Everybody. Take a seat. Get away from the window.
The big storm is over.
What we are going to review today is the seventh factor for finding a place to live in Mexico: time to read; time to learn; time to rest.
Of course, that is nothing more than a list of what I saw as the moral center of retirement. I still do -- with a few modifications.
Anyone who has ever read anything about retirement knows that one of the first warnings is to keep your mind active. People who continue to learn, live longer and enjoy life more.
Reading is my favorite hobby. Not just any reading. If I am going to invest some of my time in reading, I want to learn something. And I have been doing that.
- I brought about six months worth of books with me. Biographies. Essays. Novels. In that last category, of course, is the Harry Turtledove series. I should just stop reading them. I have four to go. But, every 100 pages or so, I find an interesting point.
- When that treasure trove is empty, I will use the local book exchange -- or have friends and relatives bring books with them when they come to visit. (One of the down sides of living in Mexico is that books are simply not generally available.)
- Now that I have my Mailboxes, Etc. account, I have a regular flow of magazines. Some of those are simply comfort pieces: National Geographic. Some of them represent the detritus of past overseas ventures: The Economist.
The first category complements the second: when I read, I learn. But I also want to learn more about my new home. To do that, the key is going to be learning Spanish.
On Monday, I began a Spanish class with a local businessman, Ricky. We meet for an hour on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday morning. "We" are the teacher, a woman who has lived in Melaque for five years, and me. This is tutoring at its best.
Ricky's teaching method is similar to the Pimsleur method. He writes a series of Spanish sentences on the board with the English translation. Ricky then asks each of us to say the sentence in Spanish.
It is a method designed less to build vocabulary than to teach how the language works.
Unfortunately, I am already a full week behind my classmate. I did not realize the class began last week. And we missed a class yesterday because of the storm. I hope we can start up again today.
I am excited about this.
Once I get a basic grip on Spanish, I would like to take a course on Mexican history -- with an emphasis on the Revolution. A friend of mine is a professor t a large Southwestern University, and he is an expert in that topic.
And then there is rest. I have not done too well on that factor.
For the past two months, I have not slept well because of the heat. I go to bed late and get up early.
I should tack on a confession here. For as long as I can remember, I would stay up until midnight or 1, and get up around 5. So, the heat may be an excuse for sleep patterns that do not even qualify as dysfunctional.
I thought I was going to make up the lost sleep by indulging in that most civilized of customs: the siesta. To a degree I have. But various factors around the house have kept me from napping.
I will get into a nap rhythm here -- one way or another.
How does Melaque rate on those three factors?
Quite well. But so does almost every other area of Mexico.
And, if I want to take academic level courses, I need to be in some other area of the country.
But, I am simply repeating myself now. Melaque has one advantage that the highlands does not have: the ocean. The question is how much that weighs against the other factors.
Daily learning to survive, and facing mountains of difficulties -- and being repeatedly crushed.
Didn't I just get a lecture on that?