My Parents Have Left

My parents were here, and blink, now they are gone. Back over 12 hours on their plane to Ireland. It’s been a week since they left and the day after they flew I felt quite sad and alone. I’d have no one to drink tea with and, as my dad says “talk shite with”.

What I like about being with my Mam and Dad is that we can comfortably sit together and just not speak. Just being with each other and not having the need to speak is a nice feeling. My husbands family second name should be ‘Talkers’ because they LOVE talking. For me, I’m not a lover of talking; it tires me out to be honest. I prefer listening instead. I suppose I miss that; just sitting outside in the sun together and we are all thinking in our heads about this and that. There’s no forced need to talk, which I feel sometimes happens to my husbands family. They are so used to talking that having any silence just feels awkward.

Both of them have good and bad things about them though.

So yeah, I did miss them a lot when they first went. You know all the times I visited from China, I was never as sad as this time they went. I think it was because In China I had my own independent life, my job, my apartment, my routine to go back to.

I give out about China a lot, especially the behaviour of the people, but I really really did enjoy my life there. There are times I think of going back.

Here I’ve been unhappy for the past few months. I don’t have my own independent life, I don’t have a job, I don’t have a place to live with just me and my husband, I have the most boring routine….

(Plus we still have our obsession with dogs and still haven’t got one because, well my in-laws wouldn’t be pleased)

Yeah, I could get a teaching job earning like €3 an hour. But take out my therapist every week which is €11, then my 2 hours Spanish classes which cost about €21 for 2 hours, then thats like 2 days of work just to pay for those!

Then we have to pay for where to live and all that other stuff. So really it’s just not worth looking for a job here. I know in Mexico city there are a lot more jobs, but to be honest we really don’t want to move there. I don’t particularly like the city; it’s enormous, the traffic is the worst I’ve ever seen (and I’ve lived in China) and the pollution can get really bad too.

traffic-mexico-city

Source: google

The picture above is literally every. single. day in Mexico. I’m not joking. It’s terrible and I really don’t like going to Mexico because every time we’ve went it’s like this.

So for the moment Mexico city is off the cards to live in!

Oh I’ve sort of went off topic quite a bit!! Anyway, back to my parents!

From what I gathered they liked pretty much everything about Mexico; the weather, the people, the small towns. Here are some things they didn’t like (mainly from my Dad)

The food: my dad is a traditional man…. so that means potatoes, meat and vegetables. That’s it. No spices, no condiments. Nothing. Just salt and pepper and a bit of gravy on the food. Anything exotic is a no no. HE DIDN’T EVEN LIKE MANGO!! What the hell? It’s like my favourite fruit! He said…. wait for it………

IT’S TOO SWEET!

(yeah, really)

Another thing he didn’t like were tacos. Yes I know this will be a shock to all Mexican people.

He pretty much didn’t like most Mexican food except pozole, which is a soup with corn and that. This is my favourite Mexican food.

Another thing he didn’t like were all the steps here in Cuernavaca. (it’s a hilly city) I understand this because it can get annoying, especially because they are uneven and the roads are full of holes. You need to pay attention to where you are walking.

He was shocked with the traffic too. From China I’ve gotten used to it so I don’t pay attention anymore, but coming from a small town of 40,000 people, it does take some getting used to.

My Mam on the other hand liked most foods, except tamales, which is a corn thing wrapped in the skin of something ( I really don’t have a clue what it is to be honest) I wasn’t too fussed on it at the beginning either but I grew to like it more. They are filled with different things and can be sweet or savory.

tamale

Tamale. Source: google

I think that was pretty much everything that Mam didn’t like. She told me she misses Mexican food and she’s back to the plain Irish food now. (Irish food is definitely not famous for it’s flavour)

But I’m glad that they visited Mexico. I’m disappointed they didn’t get to see China though. See my life and what we did there. I think it’s one thing that I’m going to be disappointed about forever. China holds a lot of good memories and experiences for me that unfortunately they will never get to see.

But anyway,

Aisling

Advertisements

Getting Used To The City

architecture clouds daylight houses

Photo by André Cook on Pexels.com

When I first came to Mexico and the city where I am staying with my in-laws, I didn’t really feel comfortable here. I wanted to try out Mexico city; there are lots of things to do, there are more foreigners, there are cheaper places to learn Spanish, and it will be easier to get a job. Although I really like Cuernavaca, where I am now…. I just thought that I would enjoy Mexico city more.

For the past few weeks now however, my attitude is changing! I think I’m settling in more and I’m getting more comfortable with my surroundings.

I know where I can buy medicines in the pharmacy, I know where the doctors and dentists are. I know which restaurants I can go to for cheap food. I know where I can get things photocopied, I know (pretty much) the layout of the centre. I know how to get to my therapist and to my spanish classes. I know more roads and where they lead to…

Although the city is much quieter than Mexico, I’m starting to like it more and more. Before I didn’t really want to find a job here, but now that I’m more familiar with the area, I feel that I actually could stay here if both of us found jobs. We’d have to rent somewhere if we plan on staying longer so that is something we would need to think about!

