I've observed that Mexican music falls into two classes. One is very, very good; the other is so horrible that it could quite possibly induce a nervous breakdown or at least a brain tumor after forced, prolonged exposure. Listening to too much of the latter could be hazardous to your health.
The orchestra here in Guanajuato is one of the finest I've ever heard, and I listen with a critical ear. I was a music major at the university many decades ago. I majored in voice performance and music theory.
I've often been moved to tears of joyous rapture listening to some of the finest vocalists and instrumentalists ~ all Mexicans. But the most exciting thing is to see how many locals show up at the concerts. The symphony is big here. I love that. more ...
Let me begin this next column in the series with a generalized statement:
The Spanish you learn in a classroom in the United States, Mexico, or in your own study from some impossibly expensive Spanish language tapes WILL NOT be the Spanish you hear in the streets of Mexico!
I do not care who will try to convince you otherwise! I do not care who may convince you that this method or that method will give you fluency if only you would dish out the bucks to take it. What you learn in a classroom will not be the Spanish you hear on the streets in Mexico. more ...
I cannot say whether walking the streets of all Mexican cities is the same. However, I can say to walk the streets of Guanajuato, my adopted town, one immediately becomes aware of two items. One, the reason the Spanish pitched fits trying to plan the layout of this town and two, why Guanajuanteses (citizens of Guanajuato) walk fast but get nowhere on time.
The Spanish, being the good, anal-retentive Europeans we've all grown to know and love, were accustomed to building their cities in grid-like patterns. You know what I mean. Most of America, having inherited this same anal retentiveness from our European ancestors, is built on the same plan. To make it easier to find addresses (I suppose), cities are built in a grid. One finds the numbered streets going one way and the named streets crossing them. more ...
A typical day in the life of an American expat living in Mexico will include trying to find drinking water. You might be surprised by this but everyone knows that you cannot 'drink the water in Mexico'. This refers to the fact that you cannot drink the tap water in Mexico. Probably every American adult already knows that you cannot drink the tap water. But does the typical American adult know just how one obtains drinking water in Mexico?
In a word: bottles!
The day in and day out routine in Mexico to obtain the liquid of life, that which is absolutely essential for survival, is that you must have bottled water. To meet this need, two companies where I live, Guanajuato, have sprung into being. To say that they are in competition with one another for customers, competition as Americans would define competition, would be a misnomer. That is to say, I think so. more ...
The dream of owning a home in Mexico is on the minds of more and more North Americans, as they experience all the natural beauty and rich culture this country south-of-the-border has to offer. Many North Americans are looking for a place where they can make their retirement nest-egg stretch further than where they currently live. The cost of living in Mexico is definitely much less expensive than where you may presently call home - with one caveat. This is true, once you have your housing expenses figured out. Real estate is rapidly increasing in cost/value. This is good if you already own a home in Mexico, and a reason to act quickly if you don't.
Up until this year, the only way to purchase real estate in Mexico has been 'cash-only.' In spite of the 'cash-only' scenario, a LOT of real estate has been purchased by North Americans - especially in the last four or five years. More North Americans have discovered the Mexico experience, but it is just the beginning. Many baby-boomers have the vision of 'Old Mexico' in their minds - usually an experience of a border town when they were growing up. This is not the Mexico of today. Resort living near the ocean, and charming towns on the interior, as well as a family-oriented culture that is a throwback to the 50's are what Mexico is all about. And word is getting out through the print media, as well as word of mouth. When someone finds their own little piece of heaven in Mexico, the next thing they begin to think about is which friends they want to persuade to move to Mexico as well. What better scenario is there than to be with your best friends, discovering a new life in Mexico? more ...
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