Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Morning Thoughts-- Experiencing Different Realities

I am finding it difficult to keep up my blog because it is about Mexico daily living and I am not in Mexico at the moment. I am still in Portland. I will be here until the 27th of August. My life is so different up here that my daily routines in Ajijic are quickly fading out of my mind. Funny how that works. I think, like me, most people have a hard time keeping more than one reality at a time in their heads.

Life is so all encompassing. We are bombarded with input from all sides, especially in a city. I believe that is why it is difficult for people to imagine a different kind of life than the one they are living. I have a friend here who is going through a hard time. She could have a much better life in Ajijic, with more friends and more spending money on the same income. But no matter how hard I try to convince her, she can't imagine it.  She is stuck in the thought that she must continue to be lonely, stressed out financially and unhappy.  No other reality seems possible to her. 

I could show her a thousand photos of Ajijic but that wouldn't make an impact on her. Nothing can beat actually experiencing a reality with all our senses. I get many e mails from people, expressing their fears of taking the plunge of moving to Ajijic. They ask me so many questions. I could spend all my time answering questions but my answers wouldn't make as much impact as ten minutes of the people actually being in Ajijic. Feeling the warm air and smelling the wonderful fragrances of the flowers and meeting the friendly people.  The freedom. That is how I see it. Freedom. The worries and stresses of modern living just slip away.  Life becomes much simpler.

Take away the long car rides that are essential to city living, life gets simple very quickly. Take away the crowds and people can risk being friendlier to strangers. We usually don't feel as threatened in smaller groups.   Take away the high prices and that stress is gone.

I could go on and on but I think I am preaching to the choir.

I fantasize about taking a vacation to a foreign country this winter (other than Mexico) but I am having the same problem of not being able to imagine it clearly enough to make it happen. Years ago, I spent four months in Thailand. At that time I didn't have any back, ankle or knee problems.

Getting older makes traveling more difficult. But mostly the problem is having the courage to take the risk. Fear of the unknown seems to get stronger as we age. Maybe it is because the longer we live, the more bad experiences we have had and the more vulnerable we feel. We are always vulnerable but younger people haven't been hurt much and so they feel more invincible. 

I will be here another month. I am enjoying what Portland has to offer. It is a beautiful city.  Especially in the summer. But I miss Ajijic. I also miss Chico. I hear from my friend, Lois, that Chico is very happy there. He has become the boss of all the other dogs. Yesterday, he was on her couch and dragged a second pillow from the couch and put it on top of his pillow and got on them both to sleep. That is Chico all right. He loves soft places. 

I wonder if there are some soft places waiting for me in Thailand......

Friday, July 26, 2013

Kelly Point State Park

Yesterday evening I went with my family to Kelly Point State Park. The dogs had a great time in the water. It was wonderful to be out in nature with the people and animals I love. I will think of this trip when I am back in Mexico and feeling homesick.

For Pam

Hi Pam, You wrote me a comment but somehow when I tried to answer it, the site said it no longer exists. Now I know it exists because I see it in my e mail but I can't get it up on my blog. You wrote that you have been reading my blog since the beginning. I certainly don't want to slight you by not answering your comment. Thank you for your support of my blog. I really appreciate it when I hear that someone has been reading my blog all this time. It has been a long haul through many ups and downs..... Thank you. Patricia

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Morning Thoughts---A matter of TIME

I just spent three days writing an article for Accesslakechapala.com. Titled, An Overview of the Lakeside Area. I was using old photos. It usually takes me three hours to write one but because I had trashed all my photos from my iphoto library, I had to get them off of an online storage that I use, Picasa. But the things weren't transferring and I had to struggle with them. At least I didn't lose all my old photos. Seeing them made me realize, once again, what a great life I have in Mexico.  I will really enjoy it when I get back. Maybe these many weeks away are good. They have given me a new appreciation for my life in Ajijic. I go back there on August 27th.

The other day a woman from a BBC radio talk program called me. She wanted to interview me. The program was about people around the world. She asked if I had had a baby in a foreign country. I said no. She asked if I knew anyone who had a baby in a foreign country. I assume she meant an expat. I said no and that I live in a retirement community.  She must have gotten my name from my blog but she hadn't bothered to look at my profile. If she had, she wouldn't have called me.

