That Time I Moved My Family to Mexico

Today is my first full day of living in Mexico. While making breakfast (cereal, so maybe I should say “gathering” breakfast), a guy rode a lawnmower down the street. Then, he came back again. He eventually did four or five swipes down the street.

Is he mowing the street? I wonder.

The dust was flying around, so I’m guessing he was cleaning the street. With a lawnmower.  Welcome to Mexico! Welcome to new things that will eventually make sense!

First views of Mexico.

It was a challenging couple of weeks, filled with confusion and constant metaphorical storms.  I figured I’d sleep when we arrived.

as the rooster crows

It is hotter here than the climate I came from. Even though we are having warmer temperatures in Ohio than usual, it cools down really fast at night. Here in Queretaro area, it also cools down at night, but our upstairs still feels pretty hot. So, we’ve slept with the sliding door to our balcony open (side note: I finally live in a place with a balcony!)

I woke up frequently because my new bed is really uncomfortable. This wasn’t helped by the rooster who started crowing in the middle of the night. I came from a house in the country in Ohio to live in a neighborhood in a fairly big city. This rooster lives closer to me here than any were back in Ohio. It makes me laugh.

Picture of our entry way, with styrofoam and cardboard all over.

This happened within 2 hours of arriving at our house. There are tiny foam pieces everywhere. On the left hand side of the picture, is our washer, which belongs on the third floor. The third floor is where the washing machine and maid’s room are. There are two roof balconies of sorts. One is for hanging the laundry and the other can be for dogs. The owner kept his dogs up there sometimes.

Day 2

There are two playgrounds in our neighborhood. My kids currently prefer the “far” one. The close one  is around 150 feet from our house. I told them we could go to the one they like. But first, I needed to tell our guards that I was expecting a visitor. Since my phone isn’t set up yet, I didn’t know if they’d let our visitor in. On the way, I ran into an expat that I’d met briefly on my first visit to Mexico.

I enlisted her help. She took care of the explanations. Oddly enough, the guards remembered exactly where I lived. I don’t know if we stand out, being light haired Americans, or if it was due to the shenanigans from the day before.

Shenanigan 1: we have a garage door opener that opens our neighborhood gates. On our first solo drive, we pressed the wrong button. To their credit, I didn’t see the guards even crack a smile. I’d have laughed my ass off. In fact, I did! Silly Americans!

A staircase with a tree behind it, inside my house in Mexico.

There is a tree inside my house. I love it so much.

Things are different

I knew they would be. It’s part of the experience. To see just how different life is somewhere else. And also how similar. In Mexico, you tip almost everyone. I paid the plumber and another guy $18 to carry the washing machine to the third floor and hook it up. My relocation person suggested I tip them 50 pesos, since carrying it upstairs isn’t really their job.

The washing machine is so important because we are running out of clean clothing! So, I happily paid and tipped them.

I run my first load of laundry and I realize I don’t have clothespins for hanging wet items on our rooftop clothesline (it’s so glorious). Also, we didn’t buy a dryer. I hang them anyway and hope the wind doesn’t send our skivvies flying through our rather nice neighborhood.

More on tipping: at the stores, there are parking lot attendants who stop traffic while you back out and take care of your carts. You are supposed to tip around 5 pesos every time.

A close up of a small tree, with a barely visible bird nest.

A bird in her nest. You can see her tail. She’s nested in a potted tree that is right next to our house.

Driving is scary

I haven’t attempted driving yet and I only know how to get to Walmart (where I got scammed on day 4, but that’s a story for another day).

Anyway, it’s fun and scary, sometimes all at once. I am most definitely out of my comfort zone. I sought this, so I can grow as a person. It’s a little uncomfortable.

We ran into a longtime expat and I asked him about the guy riding the lawnmower. It turns out that he really was mowing the street, because grass sometimes grows in the cracks.

Have you ever moved or spend a significant amount of time outside your home country?

6 thoughts on “That Time I Moved My Family to Mexico

  1. Edith & Juan says:

    I’m excited for you and your stay in Mexico. I was born there but didn’t grow up there. However, I’ve visited a lot and love the country so much. Living there temporarily sounds like something I’d love to do. I hope your stay there is a pleasure and that it teaches you a lot! 🙂

  2. Amy says:

    What an exciting adventure! We love Mexico, but we stick to visiting the resorts of the Mayan Riviera. And we’ve never attempted to rent a car, because I have seen how they drive! haha! Wishing you the best of luck on your move and looking forward to hearing more about it!

    • Natalie says:

      Driving here is an experience. I’ve started driving out of necessity, but it isn’t my favorite thing. Every time, I narrowly avoid having an accident 😳 Many roads don’t have lane dividers painted on, either. I’m sticking to the easy driving and letting my husband drive the rest of the time. He claims to enjoy it.

      Thanks for commenting!

    • Natalie says:

      I doubt that it’s crazier here than China or Thailand or other congested cities, but it is definitely a lot crazier than the US. I’ll be interested to see if it’s any better in resort areas.

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