Turning Mexican in Chapala

It’s Christmas Eve here today in Chapala. And it’s quiet. Bonnie is off visiting family; our neighbors are away as well.

Even the locals seem to be busying themselves with Christmas preparations. The malecon was as deserted as I’ve ever seen it on a Monday.

Got me pondering.

Yesterday I went out to breakfast to La Casa Cacau, a wonderful vegan restaurant that specializes in cocoa beverages, snacks, and desserts as well as bountiful vegan dishes.

It’s run by a lovely couple, Greg and Nora.

Greg and I were chatting, as we are wont to do, about anything and everything. Greg asked me what I’d observed about ex-pats’ insistence on replicating their lives in the States or Canada here at Lakeside.

Touchy subject.

And I thought back, interestingly enough, to when I accepted a corporate transfer from New Jersey to a new business unit in Jacksonville, Florida. This was 1990, well before the Jaguars put Jacksonville on the map. It was pretty much a backwater then, a city you drove through on your way to Miami or Orlando. It’s only claim to fame was that it is, oddly enough, the geographically largest city in the U.S.

There was a prejudice then (and I suspect it’s still pretty much alive and well) among Northerners that Southerners were all hillbillies and rubes, dull and dim-witted. And most annoyingly, given to lecturing Southerners about the proper way to do anything.

As more and more Northerners appeared in Jacksonville, along with the grumping and grousing that Southerners didn’t know what they were doing,  some enterprising wag started selling a bumper sticker around town that perfectly befit the situation;

“We don’t care how you do it up North”

I’m been thinking about reviving this tradition here in Chapala, but, alas, bumper stickers are not widely used here in Mexico.

And I’m doing my best to learn from and appreciate the lovely people here in Chapala who welcome us gringos so openly and warmly.

We’ll adapt to life here, thank you.


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