But at the moment, In the city I just don’t really see a job here for me. Maybe I’ll be teaching English (yet again), but there aren’t too many schools around here, except drastically overpriced schools for spanish learners.

But as always, everything isn’t concrete, so we’ll see what happens when the time comes!

Aisling

 

Loneliness

grass grey alone symmetrical

Photo by Serkan Göktay on Pexels.com

I’ve always been a person who favours my own company. I’m quite happy being by myself and I don’t feel the need to be surrounded by people.

But now that I’m in Mexico… I feel lonely.

I feel lonely because I’ve no friends.

I feel lonely when my family in Ireland don’t write back to me.

I feel lonely when people come over, converse in Spanish, and I don’t understand.

I feel lonely sitting at the table not being able to contribute to any conversation.

I feel lonely not being included.

I feel lonely because I can’t laugh at any jokes.

I feel lonely not being able to do things when I want to.

I’ve moved from China to Mexico and I feel as lonely as ever.

Aisling

I Can Legally Stay In Mexico!

close up of red white and green country flag

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Pexels.com

So, it’s official, I’m on my way to becoming Mexican! My application for becoming a temporary residence has been accepted, so that’s another thing from our list to check off! Apparently it would take 15-20 days for it to be processed but I unexpectedly received an email about 7 days later. I’m sure because I married a Mexican really speeded things up. We were offered a 1 year visa or a 2 year visa, but we opted for a 1 year one. We aren’t sure what are plans are so we thought it would be safer going for the 1 year one.

The whole thing was simple enough too. We just had to fill in some things, get photos taken, copies taken of documents, pay the fees, and of course the most important thing; the marriage cert.

Before I had a tourist visa  that would have meant I would have to leave next month. When we visited Ireland my husband (boyfriend at the time) could only stay 3 months, and then he wasn’t allowed back for another 6 months!! I however could happily stay in Mexico for 6 months with my tourist visa!

My new visa doesn’t let me work however, so to be able to get a job, I will either have to say that I’m working independently and they will sort out tax from that, or I will have to have a letter to work from a company. I have to have a job first before I can apply for a work permit. So it’s a little annoying but hopefully it won’t be a big problem for me.

Also the process of actually me becoming a Mexican citizen is also very easy (in comparison to Ireland!) It would be cool to say I’m Mexican, but I think I need to at least be able to speak Spanish!

So our list is slowly getting smaller, and now I can legally stay here in Mexico, for 1 year anyway!

Aisling

Speaking Spanish & Speaking Chinese

aerial photography of city

Photo by Ricardo Esquivel on Pexels.com

I’ve lived in 2 non English speaking countries so far, and there’s one big difference that I’ve noticed between the two.

This is: In China, people don’t expect foreigners to speak Chinese, whereas in Mexico they absolutely expect you to be able to converse in Spanish.

In day to day living, this is very noticeable when I’m out and about in Mexico.

In a clothes shop: China

Say for example when I go into a clothes shop in China, the workers will timidly come up to me and say “Welcome” in Chinese. Usually I would just reply a simple “I’m just looking” in Chinese. That’s really the only communication that would happen between us. Then for paying, they usually wouldn’t say anything either, just the price of something. So you don’t interact too much with the employees because firstly you probably can’t say much other than basic Chinese, and secondly, the employees usually think that I can’t speak Chinese very well so they don’t try to converse.

In a clothes shop: Mexico

In Mexico, you walk in the the employee comes over and says “yoakekkgnnsiishghghehekdknb”. It’s gibberish to me because they talk too fast. My husband told me that they are usually asking “Is there anything you are looking for in particular?” So then, when I go and pay they might ask MORE things, to which I don’t understand. Maybe they might have a promotion on and they are telling you about it. But of course all I hear is gibberish! Because I’m not Mexican looking, to them I’m either a foreigner who’s learning Spanish or maybe I was born here but from a non-mexican family.

In a shop: China

In Chengdu there are these shops called ‘Hongqi’, and they are everywhere! They sell household things, food, rice…usual things you would find in a shop! I’ve been to these places loads of times, and not once has the employee at the counter asked me anything. They just scanned the item and I paid. That was it. No communication whatsoever!

In a shop: Mexico

Here it’s another story altogether! I (still) haven’t bought anything in the small shops here because usually my husband is with me and he pays. ‘7eleven’ and ‘Oxxo’ are the shops that are very common here. So when we enter and pay, the employee at the counter asks “Do you want to top up your phone?”… “We have a discount on these items today.” Although my husband pays, they will most likely also say the same to me, because to them that there’s no doubt that I can understand them.

In Starbucks: China

Yet again, there’s usually no more communication other than me ordering my drink and paying. And actually most of the staff in Starbucks speak English so you can even just order in English!

