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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I will be 70 in two weeks. Thanks to Atkins, I have lost around 45 pounds since moving to Mexico and I am much stronger than when I came here after retirement in 1997. I joke in ten more years I will be Superman.

I can still carry in 110 pound bags of cement, which really freaked a young cousin (nephew here) because when he lived in the US, he never saw any American of any age move that much weight. i told him he needed to go to farm country.

When I came here, I could swing a pick axe like 20 minutes, then had to take a three hour nap to rest. Now, I can swing a pick axe until I get bored (it is boring to swing a pick axe) which is around three hours, then walk downtown for groceries.

My b.p. runs well under 110/69.

So, for me, my health has improved dramatically. Two contacts with a doctor in the last ten years, one over ant bites; one over eating too much goat fat.

Life is good here.


Oops! Actually, I visit my doctor friend several nights a week, I meant professional contact with a doctor twice in ten years.
 

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Based on a previous thread, the subject came up as to how we expat's in Mexico deal with the emotional, physical and intellectual effects on our "aging" process. So here we are... I'll take the jump. I think it's a good conversation to have.

Maybe a moderator can move Pie Grande's last post from the previous thread (Damn, Can I live on this...) here where it is more applicable.

Physically, moving from Florida (elev. 0) to an area whose elevation is between 6500 - 8000 ', has slowed me down a bit. Breathing difficulties caused by old bad habits (wish I had known then what I know now) are exacerbated by less oxygen. Just more incentive to take care of myself and take long walks every day. No visits to doctors here yet. It makes me a bit nervous still as my Spanish is not very good.

I've always been a bit of a hippy/organic girl, so the access to fresh foods and good eating hasn't changed much. I've found a new enthusiasm for searching out herbs/veges that are not common to Americans and trying new ways of cooking. Sure do eat a lot of beans and tortillas now! Only downside are those wonderful jalapenos and serranos which kick my hot flashes into high gear. So I suffer and sweat. Thank god the air is so dry here... that wet puddle feeling doesn't last long! And, no I'm not going to stop eating hot peppers!

Which brings me to menopause yet again... I have trouble remembering words in English, let alone Spanish. I used to suck up languages so easily. It doesn't come as easy any more. Intellectually/emotionally, I feel a bit starved. I've lived here in El Sauz for almost a year with a return to the US in between. I know this feeling will pass as my Spanish becomes more proficient. Until then, the communications I have in my daily human contact are pretty much limited to hello, goodbye and how much for the tomatoes today... Social gatherings can feel a bit lonely as I don't understand 95% of what they are saying. My husband may be hanging with his guy friends and so I end up sitting quietly for hours and hours with the women and little children furtively staring at me. Only very few women make an attempt at conversations as I'm still a bit of a curiosity in the village. Everyone is very nice but I'm still the outsider and at times it gets lonely. I study my books but there are no Spanish classes here so it's a bit more difficult. My husband tries to help but he's gone 11 hours a day working, so my days are very quiet and in spite of my pleadings he prefers to speak English with me. He somehow believes I'm going to become fluent via osmosis. Hah!

But, in spite of the downsides, overall, I have to say that I am happier here than I was in the US which has contributed to my well being on all levels. All things in good time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I told the moderator to move my posting, since she thought it was a good idea. As a moderator on several boards myself, I tend to trust the moderators to use better judgement than a newbie on a board, unless and until I learn differently.

Let me make a point here. Not all people learn a new language at the same rate. I knew a Cuban refugee who had lived in the US for years, and he could barely communicate in English. He was an educated man, as such. It is not, IMO, intelligence, but a separate skill to learn languages.

My wife went to the US sans English at around age 20. She speaks English with no Spanish accent at all, which is very unusual for those who start as adults. When she retired from the factory, friends asked what she was going to do in retirement. She said, probably move to Mexico, and they asked why. When she told them she was Mexican, they were shocked. They had no clue at all that she was Mexican.

