I am suffering from sticker shock on my resuscitated work life.
When I moved to Mexico last year, I gave away all of my suits, dress shirts, dress shoes, and assorted paraphernalia to the Salvation Army.
After all, I was not going to need them any more. Was I?
Wool suits in the tropics would be laughably uncomfortable in my small fishing village by the sea. Not to mention inappropriate. As Belzig said in Raiders of the Lost Ark: "You Americans. Always overdressing for the wrong occasion."
I was tempted to keep the white linen suit I purchased in Greece in 1974. What could be more tropical than showing up in the local fan-cooled watering hole dressed as Somerset Maugham?
Unfortunately, the suit was tailored for a young man who had not yet gained Sidney Greenstreet proportions. So, off it went to the Salvation Army closet.
My current wardrobe consists of khaki pants and polo shirts. Not the costume of choice for a corporate desk lawyer -- unless he is links-bound.
I have not purchased any clothes in Mexico. But I have haunted the lanes of our movable market that shows up in Melaque every Wednesday. It has built certain expectations about the cost of clothing.
Now, I will admit that I have not seen any wool slacks or tailored silk shirts amongst the Melaque merchants. But I was not prepared for the prices that I encountered in my little shopping excursion on Wednesday.
For a pair of dress shoes and two pairs of slacks, I paid the equivalent of two weeks rent in Mexico. Adding four dress shirts, shot the total past rent for a full month.
And that will be enough for the six months I am here.
I am continually asked why I chose Mexico as my retirement home. In the last month, I have encountered the two primary reasons I moved south: (1) general cost of living and (2) medical costs.
Based on my experiences in the past two weeks, I will really appreciate returning home -- to Mexico.