10 things I have learned from being an ex-pat seemed like an easy topic. We’re starting our second decade of living in Merida. I thought that this list would just write itself but it’s getting harder and harder to point out the extraordinary things to you because quite frankly, it’s all normal.
10 things that I have learned from being an ex-pat
- I have food issues. While I willing eat goat, sheep, tongue, liver, and in theory- grasshoppers, it bothers me that the deli-lady cuts our bacon in the wrong direction.
- I’m rude. Not by American standards, but by Mexican standards. I sometimes will walk around the block so I don’t have to stop and chat about the weather with our neighbor who sits in front of his doorway. I often forget to kiss and say hello to everyone in the room when I enter. Ditto for when I exit.
- I’m not sure what American cuisine is. Mexicans will ask me about American food, and I have no idea what to tell them. I fall back on meatloaf and mashed potatoes or pizza as an American meal. I had to look up Rotel.
- Any day is a good day to have a parade, or shoot off firecrackers. Just enjoy it, it’s okay.
- I’m a social liar. I tell the Jehovah Witness’s that I am Catholic, I ask for bids for merchandise that I have no intention of buying-just to get the salesperson off my back and I accept invitations to social events that I have no intention to attend rather than explain why I can’t make it.
- I don’t need as much stuff as I used to think I did. When we first moved here we either had someone bring us stuff from NOB (north of the border) or we did without. Now when people ask if they can bring me something, I honestly can’t think of much. The only thing on my list right now is a spiralizer.
- I’m not bi-lingual. I moved here thinking I was bi-lingual, my mom said that I wasn’t. Mom was right. Oh, I am fairly fluent these days, but sometimes, while I understand every single word, I still have no idea what the person actually means. I’ve lost my ability to spell in English, I find myself using i instead of e and cion instead of tion. I’m illiterate in two languages.
- I really miss my kids and grandkids. This is just about the only reason I would want to move back.
- I”m lazy. Sevicio a domicilio is one of my favorite things. It totally floored me when I was visiting my daughter and the only place that delivered food was Dominos Pizza. I have the fruit cart come by, Juan de las flores who sells me plants, the flan man rides by on his trici with the loud speaker blaring “Llegaron los flanes, completamente caseros”( the flans have arrived, totally homemade), a couple of times a day. Superama delivers groceries, the farmacy delivers meds, and even doctors make housecalls.
- It’s okay if people don’t show up. If someone is supposed to come at a certain hour and doesn’t show, I can either call them, wait some more, or leave. The world won’t end.