Positive changes since moving to Guanajuato?
07-17-2019, 02:58 PM,
Positive changes since moving to Guanajuato?
Hola amigos y amigas,
I'm working on an essay for a magazine about how moving abroad can make it easier to change one's personal habits (especially the "bad" ones!). Looking for examples of positive changes people made after moving to Guanajuato (or any prior places you moved to). Could be in the area of personal health, finances, friendships, family relationships, attitudes, etc. Write me at [email protected] and I'll send you some questions. Gracias!
07-17-2019, 07:47 PM, (This post was last modified: 07-18-2019, 09:46 AM by DonJuane.)
RE: Positive changes since moving to Guanajuato?
- Learned to always watch where I step
- Learned that always removing shoes on home entry guarantees a much cleaner house
- Learned never take for granted a particular cheese, a cut of beef, or a product of any style
- Learned to live life more freely, first of all to laugh at others who are so demanding and see how Mexico is a vat of quicksand for them to fall into
- Learned to improve my own patience after years of laughing at others for their up-tight nature, only to realize that I could improve myself
- Learning how regulated traffic and stopping at stop signs when no one is anywhere is sight is a waste of time
- Learning in some cities like San Cristobal de las Casas that implemented a project to install traffic lights at every corner brought the city's traffic flow to a dead grid lock and how the "first nose in, continues into the intersection" seems to work at a city full of 4 way stops
- Realizing ways "manana" can work for me instead of against me
- Taking a few "manana's" myself
- Learning a Mexican park bench is often better than a seat at a high dollar theater performance in the US
- Learning the value of an ice cream cone made of real ice cream
- Learning that globalists exist in Mexico too and to avoid Michoacana Ice Cream, and other US invading restaurants and retailers, that nothing good comes from it
- Learning that as long as I'm home by dark, that 10 minute ride it used to take to get to the market which now takes all day may be worth the trouble in education value after all
- Learning performing arts costing equitable fees actually makes them open to more people and more frequent
- Learning to skip the Gringo hang-outs because I'm only going to grow and learn about the local way of life if I visit with Mexicans
- Learning that if someone is unhappy in the US, they generally get around to being unhappy anywhere they go
- Learning that an area that only delivers Spring is a great place despite that a majority in the US say "I can't live without seasons"
- Learning that noises can actually be ignored if you concentrate hard enough
- Learning that some things will never change, no mater how many focus groups are action committees are formed
- Learning that owning an fancy automobile is still pretty much a US thing, even though many of today's Mexicans are crossing over to the ranks of "chained to a new car payment"
- Learning that a Sunday in a park is sometimes more fun than you'd ever imagine
- Learning I was right about how the US culture destroys as it spreads, watching things like indigenous kids with iPhones tucked under blankets for sale, Walmarts popping up everywhere, lots of US businesses putting Mexican ones out of business every day, vanilla-fying the cities of Mexico at a monumental speed, just as they have bleached the uniqueness of the cities of the US
- Learning I was right that most people seek out their own types as a level of tribalism
- Learning that sticking my neck out to join in with the locals is much more rewarding than where many who aren't this lucky land, and that's nightly in a bar of like minded mostly sad individuals.
07-17-2019, 07:51 PM,
RE: Positive changes since moving to Guanajuato?
Regardless, with any publication effort, it's always best if you are sharing a lot to ask for a cut of the profit if you contribute to an article or novel's success. After all, we are Gringos :-)
07-18-2019, 09:16 AM, (This post was last modified: 07-18-2019, 09:40 AM by DonJuane.)
RE: Positive changes since moving to Guanajuato?
This topic was on my mind for most of the night for some reason and then it dawned on me again what many authors miss who write about Mexico. There’s only two ways you can claim an audience, one would be countless benefits of growth opportunities and the typical elusive utopia that may or may not exist here in the mind but nevertheless something many people are in a habit of portraying for friends, family or profit. The other way to gain readers is some gut-wrenching story of kidnapping or serious malice and misfortune. Since tourists and expats now outnumber cartels and kidnappers, a good bloody story is getting more difficult to produce which is a Catch 22 of sorts since the more tourists and “you’re going to love it here” articles produced, the harder it is for cartels, robbers and kidnappers to keep up.

And not to be snarky or anything but if you are going to use the name Guanajuato literally in this article, then please let me know what you have been offered to write the article and I’ll see if we can take up a collection to offer you an alternative for not writing it. (Seriously). Case in point - some friends I introduced to Mexico just left GTO earlier this month. I first took them under my wing about 5 years ago and toured them around on my “never to be offered before or again” and never to be famous “Highlights of the highlands” tour. They fell in love with Mexico and now travel on their own. I asked them when they got back to the US “how was Guanajuato” (family issues had me attending to elderly parent and I wasn’t able to connect this time). They said “almost to the point of not being fun because it was so crowded” and then went on to say “there were people walking everywhere, no park bench empty or not really room to walk” …. “in fact if Guanajuato hadn’t been so unique, due to all the people and that our room was already paid for we wouldn’t have stayed this time”. So wow, a lot of people’s sentiments as this crazy rash of tourism keeps swelling us to the brim. And July is supposed to be an “off month” where all the people who live here go looking for someplace cool for the summer.

