Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Why I Love Mexico
What I wrote two days ago didn't just pop into my head out of nowhere, and it didn't just turn up out of an entire year of "mixed" reactions to my babies.
A week and a half ago, I arrived in Mexico again with my family, this time on a work trip. (My last one, since I am less than a week away from finishing this job. The last 2 weeks will be a vacation.)
An Unpleasant Welcome
Upon our arrival to Playa del Carmen, we were greeted with the usual visuals of Mexico; dirt and garbage in the streets, mangy street dogs, half-built homes, graffiti-covered walls, children playing with trash in filthy parks ...
The list could go on. Home, sweet, home? Well, not quite.
Den of Sinners
Then comes the visible immorality of Mexican culture.
Like everywhere, marital infidelity abounds; and here, intentions along these lines are made all to visibly obvious, as are the relationships themselves. A married taxi driver has his "companion" joining him in the passenger's seat, who is almost certainly not his wife, men cheating on their wives is chronic. (First hand stories.)
Dishonesty is endemic. Just today, my commadre's daughter told me how a store worker stole her cellphone from a fitting room, and then called her a "bitch" when she tried (successfully) to reclaim it. (Commadre = godmother of my son.) People here "find" other people's things and assume that this sequence of fortunes means that people have lost all rights to their belongings, even if they "find" those things in someone else's front patio.
Just two examples of so many.
At this point, I would like to talk about how I actually like the fact that in Mexico sin, immorality, dishonesty, etc. all look like exactly what they are - but that belongs to a different post.
So far, I'm guessing I haven't inspired many would-be expats to make the leap, abandon their home and move to Mexico.
But in spite of all its problems and unpleasant sights (which I would argue are not actually bigger, but simply more visible) there's something about Mexico - even the dirtiest most unsightly places - that captures my heart:
Mexicans have a deep love for being with other people. The don't need to share common interests, understand each other, have something to do together or have anything else that we would consider fundamental to a "healthy relationship;" the love of another person and the joy felt in seeing another person is enough.
Seeing and feeling a joy for human life is something that surpasses many other comforts and conveniences in life.