Most of the time, I love everything about my life in Mexico. However, there have been some definite challenges. While it’s not my intention to complain, I want to be honest about the fact that my life here definitely isn’t perfect!
On Safety: I have to be constantly aware of my surroundings. I can’t leave anything (even non-valuables) in plain sight in my car. I don’t know who I can trust. I don’t know if people will rip me off because I’m a foreigner. I set the alarm every time I leave home because someone tried to break into our house 2 months ago. I hide my valuables every time I leave the house. I hold my purse close to me every time I’m in public.
On Standing Out: Even though there are plenty of Mexicans with light-colored skin and eyes, I look different. I really like running errands in the US to rewind or be by myself, but here I get overwhelmed sometimes because it’s impossible to go unnoticed anywhere in public. I love going to the movies because no one stares at me in a dark theater. I like whenever it’s been cold enough to wear the hood on my coat, because then people don’t notice I look different.
On Spanish: It still disorients me sometimes. At my gym the other day I got extremely confused for a good 10 seconds because everyone around me was speaking Spanish, and I couldn’t figure out why. There was the time when I paid way too much for a drive-thru meal because I couldn’t understand the employee’s voice over the intercom so I just kept answering “si” to all of her questions. Sometimes I literally open my mouth to say something, my mind freezes, and then no words come out. Then there’s other times where I feel like I’ve bee speaking this language my whole life, and I get frustrated because I want it to be like that all the time.
On Cooking and Meals: I’m literally hungry for dinner at 5. Sometimes I have to wait till I got off work at 9 to eat or until 10:30 when Carlos gets off, if I eat with him. As much as I love a good salsa and tortilla, sometimes I just can’t eat one more meal that involves either of the two. That usually results in me making or buying the most American meal I can think of. Then there is another problem I have encountered when I help Carlos’ family cook-they’re making something “American,” but they actually make it totally different or with different ingredients and I have no clue what I’m doing. I’ve also realized people hardly ever use their ovens here. Something I might prepare at home using the oven will most likely be prepared on the stove here.
On Driving: I’ve definitely gotten honked at, yelled at, and glared at more times in the past 5 months than in my 8 years of driving in the US combined. If you think road rage is a problem in the US, in Mexico it is 1000 times worse. If you think you’re a calm, kind, driver in the US, I also dare you to drive in Mexico and try to not get road rage. There are just some cars here (looking at you, taxis) that refuse to be patient and refuse to follow the rules. There are also a LOT of pot holes on the road and you always have to be paying close attention. All things considered, I’m really grateful I haven’t gotten into a wreck or had a flat tire yet.
These are just a few of the things that cause me to feel overwhelmed at times. Life isn’t perfect anywhere, and I’m thankful that for the most part, I’m able to laugh off the challenges and craziness of living in Mexico as an American. And I think maybe, that’s why I love it so much.