I agree, 100% with Lagoloo, and will add that I found the Mexican hospitals to be cleaner than those in the USA. In one of the many that I used, the cleaning lady even asked which aroma I would prefer that she use in the mop water! On top of that, the food in all of the Mexican hospitals I frequented was a lot better than all but one USA hospital, which used catering from a fine restaurant, and would even provide an extra meal for my wife, at no extra charge. In the Mexican hospitals, the food was simple Mexican fare, but the ladies took obvious pride in preparing it, and it arrived hot.
What are some things I love about Mexico? For starters . . .
1. The incredible entrepreneurial spirit of the Mexican people. If you have a comal, you, too, can have a business. Or you can buy a 50-kilo bag of dog food and repackage it into 50 one-kilo bags. Got a juicer? You've got a busines! Got a washing machine? You've got a business! I love the hundreds of smaller-than-my-bedroom little tiendas, and men selling pineapples or melons from the back of their pickup. I frequently hear people complain about being annoyed by vendors trying to sell them things. But I think it's great.
2. Closely related to #1: how hard people can work and still remain cheerful. Every day I see workers in the market that I know are putting in 10 and 12-hour days; and yet they are whistling or singing as they haul handcarts piled with 30 crates of tomatoes, or carry heavy bags of mortar on their backs. Young men joking around with each other as they unload the produce truck. (Yeah, I know there is another side to this: "I hired a contractor and he worked 5-hour days when he worked at all, blah blah blah.") But this is the other side of that complaint.
3. The strong sense of family. Entire families out strolling the city together at night. Teenagers walking down the street holding hands with their parents.
4. The heart-stopping beauty of some of the colonial cities. The colors, oh my, the colors!
5. The weight of history. The impossible blend of resignation and optimism. Perseverence in the face of adversity.
6. The celebratory spirit; the willingness to declare a día de fiesta for any reason, or for no reason.
7. Women out sweeping and washing the sidewalks and streets in the morning.
8. No need for an alarm clock--something will wake you up long before the alarm goes off!
9. Those bolillos! Mole. Carnitas. Mounds of brightly colored vegetables everwhere you turn. Pan de elote. Avacado ice cream--seriously? Finding corn kernals embedded in my strawberry ice cream bar.
There's plenty more, but those will do for now. And as for the reason I don't leave Mexico . . . I adopted a Mexican street cat (thrown out in the trash at three weeks of age) and she refuses to leave Mexico. Heck, she refuses to leave the window sill, let alone the country.
Best post ever!!! Thanks, Turtle. You hit it on the head with so many of your observations. “If you have a comal, you, too, can have a business.” So true!
It reminds me of a couple of phrases in Spanish that I can never quite fully express in English:
“Se la ingenia” referring to someone figuring out a way to do something even if they don’t have the right circumstances, tools, resources. Kind of like MacGyver (people often call my husband a “Mexican MacGyver” because he’s a master at “ingeniárselas”.)
“Échale ganas” Kind of like doing your best, with enthusiasm, hard work, putting your best foot forward.
One of the myriad of things that I love about Mexico is colour, vibrant colour in both the natural environment as well as the colours people choose for their houses, their clothing, & public spaces. Yesterday I was strolling through a Home Depot in Toronto and this display in the paint department caught my eye. It is labeled “Canada’s Most Popular Colours”. If you can’t see the photo well, the palette is all whites and greys, with a bit of beige and brown thrown in. As if we don’t get enough white, grey and brown through our interminable winters. ¡Ay, por Dios!
Contrast that with these pictures of the backside of a row of houses which are beside a stream across from the market in Yautepec, Morelos. Vibrant blue, pink, yellow, green, purple and red brighten the view from the market fondita where we were eating. En gustos hay de todo, to each their own, but I’m definitely more Mexican in my tastes when it comes to colour.
The "popular in Canada" chart gave me a good chuckle this morning.
