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Monday, July 28, 2008

Wonderland II

A new blogger friend from the UK asked:

"How did you end up living in Mexico, if that's not to much of a personal
question? And..... its so beautiful there, so what makes all the Mexicians leave and run the border to get into America?"

So, Marmite Toasty, I had always believed that I'd leave my hometown and teach somewhere else. My plan was to retire with a pension in Michigan and teach another 10 years in Florida or Arizona, then retire for good. Having two teacher pensions and a Social Security check would have made retirmement very comfortable. That all changed when I was involved in two car crashes. My neck injuries made life difficult. As soon as I was eligible for my Michigan teachers' pension, I retired. Unfortunately, I needed to spend some of my retirement savings to buy enough service time to retire with a "30 year" pension. I only taught for 25 years.

Living overseas was a dream that my partner and I shared. When my older brother actually made his decision to move to Ajijic, Mexico we thought more about that dream. After my life started swirling in the toilet bowl, it became easier to leave Michigan and move to where my meager pension would stretch enough to take care of both of us. We were struggling. Now, we watch our centavos and love every minute we are here doing so.

The very poor are desperate to live better lives in Mexico. One local teenager recently killed herself after telling friends she would rather die than be so poor and have to beg for help. We have quite a few folks that live hand to mouth in town. Those folks beg or sell junk to try and live. Some can't even afford to live here and take a bus from Guadalajara where the cost of living is less. After seeing how some of the "better off" folks live, I have a better understanding of Mexico and why some go North with some fragments of hope.

Surprisingly, we have met numerous Mexicans that had lived in the United States. They moved, didn't like the American lifestyle, and moved back to Mexico. Life is simpler here. Values are different. Time is different. And, here in the Lake Chapala region, there is a unique culture and lifestyle because of all the Brits, Canadians, Europeans, Americans, and "wealthy" Mexicans.

There are many reasons why folks retire and live in this community. We all have a story to tell. I'll share mine freely. And, with joy.

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1 comment:

MarmiteToasty said...

Fank you for calling me friend :)..

And a huge fanks for the explanation.... maybe thats where I need to retired lol cos I will only have a pitance of a pension, but I will have me house to sell and I crave for a much slower simple life, as long as I can keep me chickens :)..

I to can see to be honest with so many being so poor as to why they would want to find a better life, ya see, we only have this one stab at it.... Im realising that now as I have almost raised me lads, and Im now gagging for a life that maybe includes 'me' in it, dont that sound so very selfish....

Ive lived within 10 miles of where I type all me life... I crave to travel more and see the world, but my mission first was to raise me lads the very best I could and that meant me on the back burner, but that was/is ok....

I do worry about what will become of me in the future, and thats only since all the nonsense with me knee etc, and I certainly need a new challenge in life and a change of scenery.... but you see, Im all me lads have, they have no grandparents, father, uncles or aunties they only have me and I only have them.... so I have to grow them first and shove them out into the world...... on saying that, wherever I end up they will probably follow LOL...... gawd help me..

Your life sounds idealic and peaceful and calm.....

Blimey, sorry, Im waffling away here......

My computer blew up this morning, and Ive lost all me photos and special stuff from the last 6 years, I do have this brand new computer that was bought for me last year that I hadnt internet sorted, so we do have computer access, but Im hoping that the computer shop can dig out all me memories off me other computer so I can put them on here....

sorry, waffling again LOL

x