Sunday, March 15, 2009

New roots old trees

It's funny how and who winds up in Mexico. When I was a kid, I remember watching old black and white Westerns where the bad guys would be chased by the guys in white hats, with the crux of the issue was that they would wind up "South of the Border".

Then for years, I never had any desire to visit Mexico, growing up in The City, we had our Mexican neighborhoods and all I remember is the Ranchero Music and a couple of restaurants that smelled funny.

My parents never exposed us to Mexican food, in fact it wasn't until when I was about 25 that I ever had a taco or a plate that had refried beans.

Spicy, way too spicy was all I heard from everyone......

My first real taste was on my first trip to Mexico. I was attending a convention in Denver, and had to fly to meet my group in Mazatlan. Had some mandatory Mexican food and it didn't taste like the stuff I had before........

March, it was snowing in Denver, sunny and hot in Mazatlan. Guess what clothes I had?

We stayed at the Playa Mazatlan which stands there today. Now it is dwarfed by several tall high rises and a lot more touristy trinket shops.

Back them the road ended several meters after the hotel. Now it goes to the strip that boasts many and multiple properties all filled sometimes with tourists.

Now fast forward 30 years or so and I have new roots. For some reason I feel at home in the south land, and not in the north land.

A friend of mine just built a home in San Miguel.
A beautiful 3 story house with a great roof bar, views of the cathedral and surrounding hill tops.
He feels the same way about his home. We both were in the "phone business" and both feel that our roots have been transplanted. He has not moved down yet, and has a problem each time he has to leave San Miguel.

For me I know it is the simpler life, devoid of the minutia that has consumed every inch of survival up north.

Give me a topic and I can give you an example.

Thankfully Mexico is about 25 to 50 years behind on a lot of stuff.

Gives me time to ponder for awhile.


ac said...

Good Morning Ken,
I think many of us Gringos shared your early experiences in some ways, and the very pleasant suprise when reality intruded into our actual experience of Mexico. [Yes there are bad things about the place, but that's for a different post.]
All we got were the lies Hollywood [et al] told us. [the internet has changed the avaiability of facts about just everything, thank the Gods] Americans were never encourged to learn about our southern neighbor, let alone to visit there. The stereotypes are still out there and were/are a daunting obstacle for some. Food's too spicy, gov't is corrupt, [like our gov't isn't a little opaque] you'll wind up in Mexican jail, banditos in huge sombreros, festooned with bandoliers, lurking behind cacti, just waitng. yadda yadda yadda. Oops can't forget the burros.
I think that those of us who visit with an open mind quickly realize how wrong the picture we were given is.
Yes there is change going on. Change is the essential quality of the universe. But perhaps it's for the better [better for whom one might ask.]
I guess time will tell.
You are so lucky [or perhaps it's early karmic payback for a good life, quien sabe?] to have found a place for new roots. Perhaps that's what draws some of us back to the Repbulic every year as visitors, that feeling that we too could build a new life there.
Your posts are as always, interesting and illuminating.
thanks for sharing.
Post on cuz!

ken kushnir said...

Thanks for the input, I agree with you that it is unfortunate about what we heard about Mexico in the past, and actually in the present now. I won't be on the bandwagon to change that too much since it may bring a whole bunch of gringos down here!
At least the knowledgeable open minded ones are here now!

ac said...

too true