Back in more colorful CA, I would have hesitated to paint the patio walls in magenta, light purple, gold and bright blue......but no problema here and I am thoroughly enjoying them!
Colors of Canada. hahaha, nice one.
Most of the comments seem to be about the mestizo mainstream, which is very nationalistic. Mexico is extremely diverse with dozens of cultures. Mexico is still in violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which it signed in 1948, but things are slowly improving.
I had a wonderful little book for my kids when they were little- it was called the Big Orange Splot. The main character accidentally got a big splot of orange paint on his house, so decided to just paint the whole house crazy colors. All the neighbors came over to complain. But he would say "My house is me and I am it and it looks like all my dreams." So the neighbors would go home, and then paint their houses up to reflect their dreams.
One thing I love about living in Mexico is that everything doesn't have "rules" attached.
I came to Mexico first time in 1999 and that was before it had as much fright factor as these days.
So the sentiment of a long lost era still lives in me.
A lot has changed, not just the violence. The quiet beach fishing villages i knew back then, have turned into dense tourist machines, but roads have gotten better and the information age is as live in Mexico as anywhere else.
I have travelled to 23 countries so far, lived in several for a year or more, and have two new countries booked for August -or in a few weeks i will be up to 25 countries.
I do part time stays with 6 months in one place and 6 in another or in countries with 90 day stay only, i do 90 days there and 90 days in the nearest worthwhile country. Right now in Colombia and i usually do Colombia+Ecuador but this year is Colombia+Suriname+Guyana.
I travel based on climate timing. I travel first to escape the winter cold and escape the summer heat, then i factor in which places would offer the best experience, and affordable tropical beach options always win after weather conditions.
Mexico has been the Winter beach spot for me, and an easy full six month stay is no problem.
Sure i like Colombia and Ecuador, but Mexico is a place i can bring my car and pack it full of goodies and toys. It makes the time there so much more easy going.
Also the shopping options in Mexico, for groceries and the type of stores i recognize from USA. And that i can get a number of USA brands easily.
Colombia has nice modern malls and even USA fast food options, but i am not about the fast food.
Colombia groceries are modern but none of the Walmart familiarity that i get in USA and Mexico.
Mexico just may be the beach capitol of the world. I have been to lots of countries and nothing appeals to me like Mexican beaches and Mexican winters on the beach.
The climate and beach option combination is world class.
Big blue sky sunshine all day every day throughout the winter, is not as easy to find in other countries. Maybe some other countries do have that but not with the climate niche, affordability and drivable road connection from USA.
In Colombia, i find cheaper housing per quality offered. High rise condos in colombia are common fare for common people and not a niche primarily reserved for tourists hotspots as we find in Mexico.
So i may not be at the beach in Colombia today, but that is because it is too hot in Mexico right now, and better here in Colombia in the cool weather mountains with 3-bedroom condo fully furnished TV+Wifi, for $450(all utilities), on the 14th floor and walking distance to the modern malls and groceries and still options for the rural roadside fruit and food vendors along the way. Food here is cheap compared to Mexico.
And all this in a small town with low traffic and fresh air.
But Mexico at the beach will be on my schedule again, inevitably with its special niche made of a perfect blend of natural qualities. Beach options in Colombia are slim and packed full with high prices to go along. Ecuador also has beaches but not quite as appealing to me as Mexico.
I doubt i will be back to Mexico until after 2020 or late 2020 earliest, because i have a busy travel schedule in mind for this year and next. South America, Europe, Africa and likely end it all in Hawaii where i have business to handle.
And if Hawaii gets too involved, i may not make it back to Mexico until late 2021 ~if the world has not ended by then~.
But yes, amid all my travel and destinations, Mexico seems destined to bring me back.
No other place lets me drive my car across USA and into Mexico and then do the winter at the beach with blue sky sunshine all day everyday until the end of winter, when i would be thrilled to get back to see the Spring bloom at home up north.
It is too hot in Mexico now?? We have a fire going in the fireplace because it is cold..right now high up in the mountains..
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