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Bad Expat: Be Here Now, You Unappreciative Jerkoff

There is an unspoken maxim in the world of expatriates that if you don’t feel Mexico in your bones, blood, mind, spirit, fingernails and toes every single precious second you are some kind of a xenophobic asshole.

I will confess that sometimes this place leaves me cold. Oh well. I’ll wear my scarlet X. So I don’t find every aspect of life here to be a delight for the mind and senses. You know you don’t either. You know sometimes it smells like poo at the mall, and people burning garbage makes you go hmm.

I am challenging myself to be nicer: to be less uptight, critical, judgmental, narrow-minded, high maintainance, privileged, petulant, imperious and stubborn; to be more open, independent, of a pioneer spirit, can do, accepting, willing to be wrong and ready to learn. Suddenly I am kind of wondering when I became such a bitch. I have to make an action plan for being a decent human being, understanding, and kind? Seriously? I used to hug trees and color spectrum count to seven. As one of our foremost philosophers once said, “where is the love?”

I ask myself, Do I always rise to the occasion? Do I sometimes take a look around and think, “what fresh dumbassery is this?”; Have I learned to light the hot water heater for our showers? No, Yes, No, in that order. These are not my finer moments. And, it seems lately that they outnumber the times when I feel beautific and working for the good of all sentient beings, living closer to what’s best and making a positive impact on what’s bad. To tell the truth, I’ve been a little adolescent. Even now I am in my room, having, let’s face it, a bit of a mope. I only hope the urge to take hits from a purple bong and listen to Belly is not edging around a corner.

But what do I do? Shut up, suck it up, stop crying, get a grip, take a look around and become excited anew; smile, I keep urging. And you know what my inner teenager says? “Bite me, I’m bored”. But I am still in control. I take charge. I walk on the ocean, practice speaking Spanish, I eat the tacos I like and try to experience what a good life I have the best way I know how. Being an expat does not mean you have to be perfect, but being human means you should try to put your right foot in and shake it all about for as long as you are standing.

There Are 10 Responses So Far. »

  1. Personally,I would be bored to tears if I lived at the beach and I consider myself a person not easily bored. I don’t know how full time beach residents do it.
    I can’t stand the Mexico is perfect attitude of some ex-pats,”the if you don’t like it leave” group. There is a big difference between acknowledging that things aren’t done as well as they could be (for example, some day I would like the bank to get it’s act together so I can pay my fideicomiso), and thinking everything is wrong here.
    It’s like being in love, you think yourself into love and you can think yourself out of love. So you can chose to be happy here, and if you can’t make that choice to be happy, then figure out what needs to change, it could be that you aren’t a beach person, or an Ex-pat type of person. Or it could be that you just aren’t happy today, but tomorrow you will be.
    I think I may be blathering on here.
    regards,
    Theresa
    Theresa

  2. The best ex-pat is the honest one. There’s so much crap on the internet about how perfect Mexico is. It’s unfair to people who might consider moving here NOT to tell the truth.

    Don’t feel you need to put on a happy face just because you are going public. The real face is far more interesting.

  3. We see and saw around here, mostly loving it but sometimes we just want things familiar and NORMAL. We want a regular mall. We get sick of tipping the parking lot whistle guys. We want to go to the store and have Chips Ahoy instead of Triki Trakies. Swiss cheese. To answer the phone without thinking about it. That kind of thing.

    But the rest of the time we’re good and don’t look back. Seems minor but I hear you.

  4. There will always be times when you’d rather be someplace else, wherever you are. There’s no sin in that, and there’s nothing ungracious about it. It’s a moment, and then you get back to living.

    Your moment of zen, from the guy sitting in a Marriott in Georgia

  5. And just in case it helps a little…there are those of us who do live elsewhere and wish we were right where you are! You just gotta take the good with the bad, as we do all over the world…

  6. Well, at least you aren’t in CA, like some of us are at the moment! Be happy, be joyful, kiss the dogs, even Sadie!
    Love you.

  7. I can’t recall the last time I wished I was somewhere else. I’ve gotten pretty good at the “be here now” thing. We’re both quite happy here, even living in a house in process. Just yesterday we got a hot shower, and last week, a new toilet, which accepts paper. But we were almost equally happy the old way (excepting cold showers in the winter). I think the problems many experience comes from living too soft a life NOB, and so they don’t know how to adjust when things work (sometimes radically) different. Relax, let it all roll off like water from a duck, and be here now.

  8. I think we all have “Bad Mexico Days.” Some people just don’t cop to it. This was a great post.

  9. Here’s the skinny, I sit around my house in Florida in great anticipation for my next trip to Merida. I’m bored out of my skull with everything and everyone around me but I tolerate it because I know I will be back in Merida in a short while. So what happens when I get back to Merida? I walk into my house to find something broken, my cell phone is either dead or my minutes have expired so I can’t get a hold of anyone for repairs. It’s hot, it’s humid and I am being eaten alive by mosquitoes. I spend the week fixing things and then I get to go back to Florida where the whole scenario starts again. Now this may sound silly but I love Merida and hate leaving it but ,in saying that, I truly do not think I could live there full time. I’m too set in my ways, I’m too damned Americanized! Should I be ashamed or maybe fool myself into thinking that everything would be great if I committed to Mexico full time? No,no,no, I am much better off, and saner, to admit to the fact that things are better this way. Merida will remain my mistress forever……….

  10. Thank you for saying it! I really needed to hear that. I realized two days ago that I had been spending way too much energy trying to be nice; “some exaggerated version of what I think would be nice if I were actually a nice person.” I reached my boiling point over something quite unworthy of a reaction when a bizarre call of the wild erupted from my primitive American self and I understood with great clarity, “I am bitch hear me roar!” I seriously made plans to go out the next day and tell every single person I had been undeservedly nice to exactly what I thought about them…. (instead I chose to stay home in my ac bedroom all day and not even look out the window). I feel a little better now.

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