In Starbucks: Mexico

We went to Starbucks once and my husband said to listen to what he orders and then I can order it next time. So he orders and the lady asks him “Do you want regular milk or slim milk?’…..”The beans are slightly different because of the time of the year, is that ok?”.

So…..as usual a different experience than in China! I know these questions are good for your listening and speaking practice, but I really just want to go, order my drink in simple Spanish, and thats it. I don’t know what the vocab is for ‘Full fat milk’ or ‘slim milk’, and neither do I understand ‘beans’, so if my husband wasn’t there with me, then I definitely would have been caught out!

So with these different attitudes on languages, I’ve also noticed how Mexican people don’t congratulate me when I say “Hola” to someone. They don’t go “WOW! YOUR SPANISH IS SO GOOD!” No, they don’t do this because they expect me to know the language. To them, it’s not an impossible task for me to learn it.

In China, when I say “nihao”, they will say “WOW! YOUR CHINESE IS SO GOOD!”. To them they don’t expect me to speak the language, so when I say hello in Chinese and the pronunciation is better than average they will be absolutely shocked! Maybe that’s all I can say, but my Chinese is just sooo good to them.

I’m not saying either one is wrong, it’s just I’ve become used to not interacting much with Chinese people, and then coming to a country where they will absolutely talk to me like any other Mexican person just takes some getting used to. I’ve learned more in Spanish in 3 months then learning Chinese in 2 years, so that really says something.

So, one day I know I’ll be able to order things and I’ll be able to answer back in Spanish… I will be able to understand!

night skyline skyscrapers shanghai

Photo by Manuel Joseph on Pexels.com

Aisling

 

When Things Bother Me

To be honest I don’t really know what to write in this post. Things have been bothering me lately, and I don’t know what to do. My wedding is coming up and that’s added pressure. I had wanted my wedding day to be a relaxed affair, and not like a ‘normal’ wedding. That’s what I first planned. We were going to have it in our garden in Mexico, turning the swimming pool into a dance area. We were looking at prices for lights, dj, food…. but then we realised that 50 people just won’t fit in the garden, so we had to change plans.

So now I’m having this ‘normal’ wedding like everyone else in a venue; a reception, a toast….. and although I hope it will be a good day… it’s not exactly what I wanted for my wedding. I don’t like being centre of attention, so having a typical wedding day isn’t something I would choose.

I was even looking looking at dresses that weren’t even typical wedding dresses. But then once we moved it to the venue and I realised that yes it’s a full blown thing, then I kind of HAD to resort to getting a typical white wedding dress.

I’m looking forward to the day and then I’m not. I just hope that all will be ok. So that and just other things are stressing me out. Sometimes I feel it was the wrong decision to move to Mexico. And sometimes I am very unhappy with the situation I’m in. Maybe should we have stayed in China? I don’t know. I miss it a lot. I really do, it was my home for 5 years, and I mourn my old life a lot.

It just feels I’m stuck in limbo yet again. This time I’m studying Spanish, and yet again I just can’t see much progress in it. Also I can’t work because if I do get a job then I’ll have to say “Well thanks for the job offer but just to let you know I can’t work for at least 3 weeks in a few months time”. That certainly won’t look good. So both of us can’t look for jobs because we have our wedding.

So this and other things that are happening are just bothering me and making me unhappy, and I don’t know what to do.

Aisling.

What’s the plan for 2019?

man with fireworks

Photo by Rakicevic Nenad on Pexels.com

Well, I don’t know 100% yet….. I’ve been thinking of a few goals that I want to achieve, so I hope I actually do achieve them.

-Learn Spanish. Next year is all about Spanish for me. Study Study Study. For me, this is the main goal of mine. I really want to be able to tick this one off!

-Exercise more. With my wedding only a few months away, I just want to look better and feel better in myself. I just want to be healthier.

–Find a job I like. I don’t even really know what I want to do in my life, even being aged 28. But I just want something that I’ll enjoy doing. I don’t want to wake up and begrudgingly have to go to a job that I don’t like.

-Save money. First I need a job, then I want to save some money. We have been spending our money on travelling rather than saving for the future. Which…. I really don’t think will help us much when we’re older. (and having no savings to actually live)

Of course I still wants LOADS more things, but I think for me these are the important things that I want to achieve. I’ve no idea what will happen next year for us; will we stay in Mexico? Move to Ireland/ Spain…even France could be an option for us. Yeah It’s great to have the option of moving to all these places, and I know that maybe if you have a child or have a stable job that you love, then it’s hard to just ‘move up and go’. But at the same time I would like to have that ‘this is where I’m going to live indefinitely’ feeling. I want to come home to my own house, watch television on my own tv, and have my own bedroom. I don’t particularly enjoy living out of a suitcase either.

Plus I’m 28 and I just feel like it’s time to start thinking of settling down.

So, we’ll see how 2019 turns out!

Aisling