Still Learning As An Expat In Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
I’m still learning things here in Cabo San Lucas. What’s good about the learning is that it seems to be dying down as the days go by. I’m finding my way around and getting things down. Here are a few more things that I’ve come to realize since living here.
I was so adamant about bringing my car with me. “I don’t want to be stuck without my vehicle!” Plus I love my car so I did not want to depart from her. But what I have come to realize is that I really don’t need a car especially in the city of Cabo San Lucas. Once you get to downtown Cabo you can never find a parking spot. I have managed to find out that there are a few public parking lots available for those that have brought their own set of wheels or perhaps have chosen to rent a car if they are vacationers. Had I not brought my car I could merely get around by catching a bus or taxis are another option. However, taxis add up and it’s probably best to consider the bus. Of course my fear of catching the bus and missing my stop are concerns that I have to get over first. But don’t get me wrong, I am glad I do have my car. There are definitely times that I’m glad I brought her. In the section of Cabo I live in, it’s come in use. I can’t imagine lugging groceries around on the bus unless I have to.
Signing is universal
It’s not just for the hearing impaired. It’s also good for the language impaired. Words I don’t know in Spanish, I can merely sign to get my point across. Even when you’re speaking to someone that knows your language, you still find yourself giving off signs. I guess just to make sure they’re getting the gist of what you’re saying. I use my limited español as much as I can but pointing and gesturing have definitely been a way of life since I’ve been here. And what’s so funny is the fact that they understand what you’re saying and you just move right along with it.
Dirty Feet Are a Constant
When you live in a beach setting like I do who needs shoes? Not I. I walk around most of the time barefoot or with flip flops. This however allows dust, dirt and debris to get all ‘twixt ‘tween the feet. This is something I have had to grow accustomed to. In my previous apartment I had carpet so I didn’t have the issue as much as I do now with all tiled floors. Here, I find it so easy to walk around with bare feet so now I wear socks to prevent that dusty dirt feel and to avoid getting into my bed with gross toes. I’m working on it because I still find myself maneuvering around shoeless. The real dirt comes from outside when I walk my dog. As I mentioned in my last hub about my new experiences in Cabo there is a lack of grass so dirt is a sure constant if rocks and sand should come between my flip flops and feet. My feet now require a good swipe down and lots of lotioning to avoid dry, crackly feet.
Walmart Is Not Always Walmart
Sure they have the same look and the same feel but the items inside are not the same. I’m not talking about how they have deli served meats and fresh fish out for purchase unlike the Walmart in the states I’m used to. Or how you find them selling cactus (yes, cactus) and fresh tamales made for all. I’m talking about my types of lotions, body washes, detergents and other body essentials that are simply not there that I would have normally found in the states. Things that you find yourself saying, “Surely they have that.” are surely not there. So if anything I have learned is that just because it has the same name, doesn’t mean they carry the same things that you might find at home.
The ‘Net Knows
Yes, I have come to try and learn Spanish at every chance I get. If I can listen to it or read it I’m all about it. But what you don’t expect when you move to Mexico is that when you begin to use the internet, everything becomes Spanish. I even looked under my Google settings to make sure it says English and yup it does. It doesn’t matter. When you go to Yahoo, MSNBC or pretty much anything you search, look for it to be automatically translated into Spanish. Hold on, it doesn’t just stop there. All your ads and commercials on places such as Facebook and YouTube begin to also automatically translate things in Spanish. And to boot, on YouTube, there are some videos you can’t watch because it can only be viewed in the U.S. No kidding? No kidding. In most cases, it will ask you at the top of the screen if you want to translate a page in English. Thank goodness for that or else I’d have to learn Spanish a little quicker than I anticipated. Which wouldn’t be such a bad thing.
Mosquitos are Universal
No matter where I go I attract mosquitos. Guess what, Mexico is no different which kinda stinks because I quite enjoy the ocean breezes I receive through my balcony and windows. So far I have been attacked on numerous occasions because I refuse to put on my bug spray if I choose to leave my balcony door open. I have purchased some screens for my bedroom windows which helps cut the worry down.
Cabo San Lucas is known as a popular tourist town so you are bound to be beckoned, welcomed and smiled at quite a bit by those that are trying to sell you timeshare tours. Which I'm all about. They can bring you money, gifts and extra vacations which can be awesome if you have the time. But for now all I want to do is "blend in" as much as I can and live as much like a local as I can. So when I'm waved-in by one of them I just simply keep walking and say, "no gracias" and don't give in. However, there is an occasional one that slips by my "eyes straight forward" method and I end up having the best conversations with them. I first off let them know I'm not interested in what they are selling. I merely want to enjoy my time here. Once you get past that, you can spend hours talking with them, finding out about them and their life story. They find out a bit about you in the process. You often walk away feeling like you've gained a friend for life. Not only that, you find out about how things work around the city and other important facts you want to know like what the emergency contacts are, the best places to go or simply how to say, "Have a nice day" in their language. You can also teach them a thing or two about whatever burning question they have about your culture. When you take the time it can be a bit of a win win.
Even though the lessons I’m learning are dwindling, that doesn’t mean they will ever stop. I only learn from whatever I’m exposing myself to. I’ve only been here a month and have plenty of time to expose myself to lots of new and different things. As long as they continue to have minimal consequences and end happily I’ll remain content.