Jun 18, 2006, 9:45 AM
Post #22 of 50
Our good friends live in the middle of Jocotepec. They speak little Spanish, but are learning rapidly. They are constantly grateful for their acceptance in the community. They have gone through a major fire and help from the neighbors, a major problem with electricity and help from the neighbors, going NoB, while the neighbors took care of home, garden, and animals, and a myriad of other experiences with help from the neighbors. They are regularly invited to Mexican weddings, etc. They are very happy in Mexico. They do visit Ajijic regularly, but seem to be doing so much less often as time goes on.
I'm interested in the idea of city vs village living. I have lived in California metropoli that even Bubba with his vast knowledge of rural CA has probably not heard of - Mountain Ranch, Jenny Lind, Twain Harte, Bonsall - and other small towns - San Andreas, Rocklin, Fallbrook, Oakdale, Mill Valley - as well as cities - Oakland, Berkeley, San Mateo, San Rafael, LA. Living in a village or small town is a special experience, just as is living in a large city. I've enjoyed both, but find that small town living is best for me. Living in Ajijic, no matter how much people complain about the crowding is still village living. I love walking through the streets and having people greet Roxy and Pepito by name - some even say hello to me. I love going to the various stores where they tolerate my Spanish, even if their English is much better. I love going to a restaurant and joining or being joined by friends or even strangers. I prefer restaurants like La Bodega and now La Tasca, which have both a Mexican and gringo clientele and places like Tio Domingo which has a simple Mexican ownership and management. I love the slow pace, but wouldn't want it any slower.
There are people we see almost daily on the streets. Some are friends, some casual acquaintances (Mexican and gringo), and some regularly ignore us. I enjoy the Hola, Buenas Dias-Tardes-Noches and smile exchanges with the Mexicans on the streets. We are also amazed when we go to a charity event or one of the three top restaurants and see people we never see anywhere else. I guess they are the ones who are fortified behind the guarded gates - a misnomer if there ever were one. I doubt that there are more than two guarded gates in the area that I can't drive through with a nice smile and a buenas dias.
Bubba is probably correct that one can't assimilate in a place like Ajijic, but one can get a feel for the culture - or not, if barricaded in the enclaves. I suspect he is right about those people also, they just want a Del Webb lifestyle without the humidity of South Carolina, the heat of Phoenix, or the problems of other NoB retirement communities. Obviously they aren't seeking to escape the conformity as most of those places are made up of uniform very non Mexican McCastles.
(This post was edited by dlyman6500 on Jun 18, 2006, 9:52 AM)