Welcome to Mexico!
By Victoria Schmidt
As I sit in my hotel room in Minnesota, I miss my Mexico so very much. Gone are the sweet brown faces that greet me each morning. I walk outside my door here, and there are no vecinos to wave to, to greet, to stop and converse with. Or just to wave at as I drive by saying “adios!”
The noise here is unfamiliar to me. No gas trucks, water trucks, or fresh fruit vendors. The only noise is just a constant flow of traffic, not my Chapala. Here, people walk by us as if we don’t exist. There is an air quality alert today, which will keep my husband indoors all day.
The news is displayed on televisions in almost every building we enter. I do not like the news here. There is no “good” news here. Luckily, my email inbox and my face book feed deliver news of Mexico and news from my Mexican friends who miss me.
One good experience, on the plane taking us to Minnesota, the young man in front of us was helpful and gregarious. After talking a bit, we find out that his dad and my husband went to school together, and that he, like us, was going north to attend our son’s wedding.
I will see family and friends who still shake their heads and cannot understand why we moved to Mexico. And I shake my head and wonder why they stay in the United States.
I read the papers here, the headline tells of the premier hospital in Washington D.C. that has sewage draining down its walls. The hospital serves most of our Congressional representatives and some of the poorest people in Washington D.C. No Mexican hospital I’ve been in has such problems.
The United States became foreign to me before my husband and I moved to Mexico. It was as if the country I grew up in and loved was leaving me bit by bit. I didn’t recognize my own country anymore. And that is when Mexico began calling our name.
Now that our home is in Mexico, our life is full and happy. Yesterday our son ran me around to pick up some things we needed for our stay. I believe I had heart failure at 2:38 p.m. when I was at the checkout for the grocery store. Sticker shock doesn’t even begin to describe it. And the produce aisle was the sorriest excuse for produce I’d ever seen. Give me Mexico where the Mercado is just up the street with beautiful fresh fruits and vegetables. Give me Mexico, where I can buy fresh eggs at the tienda up the street. Where the vendor knows us by name and always returns my husband’s cane, or wallet, keys, or food that he paid for but left at the store. Give me Mexico where my neighbors look after us and pray for us and make sure that no one parks in our space because they know we cannot walk far.
I feel angry when I find out the USA has done nothing to help Mexico through the earthquake disaster. I read that over 2,000 schools had to be closed. There is devastation everywhere. Mexico sent fire fighters to Canada to help them. Mexico sent help to Houston. While the government of the USA sends no condolences, no response to Mexico. I don’t understand what has happened to the USA.
Yes, there are beautiful and generous people who live in the USA. They try to educate our government, but I will feel anxious and out-of-place until we return home to 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.