Sunday, May 8, 2011

Cinco De Mayo and Adaption

Cinco De Mayo has duel meaning for us. Yes, it's a holiday for the Battle of Puebla. But this Cinco de Mayo also marked our 3 year anniversary of our move to Mexico. That always confuses me: 3 years. It confuses me because last December when we celebrated our 3rd Christmas in Mexico I started forgetting and saying we had been here 3 years. Well, that's kinda truthful. We were working on our 3rd year. Now we have completed our 3rd year in Mexico. We've started in on our 4th year. Funny, I still remember my first thought when we finally arrived at my sister in law's house at 3:34 AM on the 5th of May: "Damn, I'm tired" and "Why is the rooster crowing now?! It's still dark out!". Yes, I had no prior experience with farm animals. I have since learned that NOTHING will shut a rooster up and it will crow all. day. long.

At my therapy appointment on the 4th of May, my therapist asked me "How well do you feel you've adapted?". I knew this was an important question because she asked it in English (normally she speaks Spanish to me, and I answer in English). This got me started wondering, what exactly is adaption? Yes, I've been here 3 years now and I wonder, "Have I adapted?" I still cannot speak Spanish enough to make sense to those who are not used to me. I can only conjugate in the present tense, so you kind of have to guess if I really mean now, or if I mean past or future. The mop still frustrates me sometimes. Yes, I've used one like it before, but years of my Swiffer wet jet have spoiled me.  The only meals that I can do well enough to do on a somewhat daily basis are beans, rice, quesadillas, and various fried tacos. I get lonely. I have no friends. I cannot relate to my inlaws because since I married the baby of his family and also happen to be 10+ years younger than him, my sister and brother in laws are the same age as my parents. Sure, my nieces and nephews are my age (or slightly older), but since I'm their aunt there is a barrier there. The heat still overwhelms me at the beginning of every summer, and the rainy season still pisses me off while also making me clap for joy.

On the other side though, I can eat spicy salsa with soda to drink and no longer end up with sweat, snot, and tears running down my face. I've managed to deal with the constant stream of dirt flowing in our windows. I can handle a bus and 2 kids now without fearing that we are either going to run over a car or wanting to puke from the abrupt stops when I slam my head into the seat in front of me. I've learned how to carry 25 million bags on an umbrella stroller while still keeping it from tipping over backwards because my baby weighs less than the veggies from Mercado. I can ride my bike with my toddler in the baby seat and my 5 year old sitting on the bar in front of my seat while holding bags on both sides of the handle bars. I've learned to love garrafons and how to tell if a gas tank is empty by tapping on it.

I do not know if I have adapted. Depends on how you would define "adaption". For now though, I'm still a work in progress.


  1. I can feel you. I'm afraid of my adaption as well. At least I don't have the age barrier against me, my sisters-in-law are my age. And I'm holding type to the knowledge that there are other Americans within a 3-5 hour radius. I can only offer my friendship over the web right now but I hope you know that I am always around if you need someone to talk to, always.


  2. I'm pretty sure there are other Americans near me, I just have no clue how to go about reaching out and finding them. I know there are a bunch in San Miguel de Allende, but most are not in my age bracket. I know there are some in Queretaro. I learned that from Burro Hall. I think I need to learn to step outside my comfort zone and find a way to connect. I'm hoping working will help with that. At the least I'll have people I'm working with who speak some English to communicate with.

  3. The blog is the best way to connect with other native English speakers in your area. I met Lindy and Amanda through our blogs. Lindy and Amanda felt isolated until we all found each other. We have since added a few more and voila! we have our tight-knit group. Also, we found ourselves going up to 'obvious' gringas at the stores. Keep your head up. You'll make connections.