In my case, my first visit was in 1983 to my daughter's quinceañera in Mexico City. I was in your same situation, but apparently, ahem, God wanted me to live in Mexico. I had a little niece, 11 years old, who somehow was able to explain anything to me, without a common language. She taught me to love Mexico and the Mexican people, but especially her, heh, heh.

If you could find even a small child, extremely intelligent as my niece was (is) that child could perhaps help you as my niece helped me.

One of the big things for me here in my village is there is something to do, as much or as little as I want to do. When we go back to McAllen, there is really nothing to do all day, except surf the web, and that kills me after a few days of it with no change.

Here, I can take a sledge hammer and break up rocks that are a nuisance on our property, if I am bored.

Or, I can go for a long walk on the mountains. In McAllen. long walks are not always practical for safety reasons, or extreme heat.

Or, I can go visit family and friends, who are always glad to see me. I had a friend in McAllen, but he died.

If I go walking downtown, my little friends, little girls, come running out for their forehead kiss. For a very paternal man, this is like paradise to have babies to kiss, and no campaign expenses.

And, there is often someone who is in the mood to chat me up, and ask me about my life in the US.

I don't want to sound unpatriotic or anything. But, I have many Internet friends who have expatted in various places. After living in another society, to return to the States is really unpleasant. The US is a very cold, isolated society, and one does not notice it until they live in a friendly, open society.

Universally, after a year in another society, and then a short, painful visit back to the States, they vow to never live in the US again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Since I have been living in Mexico, trying and usually failing to improve my Spanish, I have noted that I sometimes cannot remember the words in my native language. Several years ago, we were visiting Cordoba, and one day I pointed at something on the table, and told my wife I forgot what it was called. She said, "Servilleta."

I said, "I know that, I forget how to say it in English."

She looked at me as if I had lost my mind and said, "Napkin."
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Okay, I am posting too much. But, this topic really interests me.

I will be 70 in less than two weeks. My health is better, and I am stronger than 15 years ago when I retired.

My family normally lives to about 84. That would mean I have only 14 more years to live. I gotta' tell you, barring gunfire or flaming wreck, I DO NOT FEEL LIKE I AM GOING TO DIE IN 14 MORE YEARS!

I feel as if I have at least 30 more years. And, yes, I am well aware the elderly can deteriorate very fast.

Even if I do wear out and die at 84, feeling this good means MY LIFE IS GOOD! And, that is much more important than how long I live.
 

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. Universally, after a year in another society, and then a short, painful visit back to the States, they vow to never live in the US again.
Thanks. I do know what you mean. When I was 18 I took all the money I had saved and moved to Greece for a year. I was so happy there. After a year, I returned to the US and cried for six months because I was so miserable. That experienced irrevocably changed me and so I'm not surprised at all that I am happy to be spending the rest of my life in Mexico. I have no desire to return to the US.

As for the Spanish, there is a two year old boy who lives next door who is just starting to speak. He loves to come visit me. We play color games, numbers... my goal is to try to keep up with his language skills. Maybe we'll learn to speak together!
 

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About those napkins:
You are not alone! I was never fluent, but was once able to converse fairly well in French. I used it a lot in the Middle East, Polynesia and the Maritime Provinces of Canada, etc. Then, I moved to Mexico and learned some Spanish. Now, if I try to speak French, I fail completely; it simply turns into Spanish after about three words.
Frustrating!

On Greece: I lived in Turkey as a young man and we were able to leave the toddlers with our maid and enjoy an occasional trip to Greece. The only difficulty was that we knew the names of all the foods in Turkish; not politically correct, was it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Fantastic

Thanks. I do know what you mean. When I was 18 I took all the money I had saved and moved to Greece for a year. I was so happy there. After a year, I returned to the US and cried for six months because I was so miserable. That experienced irrevocably changed me and so I'm not surprised at all that I am happy to be spending the rest of my life in Mexico. I have no desire to return to the US.

As for the Spanish, there is a two year old boy who lives next door who is just starting to speak. He loves to come visit me. We play color games, numbers... my goal is to try to keep up with his language skills. Maybe we'll learn to speak together!
Exactly! He has a new Tia! And, you have a new sobrino. There you go, problem solved!

