Welcome to Mexico!
By Victoria Schmidt
“It only leaks when it rains.”
Mexico in rainy season; the mountains are a lush green, flowers are blooming, bugs are flying, and the rain has been fairly constant this year. Everyone says “Es bueno para el lago.” (It is good for the lake.)
Having lived in Mexico for quite a while now, I can honestly say I don’t believe any house can be completely leak proof. Every house we’ve lived in, and almost every building I enter has some problem with leaking.
After a bad rainstorm—called “tormentas” by the locals, rain leaked through our windows around our courtyard. We ended up with towels all around on the floor to soak up water. As a dutiful renter, I sent our landlords an email. They are great! You probably couldn’t ask for better landlords. But the email response to me the next day was “It only leaks when it rains.” I think they were having a bad day!
In an active rainy season, it rains every day, usually in the evening, but not always. When a big storm starts, we usually shut the windows, and stuff things under the doors, as we live at the bottom of a large hill. Sometimes the water volume coming down the mountain has covered the hubcaps of our car, and also leaks into the garage. My husband has put an elaborate water diversion concoction in our garage to prevent the water from leaking into the house.
Recently during a bad storm, he was sweeping water out of the garage as fast as possible. He accidently dropped his squeegee, and had to run to chase it down because the water current was carrying it away! The same storm also brought down trees in our back yard. A simple call to our handyman, and it was all cleaned up, cut up, and carried away within an hour. I remember while living in the USA waiting weeks to have damaged trees removed, and paying a fortune for that.
Living here has taught me to be prepared for rainy season. DVD’s for when the satellite can’t receive its signal due to rain, lanterns for when the electricity goes out, and an attitude of appreciation when it does rain and relieves the higher temperatures of the day. Between morning and evening, the temperature can vary up to 20 degrees. We have learned to dress in layers during this time of year. Light sweaters or jackets, slacks versus shorts. By mid-day the jackets and sweaters are gone and the shorts are out.
The one complaint I have about rainy season is the puddles. Those evil puddles hide the depth of the potholes in the road. Water and debris often fill the streets, and when walking on the sidewalk, I carry an umbrella to put to the side of me as the cars drive by creating a spray of water. Oh yes, and shoes… I suggest wearing washable shoes. I remember attending an event at LCS and there was water up to my ankle as I crossed the road. I was happy that I’d been wearing flip-flops!
Living in Mexico has taught me many things. Patience is the greatest of these lessons. I no longer have those nasty USA habits of tapping my feet when I wait in line, or blowing a car horn, or demanding the check is at the restaurant table before I finish my last bite. The pace of life here is much slower. And to me, it’s a world where I can now shrug my shoulders and say, “It only leaks when it rains.”
For more information about Lake Chapala visit: www.chapala.com
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