The Rough Edge of Mexico

Even though I’ve been living in Mexico for a full year now, there are definitely things about this country that I cannot accept as normal.

Don’t get me wrong… there are more than enough positive things about Mexico to make visiting and relocating here a good idea.  The fact that many things cost about one quarter what they do in Canada is a big plus.  The food is richer and more satisfying, with fewer preservatives and fillers than the processed food typical in Canada.  The people are friendlier;  greeting people as you pass in the street is pretty normal here.  Expected even.  In Canada, if you say ‘good morning’ to a complete stranger on the street, there is a better than average chance they will look at you like you have two heads or something.  In bigger cities especially, people rush past each other on the sidewalk without even making eye contact.

But with all the positive things about Mexico, there are some negative things that I still have trouble with.  The list isn’t long, but these things are definitely a problem.  Many locals even acknowledge that these problems exist.

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Chapulines Challenge: Crispy, Crunchy Critters

What people like to eat as a snack food varies wildly according to regional preferences and personal taste.  What passes for good eats in some places in the world is considered quite repellant in others.   Often, whether or not something seems tasty to you depends on what kind of food you had where you grew up.  Comfort food means a lot of different things to different people.

In Korea, for example, dog is on the menu.  Koreans consider it to be a delicacy, and there are restaurants that specialize in serving it.  There are even canine farms where certain species of dogs are raised specifically for the food industry.  In North America, thinking about eating dog is more than just unpopular.  It is considered downright barbaric.  Who would ever think about eating man’s best friend, right?

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Food and Foibles- Mexican Style

With each passing week, I get more and more comfortable with living in Mexico.  I remember that when we first arrived, a drive across the city for a quick trip to the market was almost always a white-knuckle experience that left me exhausted and mentally distressed.

Besides the concerns with the hazardous road conditions, damaging wear and tear on my car and the fear of getting stopped by police who are attracted to the foreign license plate for a possible payday, there was just the general ‘newness’ of being in-country that made me feel anxious most of the time.

Now, almost six months into our stay, I just don’t feel like any of those things are as relevant anymore.  What’s weird is that nothing has really changed.  The road conditions aren’t any better, my car has squeaks, rattles and scratches it didn’t have before we left Canada, and although police are everywhere (with their lights permanently switched on) the risk of being involved in a traffic stop seems less likely.  As with most new experiences in life, the ‘newness’ wears off and you start focusing on more important things.

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Torrential Queretaro Rainfall Brings Relief From Heat

Nothing Takes the Heat Down Like a Good Heavy Queretaro Rainfall

Our first month in Queretaro, Mexico has been characterized by the one environmental feature we were hoping to avoid by coming to this part of Mexico: High temperatures.

I’ve never liked high temperatures.  (Fascinating side point: Moose can’t tolerate temperatures above 22° C without serious health implications. )

Let me explain what I mean by ‘high temperatures’ so that I’m not misleading you.  My favorite temperature to be walking or working outdoors is -10° C (14° Fahrenheit for our American friends.).  At that temperature, a good jacket and a toque is all you need to be comfortable.  In Calgary, when the temperature first starts to climb into the low teens (above freezing) in the spring, folks typically abandon their coats, because that is considered ‘t-shirt weather’.  Anytime the mercury climbs above 25° C, that is getting pretty hot.

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The Fuzzy Concept of “Tomorrow” in Mexico

In English, the word ‘tomorrow’ literally means ‘the next consecutive day’.  This meaning does not vary and is not subject to any conditions which might alter that definition. The concept of “mañana” in Spanish, by contrast, seems to be a highly subjective concept.

“Tomorrow” (“mañana” in Spanish) is an interesting word…

To be sure, I had long heard that the use of ‘tomorrow’ in Spanish-speaking countries did not always have a firm definition.  This had certainly been the case when I lived in Dominican Republic many years ago, and as such I probably should have been mentally prepared for Mexico.

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Canada to Mexico Epic Road Trip Complete

Mexican Moose is on the road at last!

After many months of planning, reflection, debate, confusion, tears, panic and resolve, our big, fat, epic, across North America relocation road trip has finally launched!

We will be driving over 4,200 km between Calgary, Alberta and Queretaro, Mexico over a seven day period, starting out on Thursday, May 3, 2018.  Watch this post to keep track of our progress on this amazing journey that will traverse the continental US from north to south!

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