You might want to consider speaking English to him. Not teach him English, just speak it. I realize there is a conflict between your need to learn Spanish, and help him learn English, but you can find the dividing line. That little boy may be your friend for life!

I have a niece in Cordoba. When she was that age, I started talking English to her, and she is now bilingual. I thought it had to do with her bilingual school, but once I did not visit her for 6 months, and she forgot almost all her English.

A cousin has two adorable granddaughters, 3 and 5. It is amazing how fast they learned words like, "I like you because you are a good girl!" :D
 

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Based on a previous thread, the subject came up as to how we expat's in Mexico deal with the emotional, physical and intellectual effects on our "aging" process. So here we are... I'll take the jump. I think it's a good conversation to have.

Maybe a moderator can move Pie Grande's last post from the previous thread (Damn, Can I live on this...) here where it is more applicable.

Physically, moving from Florida (elev. 0) to an area whose elevation is between 6500 - 8000 ', has slowed me down a bit. Breathing difficulties caused by old bad habits (wish I had known then what I know now) are exacerbated by less oxygen. Just more incentive to take care of myself and take long walks every day. No visits to doctors here yet. It makes me a bit nervous still as my Spanish is not very good.

I've always been a bit of a hippy/organic girl, so the access to fresh foods and good eating hasn't changed much. I've found a new enthusiasm for searching out herbs/veges that are not common to Americans and trying new ways of cooking. Sure do eat a lot of beans and tortillas now! Only downside are those wonderful jalapenos and serranos which kick my hot flashes into high gear. So I suffer and sweat. Thank god the air is so dry here... that wet puddle feeling doesn't last long! And, no I'm not going to stop eating hot peppers!

Which brings me to menopause yet again... I have trouble remembering words in English, let alone Spanish. I used to suck up languages so easily. It doesn't come as easy any more. Intellectually/emotionally, I feel a bit starved. I've lived here in El Sauz for almost a year with a return to the US in between. I know this feeling will pass as my Spanish becomes more proficient. Until then, the communications I have in my daily human contact are pretty much limited to hello, goodbye and how much for the tomatoes today... Social gatherings can feel a bit lonely as I don't understand 95% of what they are saying. My husband may be hanging with his guy friends and so I end up sitting quietly for hours and hours with the women and little children furtively staring at me. Only very few women make an attempt at conversations as I'm still a bit of a curiosity in the village. Everyone is very nice but I'm still the outsider and at times it gets lonely. I study my books but there are no Spanish classes here so it's a bit more difficult. My husband tries to help but he's gone 11 hours a day working, so my days are very quiet and in spite of my pleadings he prefers to speak English with me. He somehow believes I'm going to become fluent via osmosis. Hah!

But, in spite of the downsides, overall, I have to say that I am happier here than I was in the US which has contributed to my well being on all levels. All things in good time.
In your search for things to eat, look for foods that contain phytoestrogens. (You can google them.) Basically, they are plant estrogens that fill "holes" in cells. Those cells are used to being filled by your body's estrogen, but it's not making as much, anymore, and the loss of it is leading to both your hot flashes and your memory issues. Not to mention, if you are dealing with mood swings, you can blame that on lack of estrogen, too.

The good news is that phytoestrogens fill the holes, but they don't trigger the issues that HRT drugs do, because they're dissimilar enough from human estrogen that they won't lead to cancers and other nasties.

At 50, I regained my sanity, when I found the phytos. I hadn't even realized how labile I was, till I wasn't, so much.
 

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About those napkins:
You are not alone! I was never fluent, but was once able to converse fairly well in French. I used it a lot in the Middle East, Polynesia and the Maritime Provinces of Canada, etc. Then, I moved to Mexico and learned some Spanish. Now, if I try to speak French, I fail completely; it simply turns into Spanish after about three words.
Frustrating!

