The first year after moving to Mexico, a girlfriend asked if I could stay at her place in El Centro, the historic district of Mazatlán, for a few days and take care of her two standard poodles, a black and a white, dislodging me from my comfort zone of its Marina area where I live.
After a little morning yoga, I wanted to test the speakers I'd brought in my overnight case so I plugged them in and tuned in to my favorite station on I Heart Radio, 93.3 in Denver and listened as D.J.s promoted an upcoming concert at Red Rocks Amphitheater there.
Then I settled in on my laptop for most of the day and evening, working in a quick Skype conversation with a good friend also in Denver, a dip in the small pool outside and a little rough housing with Andy and Jackson.
Fighting some guilt (I really should be studying my Spanish, I thought), I surrendered to an episode of Jon Stewart on their television before rising to click off the receiver.
As I rose from the couch, I felt unsteady, a moment of panic. “Wow,” I thought,“Where am I?”
It happens now and then, that unexpected jolt that I am living in a foreign country. It always hits smack dab in the middle of what could be any single person's typical and altogether gratifying evening at home.
As an expat in Mexico, sometimes a normal evening is all you need. On other nights, you might need to walk a few blocks to a chaotic Mexican market for a huge and gorgeous roast chicken, hacked in six rust-colored pieces right in front of you by a chef delighted to do it for you, and then maybe walk across the street for an horchata (a milky drink made with ground almonds). You can get anything "para llevar, por favor" ("to go, please") and they wrap it all up with tender loving care...and a great deal of imagination.
Or in any Mexican town, you may stroll down to one of the local plazuelas and practice a little Spanish or buy some beautiful jewelry or leather bracelet from one of the artisans who gather the plazuelas all over Mexico. Or perhaps you will duck into some dusky little cantina for live music that seems to be everywhere in Mexico. On another night, or if you're in a larger Mexican city like Mazatlán, you can buy invite a friend can to see a fine play, opera or ballet for anywhere from $5 to $15 (dollars).
Whether your evening is always an adventure or sometimes a cozy night at home with the television or talking to friends back home, with technology you get to choose. That's why now is the time to consider life in Mexico.
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Hola, I'm a partner with Ventanas Mexico, which helps people explore living full or part time in Mexico. I am the author of the "Interactive Guide to Learning Spanish Free Online," which links you to the best free Spanish resources on the web. More recently, I've also just released "If Only I Had a Place," a guide for the aspiring expat on renting longer-term in Mexico."