Welcome to Mexico!
By Victoria Schmidt
I’m planning a trip to the USA and dreading every moment of it. Oh sure, there are family members I look forward to seeing, and a special occasion my husband is really looking forward to. But I am not looking forward to the whole process of leaving here and going there.
There are practical issues: Who will watch the animals while we are gone? Who will cover our volunteer responsibilities while we are gone? Plane reservations. How to get nine days of clothes for two people into one bag under 50# to avoid paying additional baggage fees? (This question definitely should be on an IQ test.)
Oh, you used to be able to check one bag for free, but not anymore. Thank goodness we are going now, before we have to pay to bring aboard our carry-on bags. Then there are all the documents we have to carry, and the exact name matching on the plane reservation, two different kinds of currency, and paying $5 for a bottle of water and a breath mint on board.
Of course, then there is my least favorite travel nemesis: TSA. I must remember to remove my nail clippers and nail file from my purse and prepare myself mentally for being either x-rayed, felt-up or stripped searched at the airports in the USA. Yup, I just look like a terrorist, don’t I? Darn, that reminds me about the card we have to find that says my husband has those implanted medical devises…where did I put that?
Transportation stateside is expensive. But the insurance costs almost as much as the car. And nope, we’re not going to discuss gas prices.
Once we go through customs, plane changes and actually arrive at our destination, we deal with unpredictable weather, and pray we packed the right clothes. But there in the good old USA we get to deal, well, with the USA culture. You remember it don’t you? Where everyone is compelled to schedule every moment of their waking day? Where cars fly by at incredible speeds, where the occupants are going to their important meetings, and appointments. Where people walk by you as if you are invisible. No one greets you in passing. No one will wish us “Good Morning” or “Good Afternoon” or “Good night” or “Go with God.”
Then there are the conflicting priorities of all the people who want us to spend time with them while we are there. My husband wants a nice relaxed time away. Right, and I want world peace. I’m trying to balance the needs of all these people, their schedules and our schedule. When you haven’t been stateside in four years, everyone expects a visit.
At least we’ve had offers of places to stay, so there won’t be hotel bills. On the other hand, there is that pesky little thing: our medical diets. Our wonderful medical doctor here in Mexico has both my husband and I on stringent diets for different medical conditions. And, well, between the two diets, there is hardly one food we have in common.
And when I was complaining about baggage fees, did I forget to mention that the large suitcase under 50# is actually two bags? One large piece with another smaller suitcase inside for all the stuff we “have” to bring back from the USA that we can’t get here. (Note to self: Remember extra money at airport on return trip for additional baggage fees…and pray for the green light.)
We came to Mexico, in part, to escape the rat race. I’m not looking forward to experiencing it again. It would be so much easier to stay home! Only the power of love for those that were left behind could drag me from my Mexico, and only the love of my Mexico will keep me safe until I return back to her.
For more information about Lake Chapala visit: www.chapala.com
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