Tuesday, December 27, 2011

How things change

Here's a great way to start a new year: dropping in to Mérida  for a week. This is how I imagined it would be someday; making more-or-less impromptu plans, and slipping back into our casa like a pair of comfortable shoes. There will be a few minor errands to accomplish, a chance to shake off the chill of a West Coast winter for a few days, and time, I hope, to see a few friends and neighbors.

Meanwhile I'm trying to comprehend the many different traditions and celebrations in Mérida at this time of year: Ramas and posadas and Guadalupe day and the Three Kings. The calendars for Mexico and the Yucatan are packed with celebrations and holidays, and it seems that we land on different ones every time we arrive.  I wonder about practical things, like, will the buses run on their usual schedules? What offices and businesses will be open or closed between New Year's Day and January 6?

Here in Victoria, old traditions and rituals shift. This Christmas was different, and perhaps a glimpse of what's ahead. For the first time in 22 years, our son was not home with us, but instead, at the other end of a Skype connection in Tokyo, where it was already Boxing Day.

We're fascinated by his  descriptions of  the cultural differences there, too. Who knew the traditional Japanese Christmas dinner is KFC, and 7-Eleven is a four-story retail mecca that sells everything including furniture? La Princesa wants him to bring her back a robot.

We begin to see how our own routines and obligations will change, in the future that's not quite so distant anymore. Already it's more than two years since we put in a house offer and began our Mérida "initiative". Since then I've met, online and otherwise, so many people also tilting southwards, preparing and making the move to Mérida and other locations in Latin America. I identify with  Lee and Barb, writing about paring down possessions. Others like Sara and Ty uprooting their lives and plunging in to become full-time Mérida residents. Our Victoria friends Paul and Jody packing up their lives in Canada to go live and work in Honduras for CUSO.

Everything changes, and faster than we think.


  1. It will be nice to see you in Mérida. Happy New Year.

  2. Yes, we still want to live in a house with few possessions, but we'll always have room for a robot if your son brings home an extra!

  3. Happy New Year to you Marc. It is always great to be back in the Yucatan.

    Lee, I doubt that he'll return with a robot this time but will put you at the top of the request list. I do understand that Roomba floor-cleaning robots are ubiquitous there, and very much in keeping with your goal of a uncluttered environment.

  4. Hi, Debbie! Thanks for the mention in your post-Christmas post. It was a very different Christmas for us, too, what with my focus almost exclusively on The Big Move on Jan. 15. Maybe we'll see you down south! Not exactly neighbours, but more or less on the same coast....