Saturday, June 22, 2013

¡Sola, Sola!

So last night I dropped my husband off at the Central Camionera. He went to visit his family in Hidalgo del Parral, Chihuahua. It's about 8 hours South of Juarez. He's gone a couple times each year since we moved to Mexico but for some reason I feel a little different this time.

On a completely different subject (yes it's the second paragraph and I'm already shifting gears) I was driving back to the house and there were Transitos everywhere. After some years in Mexico I seriously feel as though I have been traumatized by Transito because you could probably feed and clothe a small Haitian village on the mordidas I've paid alone. I was really distracted trying to drive as I hate driving down Tecnologico (or Super Mario Kart Rainbow Road as I like to call it) and I think I got all the way to the Tecate Ball (as Cortney calls likes to call it) before I started to cry.

It just hit me how much I really do love my husband. I know it sounds silly because for most people the simple fact that I moved to Juarez makes it pretty fucking clear that I'm in love, but I swear, sometimes I just forget. I don't know how, I don't know why, but I do. I think in any marriage you can get caught up in everyday annoyances or be worried about bills or the kids or random household issues, and simply forget why you said, "I do" in the first place. And let me tell you, I am easily annoyed. I want to be that laid-back, go-with-the-flow, type of person, but the truth is, I'm not.

I'm uptight and controlling and emotional and for some odd reason, Ray puts up with all of that. That's something I forget at times. Anyone who knows us well knows that we bicker and banter back and forth constantly; that's just how we are. I think that's why so it's easy for me to forget how much I love and appreciate him. I'm really sad that he's going to be gone for a week but I'm happy that he's getting the chance to see his family. Right when he gets back I will be going to Missouri to visit my family, including a lot of people from Illinois that I haven't seen in years and years.

It's really frustrating that we can't vacation together though. Ray can't go with me to the US and I obviously dedicate all of my vacation time to see my son and my family. Sam's my priority when it comes to "free time." Yet, it's equally irritating that we've been living in Mexico for about 3 years now and he's gone back to Parral several times and I never have the vacation time to join him. Before we moved here I honestly thought I'd be able to go all the time but it just can't happen. It sucks. I want to be a part of those visits and get to meet the rest of his family and see where he grew up but time and money just doesn't allow it. It's really frustrating.

It's definitely going to be a crazy week without my Gordito. I'm going to try to concentrate on sticking to my plan of exercise and eating healthfully... mejorando mi ser and what not. I'm also going to try my hardest not to get Jack Sparrow drunk like last weekend, but I can't make any promises. After all, it is me we're talking about here.

I really hope you are all doing well. I'm sorry I haven't been writing as much as usual but I am just really caught up with my new lifestyle. I work out every morning at 4 am and then 3 or 4 times a week I work out again in the afternoon after work so my time has just really been consumed with that. I will definitely try to blog more often and keep in touch. I have a lot of family that follows my blog and I have met some other amazing readers recently so I definitely want to keep you all in the loop. I've definitely had some amazing experiences in Juarez in the last couple of months that I'd like to blog about, so stay tuned!

Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Shit I Love About Mexico

1. "De verde, de verde, de rojo, de rojo, de dulce, de dulce, calientitos tamales!" How did I ever fall asleep without hearing this sort of thing? I love the sound of Mexico. When I first arrived, having come from the quiet suburban town of Gilbert, Arizona, I hated all the noise. It drove me insane and kept me up at all hours of the night, eventually leading to a questionable Benadryl addiction. Over the years, I've grown to love it though, including the barking dogs and late night soccer games. Last night I fell asleep to the sweet sounds of children chanting, "Piedra, papel, tijeras, un, dos, tres! Piedra, papel, tijeras, un, dos, tres!"

2. Street food. I probably don't need to elaborate but for anyone that didn't already know... Food Network can take their food truck wars and shove 'em up their ass. Mexico is where it's at. Hamburguesas, hot dogs, elotes, burritos, tacos, gorditas, quesadillas, paletas, you name it, Mexico's got it. Well, except pizza. They're still working on that.

3. Mexicans are the most warm and accepting people I have ever met. They have welcomed me into their country with open arms, which is nothing like the greeting that I am accustomed to Americans giving Mexicans and certainly not like the greeting my husband was given in the US. I don't get dirty looks, or judgemental remarks in passing. No one laughs at me or rolls their eyes when I mispronounce a word in Spanish or have to make hand gestures to explain myself. No one seems to judge my interracial relationship or make assumptions about me as a person because of where I came from.  All in all, I have found Mexico and it's people and culture to be extremely inviting.

