Sunday, June 19, 2016

moving to mexico -- staying in touch

If you move to Mexico, you should cut your ties with your former home country.

You will hear that piece of advice -- or a variant -- from some people who have moved here. But you will not hear it from Mexpatriate.

I have spent my life building ties -- at least, of the personal type. And I do not readily relinquish them.

My traveling days began when I joined the Air Force. Before then, I had traveled within the borders of The States -- with a couple of forays across the border to British Columbia (Victoria, to be more precise). A jet setter I was not.

The Air Force changed all of that by introducing me to three additional continents -- and giving me my first taste of Mexico in the early 1970s. I made a life of staying places briefly and then moving on. But I always met new people.

In the Air Force, I started a tradition I maintain to this day. I send birthday and anniversary greetings to people I consider friends -- and whose addresses I have managed to keep updated. (In this digital era, street addresses are quickly becoming quaint.)

The list has accreted in layers: family; friends from grade school, high school, and university; people I met while in the Air Force, law school, law practice, various churches, politics, cruises, and travel stops.

Well, you get the picture. Once you are in the Steve web, you are there -- unless you join the unknown street address crowd.

Or die. And that list has grown far too long recently.

You have heard me extol the ability to find almost anything you need here in Mexico. Doing without is seldom a required option.

Except for greeting cards. When I send cards, I like them to have a personal feel. As if I had just plucked each card from the hand of an oracular artisan.

My mother recommended a shortcut. She buys greeting cards from a company called (I think) Paper Magic. The cards have met my mailing needs for years.

Our mail service here has inexplicably slowed down recently. Three years ago, mail would make its way from Melaque to Oregon in about 10 days to two weeks. That has changed. It now takes two months on the average.

I thought all of that was irrelevant, however, when I reached into my greeting card box and found it as empty as Mrs. Clinton's email server. No cards. No greetings. Game over.

There simply is no place around here to buy the type of cards I like. Or so I thought until my friend Roxane reminded me our mutual friend Louise makes hand-made cards. Right here in Barra de Navidad.

I stopped by her studio and purchased 30 of her best pieces of work. They are perfect. Individual. Artsy. Personal. With the feel of a well-crafted scrapbook. Just the type of work to keep my network oiled with good feelings.

Maybe some people relish the idea of cutting their ties when moving to Mexico. I am not one of them. I have spent nearly seven decades building this personal support network, and the simple act of moving to Mexico is not going to cause me to drop it as if it were a Woolworth purchase.

Especially, now that I have a great source to keep the good times rolling.

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