Many times people contact me, asking dozens of questions. Questions they could have found the answers to if they had just taken a little bit of time and read more of my blog.  It is as if they don't want to do any research or thinking for themselves. They just want someone to do it for them. Time. That may be the problem. People don't think they have enough of it to do things properly. If they can use someone else's time instead of their own, all the better. This makes me irritated.

I like to help people but not if it is obvious that they don't want to help themselves. The other day someone wrote, demanding that I find her a place to stay in November. Now I am not even in Mexico at the moment. She would have known that if she had read any of my recent posts. I am NOT A REAL ESTATE AGENT. I don't make any money from this blog.

I don't have a car in Mexico or a telephone. I don't even buy the weekly newspaper. How could I possibly run around town looking for places for people? I did put those casitas on my blog and so that same woman wrote back, asking me lots of questions about them. I don't have the answers. All I know about them is what I put on the blog. I was really irritated at that point.

I know some bloggers tell people that they have to read their ENTIRE BLOG POSTS before they will answer ANY questions. I won't do that because my blog is too long. Even I wouldn't go back and read it. But, how about five or six posts? Or my profile? My time is valuable too.......

Monday, July 22, 2013

Morning Thoughts- A trip to the mall

Yesterday I spent part of the afternoon at one of the malls in Portland. I don't know the name of it but it doesn't matter much which one. They are all very similar. The MALL experience. I felt like a country mouse in the city. I was overwhelmed by all the stimulation.

There are malls in Guadalajara but I don't go to them either. My life is so simple that the mall makes me feel like a time traveler, transported fifty years into the future. It was an assault on all my senses. Loud music everywhere. Lots of smells...... Different textures to feel......Bright lights.... Photos of beautiful young men and women models airbrushed to perfection.....escalators and glassed in elevators......A food court with so many choices, I just wanted to walk away hungry.   I couldn't make even the simplest decision. My mind was overcrowded with all the different food signs. 

  I felt my sense of self slipping away. Who was I in the midst of all that glamour? Did I need to quickly buy something in order to feel whole again? To find the part of me that was lost when I opened those glass double doors? Did my soul decide at that point to go back to the car and wait?

The beauty shop had a huge banner in front saying, Ask not what you can do for your eyelashes but what your eyelashes can do for you.  I wondered how many of those young people passing by even knew the reference on that banner. (Was Kennedy shot for this future?) And I also wondered if our thoughts and concerns about our country had diminished to thoughts and concerns about our eyelashes.

The prices were also amazing. Mind-boggling.  Twenty one dollars for a simple eyebrow pencil! Fifteen dollars for a small bar of soap!!!   But I don't need  to go into the prices. Everyone who has ever been at a mall knows about them and possibly has gotten sucked into spending too much money. Those little plastic credit cards make spending easy and painless. Until the bill comes.....

Do other people feel as overwhelmed by modern life as I am feeling?  Or am I just old and expendable? That is how I felt there. Old and expendable. Maybe we are all expendable in a consumer society. Our individual unique gifts are not valued. Only our money is valued and how we spend it....

WHAT ARE YOUR EYELASHES DOING FOR YOU??? If your answer is nothing, then you had better go out to the mall right now and buy something to make them start working for you..... Every part of our bodies has to work, hard, in order to keep up with all that spending........

Sunday, July 21, 2013

I was just sent this. It looks great.

Rental Apartments at Lake Chapala
Where I now live in Riberas on Lake Chapala there are several furnished apts. available. They are between $275 and $350 elec. and gas incl. The pool and interior gardens are lovely. This complex of 8 units in located nextdoor to the Oasis Cloud internet cafe on Calle San Luis a quiet residential treelined street. All units face the interior behind high walls with locked gates and feels very secure mostly because someone is always here. No dogs or children. A washer/dryer is on premises and it's one block off the carretera with bus stops going to Ajijic or Chapala. Walking distance to stores, restaurants, cinemas, restaurants and Walmart. Inside parking. Contact Jan at 331 150 4722.

Jazz Concert part 2

Cathedral Park Jazz Concert

An upside down good time
High School Jazz Band

Saturday Flea Market

Delicious homemade salsas
This man was selling clothes to pay for his trip back to Africa as a missionary
This is a cane with a sword inside of it.
Vintage fake fur coat
Man with his two dogs that press the emergency button when he has a seizure