On Greece: I lived in Turkey as a young man and we were able to leave the toddlers with our maid and enjoy an occasional trip to Greece. The only difficulty was that we knew the names of all the foods in Turkish; not politically correct, was it?
RVGringo! I'm so glad you decided to join us here. Not too scary :D.

No, not politically correct, although I'm not sure the term was coined when I was there in the late 70's. They're a passionate and patriotic folk. Ooh, I had such good times!

Re: the menopause... I used to drink quite a bit of soy milk when I lived in the US but will need to find a new phyto- alternative. My body is feeling a bit hijacked right now and I'm not loving it.

I'll be delighted when my mind begins to think in Spanish and not in English!!
 

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You are so young! I lived in Turkey in the early 60s. I had hoped to stay more than the three years, but political events changed things. Turkey continues to thrive; Cuba doesn't. Now you have a hint as to what took me there.
 

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Exactly! He has a new Tia! And, you have a new sobrino. There you go, problem solved!

You might want to consider speaking English to him. Not teach him English, just speak it. I realize there is a conflict between your need to learn Spanish, and help him learn English, but you can find the dividing line. That little boy may be your friend for life!

I have a niece in Cordoba. When she was that age, I started talking English to her, and she is now bilingual. I thought it had to do with her bilingual school, but once I did not visit her for 6 months, and she forgot almost all her English.

A cousin has two adorable granddaughters, 3 and 5. It is amazing how fast they learned words like, "I like you because you are a good girl!" :D
A very good idea as young children can pick up languages easily. Where young children have been exposed to numerous languages there are cases where they are speaking 5 or more languages by the time they are five or six years of age. So do not be afraid to speak English to this 2 year old. And if he picks up English he may be of assistance to his parents some time in the future.
 

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I am suprized by how many have had a bad life if the US. I do not know where all you come from but I lived a good life there. I never had any problems. No crime as you all say you have and afriad to go out. I had many friends and family all good people.
Some of you bad mouth your country and heap good words on Mexico. Do not get me wrong I like Mexico and my wife is a Mexican. She has 11 brothers and sisters and I know them all and they are good people. Her parents are very sweet and the whole family likes me and now I am part of the family. But everyone here is looked as if they are crooks. If you do know them then do not trust them. All homes have bars on the windows and tall fences around the houses. IN the larger cities the polution is very
bad. You hope that the people that are at the road blocks are for real and not banditos. Most of the people that can cross the border do so to shop or see family.
Most would leave Mexico and live in the US if they could so what does it say for Mexico. I live in Mexico and in a big city only because my wife still works. When
she retires we will spend out between the US and San Felipe baja and the rest of Mexico as tourist.
 

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I am surprised by how many have had a bad life if the US. .
I don't think such a bad life ... but more expensive, rather shallow politically, maybe boring ... and absolutely provides less of an adventure for people that still have some life left in them.

Maybe golf and house repairs is enough for some retired people .... but moving to another country is an adventure that I couldn't afford when young or really had an urge to do.

We all move here for different reasons
 

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I am suprized by how many have had a bad life if the US. I do not know where all you come from but I lived a good life there. I never had any problems. No crime as you all say you have and afriad to go out. I had many friends and family all good people.
Some of you bad mouth your country and heap good words on Mexico. Do not get me wrong I like Mexico and my wife is a Mexican. She has 11 brothers and sisters and I know them all and they are good people. Her parents are very sweet and the whole family likes me and now I am part of the family. But everyone here is looked as if they are crooks. If you do know them then do not trust them. All homes have bars on the windows and tall fences around the houses. IN the larger cities the polution is very
bad. You hope that the people that are at the road blocks are for real and not banditos. Most of the people that can cross the border do so to shop or see family.
Most would leave Mexico and live in the US if they could so what does it say for Mexico. I live in Mexico and in a big city only because my wife still works. When
she retires we will spend out between the US and San Felipe baja and the rest of Mexico as tourist.
It's fine that you had a good life in the States. Keep in mind that it's a big country, and not everyone's experience has been the same as yours. As for me, I had a good life in the States, but I have a better one here.

