Archive | March, 2013

So What Exactly Are We Talking About Here?

31 Mar

What is an adventure? When I think about having an adventure, I think of an experience outside of my day-to-day vida loca that is foreign or sometimes a bit scary. The numero uno question that we get when we tell people we’re moving to Mexico is, “Is it safe?” While I admit that everything in life is a risk (when I’m feeling snarky, I’m tempted to say that if I wanted to be safe, I’d stay in bed) some things are riskier than others. When people talk about Mexico and safety in the same sentence, I find that they:

1) don’t really know much about Mexico except what they read in the news.
2) don’t know us very well and don’t consider that we know much about Mexico and have done our homework; and
3) don’t really put risk into perspective.

In 2012 34,767 people died in automobile accidents in the US, almost exactly the number killed in the four year period prior to 2010 in the Mexican drug war. While it’s not a perfect comparison, it’s a bit of perspective. The country of Mexico is big, three times bigger than Texas and the drug war is not targeted at US expats.

In spite of the risk, we still ride in cars everyday and we’re still moving to Mexico.

Dictionary.com states:
ad·ven·ture [ad-ven-cher]
1. an exciting or very unusual experience.
2. participation in exciting undertakings or enterprises: the spirit of adventure.
3. a bold, usually risky undertaking; hazardous action of uncertain outcome.
4. a commercial or financial speculation of any kind; venture.
Obsolete .
a. peril; danger; risk.
b. chance; fortune; luck.

Trip to the Mercado

24 Mar

I’m especially fond of Mexican mercados. It is one of the things I am moving to Mexico for. Growing up in NJ (the Garden State), I was accustomed to stopping at roadside stands to purchase corn, watermelons and especially those fabulous Jersey tomatoes. Visiting my home state a few years ago, I was amazed to find that there was not a roadside stand to be found. I guess those small farms are long gone. In Texas, I frequent the farmer’s markets looking for that connection to fresh farm-grown food. It’s a special experience for me.

My memory of Mexico in the 70’s was of visiting the mercados, big and small. They were a cross between a farmer’s market and a flea market, made up of temporary stalls, in large open areas or closed off streets. The mercado was usually held once or twice a week depending on the size of the community.

I remember the fruit tasting like nothing I had ever eaten in the US. Whatever was in season was piled high for several weeks, only to be replaced by the next seasonal fruit. I made myself sick on mangos, bananas and avocados.

In Bacalar, I searched eagerly for the mercado. Pineapples and papayas were especially good in December. The market is housed in a permanent building and is open every day. Of course there are also other small stores in town that sell fruits and vegetables and a supply of packaged goods that would rival any 7-11. I look forward to getting to know the vendors and inquiring about the possibility of bulk buying. One thing that did surprise me was finding green grapes from California for sale. The world really is getting smaller.

Mercado 2012

Mercado Bacalar

Mercado

Mandarins & Pineapple

Please share your thoughts or experiences in the comments section.

Garage Sale #3

17 Mar

Lisa joked yesterday that our house is getting larger! LOL As we clean out closets, empty shelves and sell furniture, there is more space and open-ness to our home. We have filled the storage trailer with our garage sale items and when they’re gone, it will hold our “goes to Mexico” possessions. Eventually the house will be empty and then we put the FOR SALE sign out, hopefully the process will be fairly painless. We’ll see.

Telling people at our sale that we’re moving to Mexico brought different reactions. Everyone seemed to wish us well, but a few seemed somewhere between envy and “I’m going to do something like that, I’m just not ready yet.” As usual I handed out the link to this blog.

We made $200 which is peanuts compared to what the books, yarn, clothes, tools, furniture, dishes, CDs, cost us. It only adds to my resolve to not continue to acquire so many possessions I don’t really need. We are building a small house to support that commitment. I guess a home without so much stuff doesn’t have to be very big after all.

Garage Sale #3

Austin, TX

Cenote Azul

8 Mar

There were many things about Bacalar that attracted us to living in this beautiful little corner of Mexico. Cenote (Sen-OH-tay) Azul is a beautiful circular natural pool about a mile south of Bacalar along the laguna. Centotes are ancient sinkholes. More than likely they were once underground and over time the roof caved in creating a limestone well. Cenote Azul is said to be the largest in the Yucatan at 300 feet deep and 600 feet wide. The pool is free to the public. There is a restaurant at it’s edge where we had a snack after a wonderful swim with our realtor Steven and his partner Claudia.

I loved swimming in Lake Bacalar, but the water of Cenote Azul was liquid light. It felt like swimming in an ancient Mayan site sans the sacrificial virgins.

Cenote Azul

Lisa relaxes

Claudia & Steven

Snacking after a swim

March? Really?

2 Mar

It must be time for a progress report. There are no pressing deadlines. It’s just “keepin on keepin on”. We have a garage sale scheduled for March 9th. If you’re in the area, please stop by. Today’s plan is to prep for the sale. I am clearly not prepping, I am blogging.

Some accomplishments from our “to do” list:

Lisa’s passport renewal mailed – check.
Outside of the house painted – check.
Last Hurrah birthday party – check.
Second payment on the property will be completed this week – check.
Title Company is in place for us to self-sell our house – check.

The party was fun. We had music by Las Gabacha-chas aka the Therapy Sisters. It was a great opportunity to showcase our house.

Much to our sorpresa, a neighbor called la policia and complained that we were making too much noise at 8:15p on a Saturday! The officer looked embarrassed to find an adult party where no one was drinking or smoking. When we were in Mexico in December 2012, a quinceañera was going on down the street with music blaring ALL NIGHT…I kid you not. I woke at 3am and it sounded like it was in our bedroom! A friend told me that it’s “not a real party unless the police show up.”

Only in the US apparently.

The Last Hurrah in our Austin house. Celebrating my birthday and our adios.

The Last Hurrah in our Austin house. Celebrating my birthday and our adios.

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