1 Year in PV
Today is the anniversary of our arriving in PV with a truck and trailer.
This is a very truncated synopsis of the journey (get me drunk to go on in detail):
- It’s a long trip down from the States. But all meaningful trips can be long.
- Getting FM3’s (become semi-legal residents). It’s easy to do yourself.
- Make the house we bought a year before livable (by our lower-middle class, or, rather, outlaw class) standards. The process was smooth.
- Get to know the neighbors. Easy because they see everything you do and you see everything they do. People are human….
- Rebuild an “as-is” house. A fairly cheap and easy process.
- Start a business. Easy if you know how or who. (ask…)
- Watch the travelbook sunsets and experience the the hard rains of summer and dusty winters and ups and downs of a nation working to stabilize “services” we took for granted in the States. Not easy if you’re used to slave services, but a cake walk if you’re from the country.
- Learning to say and, and more importantly, to think Mañana.
- Suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.
- Learning (or beginning) to smile, like we’ve never smiled, at a sunrise or sunset. This isn’t hard to learn.
- Discovering that “home” is really where the heart is. And not there… (where you were taught it was).
- Learning that there are narrow-minded, very limited people here (mostly Americans) who try to cut you down when you speak up about the freedom involved in expatriation. No big deal. People like this are everywhere.
- Discovering that the myths about the dangers here are bullshit… propagated by idiots. Experience is a great teacher….
- Discovering that people here are like people everywhere. Friendly if you’re truly (not superficially, as in “pinche gringo”) friendly and suspicious or hostile if you’re not (just like everywhere).
I wouldn’t trade this for anything.
The move here is simple, much more simple than the “books” say. Applying for an FM3 visa is easy, you don’t need a “specialist” to make it happen here. The immigration people speak English (as one of them said to me when I asked, “Only until 1 o’clock.” (when the immigration office closes).
If you’re lower or middle class, life here is much, much better than in the States, but it’s a bit of work getting through the regulations. If you’re upper class, add another mucho onto that and you don’t have to worry about any stinking badges.
It’s worth it.
A friend who owns a coffee shop here said the other day that the thing about Mexico that makes it special is that there is freedom here. You don’t have the laws that they have up in the States to get in your way. People here understand that laws and “government” means ways to control (govern) the people. Laws don’t “protect” or “serve” the people: They enslave them. People in Mexico have known this forever. Hence mordidas. Hence revolution.
Most gringos are used to laws telling them what to do. In Mexico, people are used to laws telling them what NOT to do. The difference, culturally, is extreme. You have to understand this one basic principle if you are to fit in here.