I don't know where you live in Mexico, but my experience in Mexico City has not been that "everyone here is looked as if they are crooks. If you do know them then do not trust them". Just as your experience in the US was very positive, so have the experiences of many expats in Mexico been positive, not quite the grim picture your post paints :) .

Don't you think that saying that "Most [Mexicans] would leave Mexico and live in the US if they could" is rather a broad statement. Frankly, none of my Mexican friends here would agree. They might enjoy visiting there for a bit, but Mexico is their home and the place they want to live.

Just my two cents' worth, of course. Feel free to disagree.
 

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I am suprized by how many have had a bad life if the US. I do not know where all you come from but I lived a good life there. I never had any problems. No crime as you all say you have and afriad to go out. I had many friends and family all good people.
Some of you bad mouth your country and heap good words on Mexico. Do not get me wrong I like Mexico and my wife is a Mexican. She has 11 brothers and sisters and I know them all and they are good people. Her parents are very sweet and the whole family likes me and now I am part of the family. But everyone here is looked as if they are crooks. If you do know them then do not trust them. All homes have bars on the windows and tall fences around the houses. IN the larger cities the polution is very
bad. You hope that the people that are at the road blocks are for real and not banditos. Most of the people that can cross the border do so to shop or see family.
Most would leave Mexico and live in the US if they could so what does it say for Mexico. I live in Mexico and in a big city only because my wife still works. When
she retires we will spend out between the US and San Felipe baja and the rest of Mexico as tourist.
Most would leave Mexico and live in the US is a very narrow naive view specific to Mexicali and border regions, I feel. As for people being wary of their property, that is just common sense. As for everyone sees strangers not trustworthy, this is another naive notion. Most Mexicans I know would never want to live anywhere except where they live and prosper. The ones who did immigrate to the US usually married an American. The ones who come back to visit friends and family in Mexico usually glorify living in the US to compensate for not being with their family and are usually acting as big shots after awhile and Americanized to be wasteful consumers, not that Mexico is not doing this also.

It is good you are assimilating well into a Mexican large family and their culture, but need more time and unbiased experiences to see what is really going on behind the scenes and speak passable Spanish. This takes years, not just one year.
 

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We knew a five year old boy, in Turkey, who was the son of an American/Turkish/Italian/Greek & French mixed family. He spoke all five languages and often acted as 'interpreter', standing in the middle of a group of adults, sort of entranced, and repeating whatever he heard in the appropriate language, or languages, to those around him. I'll never forget that! Makes me Jealous!
 

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We knew a five year old boy, in Turkey, who was the son of an American/Turkish/Italian/Greek & French mixed family. He spoke all five languages and often acted as 'interpreter', standing in the middle of a group of adults, sort of entranced, and repeating whatever he heard in the appropriate language, or languages, to those around him. I'll never forget that! Makes me Jealous!
RVGringo backs up what I said above. Both on the same page -- almost!:D
 

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The detour on this thread has been most interesting. I will not deny that joelpd had no bad experiences in the States and may be a bit more critical of Mexicans, but that is his experience and I am glad that any challenges made to his posts have been respectful and civil.

Just to add my two cents, I love the USA, I'd love to be able to live here in retirement...but it just isn't going to happen for reasons including economics. And that saddens me. But, my wife and I need an adventure for the next chapter in our lives, and staying here is, unfortunately, no adventure. Also, looking over the choices for retirement locations in the USA, there isn't one we could decide on - whereas arriving in Mexico, first PV then Ajijic - that we "knew" was right. Diff'rent strokes for different folks.

:focus:

But back to topic - has the move to Mexico made a physical, intellectual and/or emotional difference to you as your entered your retirement years, as you've aged (because some of us will never grow up). Do you feel that "adventure" has played a part in your life style? And, do you find the adventure wearing off - or do you still look forward to each day and the challenges of living in a new culture? Ooops - and does that challenge keep you sharper than you imagine you'd have been had you not moved?

Lots of questions - I can't wait for the answers.
 
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