4. I love the easy access to movies. There may not be a Redbox at every gas station and drug store in the country but you can sure as hell get a movie on every street corner, if you know what I mean. #winkwink Not only do we have our pick of all the popular American blockbusters, we can choose movies from Spain or Italy, Japan or Venezuela, the film world is our oyster! And if you do decide to go to the theater? Oh. My. God. Cinepolis, which is the more popular choice, is the best movie theater I have ever been to in my life. Huge, plush, reclining seats, all of the yummy movie theater treats that you can get in the US (with an unlimited supply of jalapenos of course) and if you are in one of their VIP theaters, you can even order an adult beverage in the middle of the show, from your very own waiter. It's pretty bad ass.

5. Health care for the everyday Joe, err Juan, is extremely accessible. I cannot say it's of the best quality, but if my husband gets the flu, or sprains his ankle, or needs to get a cavity filled, it's all covered at no cost to us, including prescription medications. That is a huge relief considering the cost of medical care in the US is absolutely atrocious. Even though I am not covered myself, I'm still able to take advantage of it to some extent due to the availability of low priced medications everywhere you turn. The biggest benefit for me has been being able to get the allergy shots that I could never afford to get in the US. Nowadays I'm rarely the wheezy, red-eyed girl I was back in the States.

6. Tecate and tequila. These are as much of a staple as beans and tortillas are in many Mexican households. You can use them to mourn the loss of a loved one, marinate your meat or celebrate a bauptismo. Yup, I may be #thenewme, but I'm still me!

7. Northern Mexico is home to some of the most delicious cheeses in the world and I love me some cheese, but then again, who doesn't? (Read Oral Sex Or Cheese: The Truth Revealed for some hilarious stats.) Queso Menonita is a local favorite although I personally prefer Asadero. Regardless, you can find whatever you fancy on almost every street corner, like almost everything in Mexico, if you haven't noticed by now. Add it in your burrito, on top of your tacos or in a simple quesadilla; there is nothing quite as exquisite as queso Mexicana and I certainly never found anything comparable in the dairy section of a US grocer. This ain't no Kraft if you catch my drift.

8. The park! I absolutely love to hang out at the park here and celebrate... anything. Birthdays, Easter, Fourth of July, whatever. It doesn't matter what the occasion is, fun is to be had. The parks are always full on the weekends and on a major holiday? Fugetaboutit. Plan to be shoulder to shoulder with everyone and their mother... and her primo and her primo's primos too. I probably enjoy it so much because I grew up going on frequent camping trips and for Juarenses, it seems that a day at Chamizal is about as close as we're going to get. And I'll take it! There's nothing quite like biting into a big chunk of carne asada, fresh off the grill, and drinking beer secretly from a soda can as you laze around all day in the sun with your friends.

9. Soccer and its followers. Now let's get this straight, I don't really like soccer, but I love what it represents for Mexico. I enjoy watching sporting events for the most part, but a soccer game (match?) would fall somewhere at the bottom... right under golf. But the camaraderie that this country shares over their beloved deporte is undeniably endearing. I love that when I run around doing errands on a Sunday morning, I pass by no less than 9 soccer fields and every single one is being played on. People of all ages are running back and forth, leaving nothing but clouds of dust behind them, as it's rare to see fields with grass around these parts. The crowds of amigos and padres and tios and primos drink their Coca-colas and eat their Taquis as they cheer wildly from the sidelines. Then whenever Chivas or Cruz Azul is playing a televised game, you can actually hear your neighbors cheering and swearing and screaming bloody murder from inside of their homes. My husband rarely makes me watch a game so it's always somewhat alarming when I suddenly hear a booming "GOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLAAAASSSSOOOOOO!!!!!!!" and hoots and hollers coming from all of our neighbor's houses simultaneously. Although it's not really my thing, there is something so charming and comforting to me about the soccer obsession here in Mexico.

10. My absolute favorite thing about Mexico is that from what I have experienced, Mexicans don't live to work, they work to live. This is a refreshing difference from the American perspective and is something that really caused me to sit back and take a look at my own life and priorities. I think there is a lot to be said for adapting to that theory in one way or another. Since we moved here I've slowly begun to put a little less focus on my 9 to 5 and more focus on my quality of life and time with my family. I think that has drastically changed my outlook on life in general and is something that a lot of us can really benefit from in more ways than one.