It has been a very busy start to 2022: socially active and trying to plan the next few months for myself.
First of all, COVID-19 is getting worse here every day. My lovely cleaning lady’s boyfriend died the other day and she turned up to clean my apartment two days later in tears. But she said she needed to work—not for the money…just to keep busy.
What I have observed is that Mexicans wear masks, but the ex-pats and tourists not so much. We have a large, non-vaccinated community of people who just don’t believe in putting the vaccines in their bodies, out of fear. I don’t understand how they can travel, etc. without getting vaccinated; getting the shots provides some freedom in this crazy world right now.
I should say we have great medical people here. My doctor Jessica Flores and my dentist who does my teeth cleaning are both excellent. I am told it is because of the very large community from Canada and the USA. We are so fortunate! The other service we have here is access to immigration lawyers, who are excellent and very reasonable…and I almost forgot the hospitals, which are very well-equipped.
For a town of 12,000 people we have piles of culture, music, dance and art—and when I am out and about every day I always meet someone I know. We have a little chat and move on. I find this so special and unusual; it just doesn’t happen in the big city! I have made some lovely and good friends here. The connections are very special. One friend is trying to tutor me in Spanish every week. I am a terrible student! Another always has a place for my stuff or to lay my head if I get stuck. I met her in a queue for vaccination, and we have been friends ever since. There is also a beautiful Spanish woman who married a guy from Winnipeg (that was the wedding I was involved in), and there is my friend Dan, who is from Texas and is very helpful in many ways.
All in all I have a great life here: much like the description of Betty’s Mountain top I was looking for. So instead of one location, it seems like a whole town!
There are many churches and spiritual groups with all sorts of programs to offer, and you can get many drugs such as mushrooms if that is important to you. I have never been a good drug taker; they just don’t agree with me.
I was asked the other day what type of people are here. I will try to answer that question: upper income, with many beautiful homes…as well as religious and spiritual followers. There is a ‘Hippy Dippy’ crowd, like you would find at a musical festival. Around me there are people that you would find in a subdivision or gated community in any city. So, basically a microcosm of any much larger community. We also have The Lake Chapula Society which is membership-based. I think I paid $30 USD for the year, which includes access to concerts & courses, plus the beautiful grounds with many plants and flowers. That is where I taught my Traveller course.
I would also say that the Mexican people that are here are very hard working and have many skills. For example, my laundry lady is excellent—the results are as good as my Indian laundry, and I have always said they are the best. It is very safe and the Mexican people are very patient with us. You walk down the street and wish them good morning, etc. in Spanish and they reply to you with their greeting.
So, what I am saying (in answer to the other question I often get: ‘what next?’) is that I quite enjoy it here and, maybe after traveling this year, I will come back and settle. I am working on getting my Temporary Visa, which is a first step before I travel.
I will give you an example of life here. Yesterday, I was on my way to a goodbye party for a friend and I was hungry, so I stopped at an excellent restaurant for a salad. A young woman was sitting at the next table on her own. She asked me to join her, and turned out to be a trained Chemical Engineer who was providing academic tutoring online to some of the wealthiest families in the states, getting their kids ready to apply to the best colleges. We had a great conversation for an hour! Plus the weather is perfect and there are many great restaurants to choose from. And for the movie buff in me, we have two movie theaters showing at least one first run movie every week. So if I sound happy…I AM!!
Very sad news about your cleaning lady’s boyfriend. I enjoyed reading your update and thought you really captured the essence of Ajijic perfectly!
Thanks for a full and inspired description of your Mexican life. The spirit of adventure moves me to follow in your steps while the idea of discarding the life I have weighs on me more now than almost 20 years ago when I did just that. Of course I was almost 20 years younger then. In any event I’m moving slowly toward permanent relocation and my April visit is a part of that process.
My recent psychic reading without my prompting said, south of the border near mountains and Florida has no mountains.
I look forward to lunch…my daughter will benefit from your life of travel and adventure which is her life plan and my son will have many stories of his own travel adventures through Mexico and South America.
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Betty, you sound as though you may have found your mountain top. Bravo! Certainly beats the gas works in Luton!