22
Jun
07

Annie Dean Living In Mexico

Some things about living in Mexico are amazing. I love the Tuesday market stalls, for instance. You can find fresh fruit, vegetables, clothing, cleaning supplies, handwoven baskets, almost anything you can imagine at these roadside markets. The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well here. People often sell things out of their cars, or just pick a corner and set up a folding table. The police mostly leave them alone, except for very congested areas downtown.The climate is gorgeous as well. Average temperature, year round, is between 60-85F. We don’t have heat or air con at our house, which was built to stay cool and shady even when it’s terribly sunny out. Everything is natural. Consequently, we have fewer colds. There are always flowers blooming here as well. I have roses, bougainvillea, hydrangea in my courtyard, along with a Noche Buena tree, and other blooms for which I don’t know the names. The gardeners bring their carts along the walk, and when they ring the bell, I just point out the ones I think are pretty, and they plant them.

What else is good about life here? Well, my mother in law throws the best parties. Saturday, we went to a bash at her place. They had a band, tables on the terrace, and they cleared the furniture in one of the salons so we could dance. My husband and I boogied for a good hour after dinner. The kids danced too. My little girl performed this wild salsa step with her abuelo that I didn’t even know she could do. Girl got some Shakira in her hips, and she was the center of attention for like fifteen minutes. People actually stopped dancing and ringed her and my father in law to watch their wicked moves. I was like, damn, in five years, she’s gonna be dangerous moving like that.

And that’s the cool thing about parties here. People age, but they don’t seem to get old. I lack a sense of the generational divide. You’ll find a seventy year old grandmother out on the dance floor doing the tango. Everyone drinks, everyone dances, everyone parties. My father in law taught my son how to do shots. Abuelo drank tequila and the boy did shots of diet Sprite. You should have seen him. All of seven years old and he had fifty people cheering him on, shouting, “Todo! Todo! Todo!” while he chugged his Sprite Cero. Much screaming and clapping commenced when he drank it in one gulp. People make kids feel like a part of things here. They aren’t shunted off to back rooms or babysitters. In Mexico, you party with all your friends and family, whatever age they may be.

For me, the not-so-cool part of living here comes in two flavors. First flavor, since I’m not fully fluent in Spanish yet, I have ample opportunities to embarrass myself. For instance, saying “Soy aburrida,” versus “Estoy aburrida,” offers the difference between “I’m boring,” and “I’m bored.” Isn’t that awesome?

I recently found something else out from my language tutor. I had labored under the impression that “Me gusta” works for “I like…(whatever).” Synonymous. Right? Not for everything. It works for things and places, but for people it takes on the connotation of romantic attraction. So if you ask a man, “Te gusta Rodrigo?” you’ve inquired whether he’s sexually drawn to him. I cringe in retrospect. Now I know I need to use “Te cae bien?” instead. I also wish to bitch at the Spaniards. Did you know one word means two things here? Esposa = wife and …you ready? Handcuffs. I was so pissed when I figured that out! My husband remains unwholesomely amused by my outrage to this day.

The second thing that makes me sad about living here is the shortage of English books. My Spanish teacher has assigned me to read Hemingway’s Old Man and the Sea in Spanish, though, so I won’t have time to whine about this much longer. Have ya’ll ever lived in another country? How did you cope with the customs? Feel free to ask anything you want to know about life in Mexico and I’ll do my best to answer.

If you can’t already tell, Annie lives in Mexico. She says so in the first line. 

Comment to enter the contest for a copy of Your Alibi and a USD20 Amazon gift card. Details in the excerpt post. 

By the way, Your Alibi will only be available on Monday from Liquid Silver Books.


18 Responses to “Annie Dean Living In Mexico”


  1. June 22, 2007 at 8:09 am

    Very interesting, Annie. And LOL at Me Gusta. I learned that it means “Like” in my Spanish class. Good to know it could also mean sexually attracted.

    BTW — What made you move to Mexico if you don’t mind me asking?

    As for my international experience — I was born in Korea, lived in Toronto, Los Angeles and DC metropolitan area, and now I’m in Japan. :) Each time it was very different. Currently I’m learning hundreds of words for different kinds of fish because Japan’s obsessed with fish. And you can tell how much Japanese people love tuna by looking at the long list of words that mean very specific types / maturity / cut of tuna. Japanese people consume about 25% of all tuna caught in the world. Eventually though I want to move back to the States or live in Europe.

  2. June 22, 2007 at 10:00 am

    Sounds like a fun place. I’m still laughing over the wife and handcuffs thing. I told hubby, and he said “of course they’re the same thing” *g*

  3. June 22, 2007 at 12:00 pm

    I ought to go live there; we were talking about age last night and I said how I felt that I should be more sedate and stoic and behaving older and more conservative than I do, just because of what the numbers of my age say (versus how I feel).

