We’ve only been here since September, but we feel like we are home. I had no idea that it would be this easy to settle in and feel comfortable.
A few things to share:
- It’s wonderful to live in sandals! My feet have never been happier!
- I had worried a bit about how I would find enough reading material. I’m glad to say there is a used bookstore, several places to swap books and an English library. I have successfully ordered from Amate Books, a Mexican bookstore that had English language books, and am waiting for my first order from Amazon.
- We have met so many nice people! Our frustration with our Mexican acquaintances is that we’re not fluent enough to have a meaningful conversation. There’s a nice man across the street who sits outside with his dog all day who someday we hope to get to really talk with. Everyone in the neighborhood stops and talks with him as they go by, and he’s always smiling when we greet each other. There’s the lady who loves our dog Henry and runs out to pet him when we’re on our walks in the morning. There are lots of gringos, too, who are becoming friends poco y poco. The social atmosphere, the relaxed lifestyle, and the wonderful weather I think combine to make this place just about perfect.
- Everyone we’ve had here working on the house have been such talented workers. I am really impressed by the way they work – five and a half long days a week. They are proud of their work and are pleased at our appreciation of their talents. Here again we are frustrated by our remedial Spanish but they can tell even if we can’t always express ourselves how happy we are with their contribution to our home.
- I had thought there would be less variation in the weather than there is. But every day is a little bit different. When we first got here it was plenty hot and soggy. We learned from the locals to take a washcloth with us to mop ourselves and we didn’t worry about it if our shirts were a little (or a lot) wet. When we would come out of the air conditioned bedroom in the morning it was like being hit with the heat from an open oven door (but wet) but ten minutes later we had adjusted. Now it is cooler in the day, and at night we sleep with the windows open.
- I’d thought that there would be way more noise. We do have the odd barking dog here and there and the various singing gas trucks, but overall it is way quieter than I expected. We do hear the bells from the school down the street, and sometimes announcements or singing. There is something I haven’t tracked down yet, though – an irregular beeping like a freight lift at Home Depot. But single beeps.
- Driving is an activity here – you can’t drive and do anything else. Sometimes I can’t even have the radio on! People are polite but not patient. You need to be able to flow into traffic and predict what people will do by watching. You need to be prepared for the unexpected – like someone swooping around you on the right to turn left – and also for scooters and motorcycles that are everywhere. I drive around just fine, but try not to go anywhere that I’ll have to parallel park. I am no good at it when there is a lineup of 10 cars behind me, crowding me and honking.
- Many systems are way better here than they were in the US. Our internet (DSL) is great, fast and way more reliable than our DSL in the US. They collect the garbage 3 times a week, and no huge garbage cans and hassles. Just put your bag or bags at the curb and they’ll pick them up. There is only minimal recycling here – and you have to take it to the place…so I just separate all our cans and newspaper and put them out with the trash separately. They are always gone before the trash is picked up, so I know they are helping some enterprising person. All our bills are delivered in person and just slid inside our front gate. When the mailman has a delivery for you he stands outside and blows his whistle. There are cleaning people that cover all areas of the city, and they sweep the streets every day.
- The food situation is improving for me. We’re making fruit smoothies almost every day. We’ve found excellent bread and tortillas. With workers here all day we have been eating both breakfast and lunch at home and going out for dinner. There are a number of place with excellent salads and last night, amazingly, I had a soy burger.
- I need to buy more clothes. Shorts and loose blouses. Most days it is just too warm for anything close fitted, like a tee shirt. I do wear skirts sometimes and once in a while in the evening, pants. I’ve heard of a talented seamstress and I might have her reproduce some of my favorites someday soon.
So, as you can tell we are settling in and happy. Mazatlan is a wonderful place and we tell each other every day how glad we are to be here.