All about Mexico

The weather  here in Mexico is beginning to warm up and is becoming more humid. I live in Nuevo Vallarta on the Pacific side of Mexico, my daughter is staying in Bucerias twenty minutes away and the home that we are building in Mezcales is ten minutes away.

I have 5 Golden Retrievers in Mezcales who are my security guards, in theory at least. My first job everyday is to feed them and make sure they have clean fresh water. They are always happy to see me with their wagging tails. I try and keep some kind of order but I have some ways to go to doggy eutopia with a pack as well disciplined as Ceasar Milan’s mutts. I do dream and aspire to this though on a daily basis.

I have two 3 month old puppies, Lucha and Mingo. If my concentration flags and I am foolish enough to leave the store room open they dive in and gorge themselves on puppy food. I am quick to move them out and scold them for being such bad puppies.

Today I am well organized and all goes smoothly my panting breathless pups leap around in eagre anticipation of their food and when I tell them to sit they wait obediently and expectantly for the inevitable bowl of food.

The dogs are cared for and now I can think of breakfast for mydaughter and I. Bucerias is ten minutes away and I take off across the dusty bumpy unpaved back streets of Mezcales. I have a Toyota Forerunner which is just right for roads like this.

My daughter is waiting at Cafe Ole on Lazero Cardenas in Bucerias Centro. Our preferred venue for breakfasting -Ixta is closed on Mondays so off we go to Farmar five minutes away on the north side of the Highway.

We eat a hearty breakfast for 200 pesos including tip and it will keep us fuelled up for the rest of the day.

Humberto calls and I need to return to the Hotel with black shorts and strings for his racquet as he has broken a string. As today is the last day of February it is my last opportunity to pay my water bill until the end of the year. I stop on my way back at the tiny office on the South side of Mezcales and prepay until the end of the year. I get a 10% discount and the lady enters me in a draw for a washer dryer  and I pay 700 pesos for the next  10 months worth of water.

My daughter decides she wants a haircut and Humberto negotiates a deal at the salon attached to the Marival Hotel where he works as a pro.

Blanca is a warm, friendly Mexican lady with unnatural blonde hair. She is pleasant and chatty and does a great job. My daughter looks fantastic and walks out delighted.

We go back to Casa Marival which is the accommodation provided by the hotel and watch soccer. Mexican forward Chicharito has just scored two goals for Man United against Wigan.  What an irony a wonderfully talented Mexican playing for the greatest English soccer club.

It’s time to drop my daughter off in Bucerias. We discuss her accommodation which costs 1900 pesos a month but there is a stench coming from the bathroom and the smell kept her awake the night before. I encourage her to complain to the maintenance man but the last time they did some work they were 40 minutes late and Sophie didn’t appreciate their lack of timeliness.

Back to Mezcales the dogs are happy to see me and are playing ball and generally in high spirits, even more so when Humberto arrives.

It’s a lovely warm sunny afternoon and I get my chores done quickly. I am ready to leave. Outside waiting for me is Roman a neighbour’s teenage kid. He is looking for work but has a very bad reputation in the village and with the police. We would like to help but don’t think he can be trusted as he hangs out with a bad crowd. Juanita our friendly street vendor in the centre of Mezcales advices Humberto against hiring him. It is probably the right advice but I wonder if anyone will ever give this kid a break and what he would do with it if he got it.

I go home via Walmart to get milk so that I can make a cheese sauce for the cauliflower I bought from the farmer who drives by selling his produce every Monday. I also bought fresh strawberries, mango and lemon, all for 70 pesos.

In Mexico you can live and eat very well for much less than in Canada, the US or Europe.

I attended the Writers’ Conference in Puerto Vallarta over the weekend and listened to a talk about blogging by Susie Albin-Najera and have decided to start my own blog. I want it to give people a flavour of what it is like to live here.

I love Mexico, although there are trials to face but overall it is great. Just to be outside in the sunshine in February is a treat especially compared to Calgary where the temperature today is -22 ugh!

There is almost never a dull moment here and when there are I find them quite welcome.



About Charlotte Ortega

I am a family physician and writer.I am an active member of the Puerto Vallarta Writers Group and I am coordinating this years International Writers Conference to be held in March in association with Los Mangos Library.Winters are spent in Mexico to escape the cold and the summers in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I am British born but have not lived in the U.K. since 1997. My blog is intended to inform would be travellers and those who view Mexico as a preferred retirement destination on every aspect of living in Mexico, the good and the other...My husband Humberto is Mexican and is a font of knowlege on the diverse cultural and social nuances which exist in this vibrant and colourful country.
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