    Sounds like I wouldn’t have that subtle sort of pressure in Mexico.

  4. June 22, 2007 at 1:28 pm

    I love the mid west coast of Mexico. We used to go to San Carlos at least once every two months and spend a week. Puerto Penasco. Guaymas. Very fun country. Border towns? Not so cool. And the parties are great. Thanks for the walk back down memory lane.

  5. 5 Crystal B.
    June 22, 2007 at 1:57 pm

    Sounds like living in Mexico is great. Your description made me want to go there to visit.

  6. June 22, 2007 at 2:06 pm

    What made me move to Mexico? My husband. He’s the heir to a pharmaceutical empire, and his dad laid down the law. Told him he had played long enough in the states, time to come home and become El Senor Aguirre, Patron to hundreds.

    Since I write, I can do that anywhere. I had no grounds to object, and honestly, I’ve always secretly yearned for a more exotic life. I’ve certainly got one!

    Lucky you, living in Japan, Angelle. I’ve never been to Europe either, but we’re going this summer. I’m excited.

    I don’t recommend the border towns at all, Ferfe. They’re becoming more dangerous with each passing year. Nuevo Laredo is known as the Kidnapping Capital of North America. Most of the crime centers there, and is related to the warring cartels. There have been a number of infamous gun battles in the streets that included AKs and grenades, and required the Mexican army to break up.

    The suburb in Mexico City where I live, however, is safer than the neighborhood I lived in on the west side of Indianapolis. The Shell station on the corner of 38th and High School road was robbed THREE times in the last month before we moved. And once when I was filling up there, two gentlemen got into an altercation three feet from me and one of them whipped out a switchblade. I had gotten so used to such things I just finished filling up and went on home.

  7. June 22, 2007 at 2:11 pm

    So, where’s your first book set in Mexico?

    I’ve a fondness for books set in locales more exotic than the concrete jungle of Singapore. Later this year, I’m moving to Manchester (hopefully, anyway). I’m crossing my fingers that I’ll get the opportunity to work overseas for a few years before returning, if ever.

  8. June 22, 2007 at 2:16 pm

    GOOD TOUCH, a paranormal mystery series, features a heroine named Corine Solomon, and she’s based in Mexico City, though she travels a good deal. I can’t discuss it yet, but I’m hopeful this series will soon have a SOLD sign on it as well.

    Here’s the blurb:

    Corine Solomon isn’t looking for adventure. She’s happy with her junky little pawnshop, happy living as an expat where nobody knows who she is or what she can do. Nobody brings her soiled mittens from missing children or tiny earrings from dead babies anymore. She wants to forget the gift she never asked for and to stop thinking about the terrible night that changed her life forever. But things never go the way she wants them to and she can’t escape the man with the devil’s own luck. Chance doesn’t intend to let her go, and what’s more, he needs her for the first time in his life. If they can survive, things just might be different this time…

    To get an idea what GOOD TOUCH is like, here’s the first chapter.

  9. June 22, 2007 at 2:22 pm

    Oooooh! Sounds like good fun!

    Can I copy and paste the blurb when I round up all the posts?

  10. June 22, 2007 at 3:07 pm

    And once when I was filling up there, two gentlemen got into an altercation three feet from me and one of them whipped out a switchblade. I had gotten so used to such things I just finished filling up and went on home.

    Good lord that sounds JUST like Miami!!!

    If I were going to live in Mexico I would prefer Merida or San Carlos.

  11. June 22, 2007 at 4:49 pm

    I have never been to Mexico but it certainly sounds interesting. Count me in for the drawing please. :) The book sounds intersting. I never took spanish but it is an fun language from what I can tell. :)

  12. June 22, 2007 at 6:39 pm

    Gah. Makes me want to move to Mexico. Great piece, Annie.

    By the way, I lived in France for a while and didn’t really speak the language yet. My two faux pas…? Telling someone I had a horse in my mouth instead of a hair in my mouth, and announcing to the entire dinner table that was I pregnant instead of full. Oops.

  13. June 22, 2007 at 6:46 pm

    Too funny, Anya!

    At least with the first one, the other person had to know you meant something else.

  14. June 22, 2007 at 7:52 pm

    Haha, I’ve done some great ones too, Anya, but those are funny.

  15. June 22, 2007 at 11:43 pm

    Annie,

    Very interesting! I’m in Japan for the similar reasons. :)

    I’m glad to hear that it’s safe in Mexico. The way US media sometimes portrays the country, you’d think it’s very dangerous or something. But of course they never talk about how dangerous some of our cities are.

  16. June 23, 2007 at 12:36 am

    Annie, great interview! THe “Me gusta” gave me a good laugh. I can totally imagine that happening to me.


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