Monday, October 26, 2009

What will I miss?

A friend recently asked me what I miss from home. Now that the weather has cooled down a bit, there's not a lot that I miss. I miss the library and I miss our CSA. I miss wearing my Chacos (too hot here still -- maybe next month). I miss the peace and quiet and bug-and-critter-freeness of my own house. Besides those little things, I'm pretty satisfied with life here (now that I'm Dengue-free). It helps to know I won't be living here forever. If that were the case, I might throw a fit. One can only wipe up SO much gecko poop, you know?

I've actually been thinking more about what I'll miss when I leave here...even though it's eight months away. I plan ahead like that.

So here's my list of what I think I'm going to miss:
  1. The tamale man. Not the man himself as much as the tamales he sells at dinner time from a truck that he drives past my house. Super delicious, large tamales (beef, chicken, or veggie) for only 9 pesos each -- about 70 cents. Tamales have ALWAYS been my favorite Mexican food. We buy three veggie tamales, top them with salsa and call it dinner.
  2. Fresh fruit all year 'round. Especially pineapple. And bananas.
  3. Walking on the beach whenever I feel like it.
  4. Free time. Lots of it.
  5. Cheap, yummy food.
  6. My girls using a new Spanish word almost every day.
  7. The nice man who owns our favorite Mini Super. He's just very kind. That's an important trait in someone you see once, twice, sometimes three times a day! Especially when you often give him a 500 peso note when your total bill is only 23 pesos. Change is kind of a big deal around here. Merchants don't keep much of it around.
  8. Tomatoes. Ripe, local tomatoes.
  9. The peace and quiet of not having PBS, Nickelodeon, or Noggin. Of course, we have no ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CNN or anything else either which is sometimes a bummer.
  10. No hand or body lotion necessary. This is a big deal when you come from the high desert.
  11. Almost no lip balm necessary. I've worked myself down to once a day! Amazing!
  12. Cheap (yet highly skilled) car repair work.
  13. Limes in abundance. No lemons though, except at Costco. They stock 'em for the gringos.
  14. Having a housekeeper. She's only here once a week, but that one visit means I don't have to mop or thoroughly clean anything. Ever.
  15. My kids going to school with teachers who hug and kiss them and tell them how special they are. Every day.
  16. No toys to pick up. All we brought was the wooden train set (Scott plays with it more than anyone else), two Woodkins, a couple of dolls, and some books. Oh, and lots of colored pencils and markers. Yet, the kids are never bored.
  17. Nacho (our formerly-adventurous cat) never leaves the yard here. Oh...what a 180 that is from Colorado where he wanders the neighborhood.
  18. Watching Libbie run free on the beach with a smile, yes -- a smile, on her face.
  19. Never being cold.
  20. Not having to pull up my jeans every five minutes. Those low rise jeans just don't stay up, do they? I can't imagine that I'll ever wear jeans here.
  21. Wearing flip flops in the winter and not being laughed at by all my friends.
  22. Living close to the girls' grandparents. We'll all miss that. Such a privilege.
  23. Pineapple juice. We buy it in one liter boxes (looks like a giant juice box) for a buck a box. We go through three or four boxes a week. So tasty.
  24. Cheap beer. Okay, I won't miss that as much as Scott will. But I'll miss him not complaining about the price of a case of beer.
  25. Not making lunch for my kids every day. At the girls' school, each parent makes lunch once a month for their kid's whole class -- so I make lunch for Callie's class once a month and for Brynn's class once a month. The menu is set up in advance and you sign up for what you want to bring. It's all relatively healthy -- much healthier than what my kids would eat at home in the school cafeteria. The menus include bit more sugar than I would like; Mexicans like things sweet. I'll return home to at least six years of making lunches every day. Mildly dreading that.
  26. I was going to stop at 25, just for the roundness of it, but one more keeps nagging at me. I love the veterinary care here. It's affordable to take care of your pet here, even if you're taking your pet to a high quality, well-educated vet (there are more than a few vets here who are total posers so you gotta look around). Not that most Mexicans choose to take care of their animals, but we gringos can afford to pick up the slack for a few of the neglected animals and we can take care of our own animals without feeling the sting in our pocketbooks.

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