in the morning and half in the evening . Plus, education is only guaranteed through middle school. If a child wants to go to high school they have to get very good grades plus get lucky enough to win a spot. Getting into the University is even harder. All of this leads to a populace that is more concerned with putting food on the table than in-depth thinking.
Fifth, is two-fold. I miss talking with my friends in the states and having friends in general. I don’t normally have a hard time making friends, but the language barrier has made it very difficult. The lack of free time that most people have and the fact that most free time is spent with family makes it even harder. Plus I’m not drawn to the usual conversations here – which are generally gossip and church.
Sixth, is that I miss a lot of things about the states, the open spaces and parks, my hobbies – yes, I can do some of them here, but it’s difficult to have the money and find the time, being able to cook gourmet food and enjoy wine, and even being able to go out to a bar or restaurant once in a while.
I could probably go on & on about things (including the crazy amount of red tape and corruption here). But ultimately it does me no good, although it does feel good to ‘vent’ a bit.
I’ll keep trying to look on the bright side of things, but some days I just can’t seem to bring myself to be all bright and cheery. Today was one of those days. No matter how much I thought about the good things (running our own business, getting to know my husband’s family, experimenting with recipes) I just couldn’t bring myself to feel anything other than down-to-the-bone tired of living here. Here’s hoping that tomorrow will be brighter.