Alex and I are into our fifth week living in Ajijic! We’re still in the Welcome-to-Mexico-boot-camp phase, adjusting our minds, hearts and musculature to a new terrain and culture, including our intestinal biomes.
Mexico definitely stretches you with its random chaos, noise, and challenge to adapt to its asymmetries. The other day we turned up an unfamiliar rocky road and I was suddenly transported into a peaceful dreamscape from the spaciousness of the lake at that vantage point. Then I thought, “Wow! I’m living in a Neptunian or M.C. Escher-like world” where you never know what you’re going to discover around the next corner or through the next doorway.
Along with the effort it takes to accomplish basic tasks—like communicating, shopping, driving on narrow pebbled streets, figuring out the money exchange—there are so many astounding moments!
For example, one evening when we were sitting on the balcony at sunset, Alex, with his keen musician’s ear, just listened, as he likes to hear how far he can discern sound. He said it was like an impressionist audio landscape with the din of nesting birds, squealing of children, laughing adults, barking dogs, clanging church bells, Mexicano music, and traffic sounds that created a stunningly beautiful cacophony.
The rainy season blessedly has begun, mainly raining at night, and so the landscape is greening up and appearing more semi-tropical than what appeared on our arrival in the hot, dry month of May. Plumeria, my favorite flowering tree is lush with fragrant, colorful blooms, and the mangos and avocados are ripening on all the neighborhood trees.
We are awestruck nearly daily by little synchronicities of “chance meetings” with remarkable souls who are becoming friends, special places that nourish our spirits and bellies, and new discoveries of being alive. Being able to walk nearly everywhere for our needs reinforces our reasons for being here. One could be busy every day or night of the week with social gatherings, events and dining out at countless delectable restaurants. We’re enjoying our bi-weekly Spanish class and becoming friends with the other eager gringo students.
If you are looking for an orderly, sanitized and homogenized world, Mexico ain’t it! Navigating the streets and systems of the quaint towns on Lake Chapala takes effort. The unpredictability of being alive and aging has its risks and challenges. However, if you want to live in a picturesque, affordable, walkable environment that offers community, diversity, moderate weather, color, art, whimsy, affordable healthcare, fabulous food, then check out life on the fun side of the wall!