Sunday, August 03, 2008

not quite the end of all things

This was going to be my last entry about the Melaque trip. In my head I had composed a brilliant summing-up -- so brilliant that you, members of the jury, would have been so moved by my logic that you would have sat in stunned silence, eyes fixed on the middle distance, thinking: "What more can be said?"

That, of course, would have been a foolish plan. "No more saying" means no more blogging.

All great plans are merely fodder for God's laugh track that accompanies this situation comedy we call life. Here is the tope I hit.

When I returned from La Manzanilla last December, I drafted a list of factors (
what excites me -- for now) to consider in finding a place to start my adventure in Mexico. They were:
  • university nearby
  • archaeological sites within driving distance
  • central location for other archaeological sites
  • warm, sunny days; cool nights
  • new acquaintances -- some with a love of food
  • the challenge of a new language
  • time to read; time to learn; time to rest
  • daily learning to survive
  • facing mountains of difficulties -- and being repeatedly crushed
  • long walks with Professor Jiggs before breakfast and after sunset
  • living outside of a car
  • offering help to others
  • graciously accepting help from others

And here was where my grand idea crashed. I was going to write a post that would ask if each factor is still valid, and, if it was, grade each factor based on what I now know about Melaque.

You can see the problem. The post would not only violate Juan Calypso's well-founded no-post-over-1000-words rule, it would have been so long it probably would take readers a week to load it.

A big post also has a tendency to diffuse the comments. And I would like to get a good dialogue going on each of the factors.

That is the commendable reason. The less commendable is that I can milk another week of blog topics out of the summary. At least, they are topics everyone must face in one form or other when moving to Mexico.

Let's talk about why having a university nearby is (or is not) important. Next time.


Babs said...

Based on your criteria, Mexico City, Guadalajara, Patzcauro and Guanajuato fit........or San Miguel although the University of Leon only has a branch here....I LOVE not using my car unless I'm going out of town! It is one of my favorite be able to walk everywhere!

Steve Cotton said...

Babs -- I suspect that I was leaning toward the central highlands when I wrote the list. We will see which factors survive.

Calypso said...

This is what I mean - Babs spins out a list sans Xalapa which covers ALL those bases quite well.

Seriously it is in the Calypso families best interest to smile quietly at such a list knowing our secret is safe - on the other hand I like Steve and more importantly he deserves the truth.

I'm sure Babs comes by this oversight honestly but it had to be said ;-)

Billie said...

Since I'll be traveling while these blog entries are being generated, I won't be commenting until I get back. But I will say that being able to be connected via the internet/vonage phone,mail and getting new books, etc. has been important in our contentment here. I like living in a Mexican Colonia. I like that we don't have to get the car out except to leave town. I like that we have made dear friends. I like that I have found friends who like good food and like to cook like I do. So, what I'm saying I think you made a good measuring stick and I'll look forward to finding out how things measure up when we return.

Vanya said...

Have you been to Guanajuato? We went a couple of years ago and loved it. We even looked around a little for a place to rent but with a family it was hard to find something that wasnt set up for students. Given more time I might have found something good. The weather was great, the city was hopping with music, parades, theaters, great food, winding, european-like streets and alleys... You might like it. My husband and I are considering it for a longer term stay now that our kids are in college. :-) We'll be staying in Melaque for the nice weather this winter and then moving inland during the heat and humidity.

islagringo said...

Great idea to break it up. I hate long winded posts with too many topics. I never comment. What's the use? Can't wait to see how and why your criteria changed...or not!

Anonymous said...

Hi Steve, Enjoy reading your posts. Just read your criteria for living in Mexico and was wondering why you didn't mention health care. I don't think that medicare covers you in Mexico. Being a man in my 60's this would right up on the top of my criteria. I would be interested in hearing how you plan to handle health care in Mexico.
Good luck,

Steve Cotton said...

John -- I have no good reason for not having Xalapa on the list. And I do put the peppers to good use. We shall see.

Billie -- The factors you highlighted are the ones that really matter to me. I can see that some are going to become a bit elastic.

Vanya -- I have not been to Guanajuato. It was on my list, but I understand it is quickly turning into a mini-expat enclave. But a lot of things are on the table. Why not Guanajuato?

Wayne -- Feel fre to add factors that you think I may be missing. But dealing with them in pieces will be easier.

David -- I am glad you are enjoying the posts. Medical care is really not an issue for me. Michael Dickson puts it on the top of his list for moving to Mexico. Because costs are so much cheaper, I am not buying any insurance. I will pay as I go. (I may buy a high deductible policy -- $20,000 or so -- just in case I need to return to the States.) I never had medical insurance before my current employer. It is just not a high priority for me. I suppose for the same reason I do not buy food insurance.

Babs said...

Senor Calypso - Excuse me so much for missing Xalapa! It is a lovely city and has a beautiful campus and one of the most beautiful museums in the world! Truly.........Steve, there are only about 200 ex-pats in Guanajuato - however it is close to a 1000 ft higher then San Miguel hence it gets much colder, "they" say!

Calypso said...

Babs - Now you know I think you are VERY COOL - my comment was made tongue and cheek which is difficult to get across on the Internet ;-)