I’ve written previously about life aboard (click here to read, or re-read). But now that we have been in Mexico for a little over a month, there has been another series of “aha moments”, those moments when you realize…..
Crap, we still have too much stuff. And some of it we bought specifically for this trip. We took our best guess at what clothes, food and other personal items we would need or not be able to find here, and were wrong in most cases. For example, you know those French-fried onions we all looked forward to on our Thanksgiving green beans? On a whim, I brought three cans with me. Haven’t used them in 20 years, but had to have them since we were going to Mexico. At least I didn’t fill our entire forward berth with toilet paper and paper towels like one boat we saw.
I still have a conference call every day (except Sunday)! Only now, it’s called the “cruisers’ net”, it happens at 8:30 over the VHF radio, and it goes through a series of announcements – emergency needs, weather report, asking if anybody is traveling north willing to take flat stamped mail, any land rides or crew positions needed or wanted, any new arrivals to the area or departures planned, “treasures of the bilge” (items for free, trade, or sale) and general announcements for social activities.
There is no laundromat at the marina. Or in the town. Instead, you either do laundry by hand, or haul it into town, leave it overnight, and pick it up the next day all clean, dried and folded. I tried the hand laundry thing a couple of times and soon realized “What was I thinkin’?”
A trip to Walmart is a really big deal. Like, get on the net and announce it if you are going, have a car and can take people big deal. Like, the buses have Walmart as a stop listed on their windshields big deal.
It’s hot and humid here, and now the only air-conditioning we have is … wait, we don’t have any air-conditioning.
You want to take a taxi because it’s fast, convenient, the drivers will wait for you and bring you back, and they have seat belts (usually). But, they don’t have air-conditioning either and the cost is fifteen times that of the bus. Seriously, I taxied to Mega Market because it was raining and I wanted to minimize my outside time, at a round-trip cost of $260 pesos ($16.25 US) plus tip (. The bus would have cost $16 pesos ($1 US). Compared to taxi costs in Tucson or Chicago, not a bad deal – but we are, after all, retirees now.
On the other hand, the bus system in Mexico is getting easier for us. There isn’t a schedule but they run constantly – we’ve never had to wait more than 5-10 minutes for a bus. And there are no designated bus stops (think the covered seated areas, or signs posted for bus stops in the U.S.). Here in the Banderas Bay region there are big buses, and small white vans called “combis” (so called because they are combination of truck and car). Owning a car is a real luxury in Mexico so most of the population walks or uses the bus system. The combis are great because when you see one headed to your destination, you just stick your hand out and they stop.
Your Facebook friends are posting pictures of their amazing and bountiful Christmas decorations. Yours consist of two stockings and a wooden Santa. It took longer to post the picture on Facebook than it did to decorate the boat.
You sort of miss working. Oh wait. Not really.
You no longer have a last name, you are now known by your boat name. We are “John and Elinore on Nakamal”, or just Nakamal. Sadly, some of our fellow cruisers think our boat name is Wack-a-Mole. Which is infinitely better than the story we heard of a boat named Night Wind, but was nicknamed “Fart in the Dark”.