So the issue which always confuses me is, if someone is enthralled with a place, loves it with all their heart then what causes this world-wide growing need to lament “look at this – it’s paradise - come on in here” when unless delusional they have to realize the more people they convince, the more people that will arrive to change things forever. Why is it the main trend now to plaster all over Instagram or Facebook, sharing every place on earth and why do so many have to go on and on and on talking and publishing glorified story after story of a particular spot without a clue of the repercussions only one day to wake up and realize they can’t get across town, there’s no place to relax, lines are everywhere, there’s an exhaustive aura with just moving about, too much traffic to drive anywhere, more petty crimes are occurring, things seem to be changing for the worse, new US owned restaurants are moving out the old unique ones, gentrification is leaving the Mexican people you loved selling out to Gringo condos, the old markets you loved can’t pay the rent, they move out of town and prices continue to rise to the unaffordable point. So why does everyone do this?

One has to look no further to see how a community can be wrecked forever than to witness the result of Conde Nast publishing several years in a row now “San Miguel de Allende – The best place in the world to live”. I won’t go into every gritty detail but let’s just say it is now a formal shell of itself. One has to only walk down the street and try to say hello to someone and see that people there could care less about you. For all practical purposes, at least when it comes to the Gringo community, today you will likely find more friendly people and interact more positively on the streets of NYC than you will in San Miguel. The people who have invaded have broken every aspect of that previous community spirit. In fact trying to study that breakdown is a great curiosity of mine. I periodically listen to Gringo conversations and it seems sometimes that an alien invasion has occurred where some magnetic force has brought in the absolute worst of the worst in the area of braggadocios and pretentiousness. Walking through the Saturday organic market, where mariachi music used to loom, today I hear the distant tune “Putin’ on the Ritz” where instead of top hats we see Panama hats and bonnets.

But all this seems a trend with anywhere that is unique these days. In case you haven’t noticed, tourism is at an all-time high. There have never been more people traveling than today. Consider the RV industry. The US has been turning out a half million new RVs every year for the past decade and there’s simply no where for them to go and no signs of them slowing down. Campgrounds are booked three years in advance and people circle like wagons looking for a place to park for the night. These people now are even spilling into Mexico. A couple of years ago a group in the US started what they call “Overland Expo” and while it started with around 10K attendees, I think this last year attracted over 100K. If you look at Facebook groups for Overlanding this or Overlanding that, you will find that International road travel is increasing exponentially. So Gringos are spreading out over the lands like ants leaving no stone unturned. In 2007 I drove across Central America where I did not see a single Gringo tourist. In 2018 I returned for a repeat and there were nothing but Gringo campers and basically the Hispanic tourist had “left the building”. All campgrounds are being drowned out by a gigantic new wave of northern explorers. Where the challenge in Mexico used to be to find another Gringo for a fix of nostalgia, today it seems to require a strategy to find a way to avoid them as we move about.

Still I guess the drive to bring more tourists here (or anywhere) is a sharing or a bunching thing. For some strange reason people seem to believe that bringing more people here similar to themselves will fill some of the holes they find created once they arrive and discover things are not quite the rose garden they expected. But it never works to start funneling more down, because the place ends up if not gentrified, changed forever and therefore it loses its appeal to where we wonder why we moved here in the first place. The distant sound of the Buffett song “Expatriated American” starts to queue up in my mind’s background as I close. (Do a search here on this and find another great reason you may not want to move here LOL.) Still if you drop into a Buffet concert you’ll find this aspect of setting the failings of the human spirit to tune always sends the Parrotheads out to the bathroom or for beer, so that serves as a good clue why no author ever wants to touch on the truth behind the foggy glory of the expatriate.
10-11-2019, 07:27 AM,
RE: Positive changes since moving to Guanajuato?
It is horrible here. Do Not come!
10-11-2019, 12:20 PM,
RE: Positive changes since moving to Guanajuato?
You are a keen observer Peddler. No one of a right mind would ever consider more than a brief visit. We arrived in 2011 and due to car trouble have not been able to leave. Every mechanic in town has had a crack at fixing the problem so we could get the hell away. So far, no luck. Que lastima.
10-11-2019, 12:50 PM,
RE: Positive changes since moving to Guanajuato?
On a serious note, there are many, many things in our lives that have changed during thirteen years of life in Mexico. Many beneficial, a few not so.
But in offering a single condition that has been both positive and broadly life altering it is the deep and daily differences in language, culture and rhythm to which unavoidably one must confront, absorb and respond.
This is admittedly a challenge, hours of challenge that either motivates one to welcome and celebrate the diversity and difference or be repelled by change and prefer a return to the comfortable. For us, the never ceasing challenge here contributes to a higher level of curiosity, learning and ultimately happiness. It doesn’t work for everyone, and for that I am equally saddened and relieved.

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