I return to Ajijic on the 5th of Sept. I am looking forward to being back there, although I am going to miss my family. I sometimes scroll through my photos on the blog just to remind myself of my life back in Mexico. I have a short memory. I need constant reminders. Sometimes when I am in an environment, I get to thinking that there is no other way to live.
Last night my daughter-in-law, Christine, took me to a Whole Foods grocery store near her house. It was in the Tigard area. What a place! There was an abundance of everything; fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, sea foods, canned goods, bakery products, beauty products, on and on. The store was so large that just walking around it exhausted me. But the biggest drain was the prices. Everything was expensive. The entire shopping center, to me, is like walking into the future. So much wealth! I wonder how the average minimum wage working person could possibly afford to shop there. I was overwhelmed by it all. It is such a different life style than what I have in Mexico. I like Mexico better. I can cope with it. I can't cope here. In Mexico I can live a comfortable life on my income and even save a little bit every month. Here I am in poverty. If it weren't for my family, I would never be able to live in Portland.
Do I want to live in Portland? No! I want to live in Mexico. I feel very disconnected from people here. In Mexico when I walk down those cobblestone streets, I say hi to everyone I meet. I know many of them too. I walk into town by way of the lake shore. I take local buses for longer trips. I rarely get into a car. In Portland, everything has to be accessed by car and that means freeways. They make me nervous. One false move and you are dead. How about all those people in other cars? We will never meet except, God forbid, by an accident.
Sometimes I go to restaurants here with my family. I don't know the waiters. They don't sit and talk with me. I don't know their life stories. I haven't seen their families and they know nothing about me. They don't care to know anything about me except how much of a tip I will leave for them. I don't know the owners and none of them get up and do line dancing when the local band plays one of those hokey songs. There are no bands to play music anyway. I love line dancing, in spite of the lyrics. I love to see the smiling faces of my friends as they go through the motions. We are all equal and having fun.
Why do people go to coffee shops and bookstores here and then ignore each other? It looks like they are there to have some socialization. But they would prefer to talk to people on their cell phones rather than risk making face to face contact with someone new. Maybe I am just too old for this new society. I like the simple life. I miss Mexico!
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