Welcome to Mexico!
By Victoria Schmidt
High season at Lakeside is definitely in high gear. Welcome back to those who don’t live here year-round. You may not realize it, but those of us who are full-time residents miss your impact on the area.
Impact? You bet. Small, but important things happen. Take food shopping, for example. Now that you are back, the shelves in the local stores are fully stocked. Did you know that there is more of a selection when it is high season? The stores can’t support all the variety of the imported goods during the low season, so they don’t stock a wide selection during the low season. Times have been really tough for Mexicans while you were away. It is as if the peso value has been cut in half. So, the wise store owners waits for more customers to return.
There is more entertainment now, as all the groups at Lakeside vie for your attention. There are plays, music, art shows, conferences, and of course, fundraisers. Those fundraisers are vital to all the charities that assist not only the Mexican people, but some, such as Cruz Roja, assist the ex-pat population as well. If you have come to Lakeside and are bored, you really have to ask yourself why.
During this past rainy season, you can see that the roads have taken a hit. We passed the pothole stage months ago. We now have craters. Some well-traveled streets have been repaired, while others provide a severe driving challenge. If the person in the vehicle in front of you is swerving, don’t think that they are driving under the influence, they are just trying to miss all the road damage. Some of the roads here are actually on their second or third repair cycle.
Traffic, of course, is up. Way up. I now allot more time to reach my destination. After all these years of living here, I still haven’t been able to completely eliminate that “on time” urge I grew up with in the States. I do find that fighting traffic increases anxiety; if you are the same way allow extra time!
Your return provides us with more shopping opportunities, and more entertainment. Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty to do to keep us busy year-round. But the high season brings us so many more choices.
You may have noticed that the lake has regained some of its size due to a beneficial rainy season. Of course, all the fertilizer in the run off has really done a number on the weeds in the lake. So much so that the municipality has secured a weed mower. That is certainly a welcome addition. Although, in some spots along the lake, there are full grown trees standing in the water. They will need a different solution for those. But the water is always needed and wanted.
Your favorite restaurant may have changed hands, relocated or closed. The low season can be a little too low for some restaurateurs to survive. But don’t fret, there are quite a few new restaurants to explore. Get out and indulge.
Finally there are the battles of the village squares. San Antonio is changing theirs, I don’t know how many different versions they will end up going through, I hope everyone likes the finished product. Meanwhile, in Chapala, vendors still haven’t been allowed back into the plaza and it remains pretty empty, while the sidewalk past the plaza is crowded with vendors. We miss the square as it was. Teeming with people, with much to see and enjoy.
So welcome back snowbirds make the most of Mexico!
Column: Welcome to Mexico
Victoria Schmidt came to Mexico with her husband, in 2007. She is a graduate of Moorhead State University, Minnesota and graduated Cum Laude with a BA degree in Radio, Television and Film. At 23 she was hired at multi-national media corporation, where she worked 10 years as their Director for Operations and Finance. She then ran her own business consulting company. She has won multiple community service awards. Writing has been a passion of Victoria’s since Junior High. She has been active in the writing and publishing business for over 40 years and has been a columnist for the Ojo del Lago since 2008.