Refugee, not an expatriate

EXPATRIATE, OFTEN misspelled, has something of an exotic ring to it.

It can conjure up images of Hemingway in Paris, Lenin in Switzerland or Felipe in Mexico, sitting at sidewalk cafés with steaming cafecitos, plotting revolutions, penning pamphlets or simply chilling out.

I excel at that last one.

While it’s common to hear Gringos who’ve moved to Mexico referring to themselves and one another as expatriates, I have never considered myself one, never used the word in reference to myself even though I am one.

I feel more like a refugee.

I didn’t feel like a refugee when I moved to Mexico over 18 years ago, but I feel like a refugee now while I watch my former homeland come unglued.

It’s nice to have found refuge South of the Border.

18 thoughts on “Refugee, not an expatriate

  1. Señor, it appears that the vast majority of Gringos from the USA recently moving to Mexico are using the excuse that they must exit the land of the Trumpster posthaste. How does this affect your refugee status? Just curious.

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    1. Ricardo: I do not consider those people refugees. I am a refugee. I consider them nincompoops. Big difference.

      If that is the actual reason they’re moving to Mexico, they will find that Mexico requires voter ID cards and there are other such atrocities such as recognizing only two sexes and posting gender requirements on job ads. These people will be running back over the border with their tails between their butts in short order. Believe you me.

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    1. Ricardo: Mexico is not a safe space. It’s no appropriate destination for the overly sensitive. They should go to Canada instead. It’s tailor-made for them. Living in Mexico requires True Grit.

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      1. Excellent point. I wonder how many ExPats actually consider that fact before diving South. True Grit is likely a polite term for what it really requires.

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        1. Ricardo: This, for some reason, reminds me of a funny yarn. Gringos down here are always going on about “looooving the culture,” which is nonsense because there are some really negative aspects to the culture. What they mean when they say that, of course, is that they love the nonstop hugging and kissing and the margaritas and the bright colors and the mariachi music, etc.

          About 10 years ago I was sitting with a Gringo couple downtown who had lived here about a year. During the conversation, the wife let out with this “loooving the culture” nonsense. I grinned and looked at the hubby who knew what I thought about such blather. They told me they were here for good, loving the culture and Mexicans and all that.

          A few months later, I ran into the hubby downtown, and he was alone. I asked where his wife was, and he said she couldn’t take it anymore — his exact words — so she had returned to the United States. He was soon to follow.

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  2. I have True Grit, but I also have quite a few years before I can become an expatriate. Please tell me how/why you chose the location you live in. Thanks, I do enjoy reading about your life!

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    1. Hi, Janet. True Grit is a good thing to have down here, and if you have it perhaps Mexico would be good for you.

      How and why I choose to live where I live? It was mostly pure happenstance. I found a language school online that looked good in 1999. It was — and still is — in the nearby state capital. I could just as easily have found a language school anywhere else in Mexico, but I liked the look of that one, so I decided to move there for no other good reason. I did virtually no research before heading south. Most people do, and they also lug all manner of possessions with them. I came with two suitcases in a Delta jet. After eight months in the state capital, I moved up where I am now just 40 minutes away. Been here ever since.

      Glad you enjoy reading The Moon. I appreciate it. By the way, if you go to the “Felipe” page (link up top on the main page), down at the bottom right is my email address.

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      1. The reason I chose your location was to escape the influx of people who didn’t really want to be there. They wanted to live in the style they were accustomed to, but couldn’t afford it after retiring. They want to live in the USA or Canada, but warm and cheaper. Then they get to Mexico and decide they should try to sell real estate to people like themselves.

        One of your statements was a little off. You don’t need ‘True Grit’. The majority of ‘expats’ speak little Spanish, and either live in the SMA type of community or limit themselves to a small group of friends. I knew lots of gringos who never went to the market or other mundane chores, that was for the maid. They essentially lived an ‘all-inclusive resort’ lifestyle.

        If you want to live in Mexico and experience the lifestyle, which I did on a lesser extent than you, it takes more effort than living NOB. If you want the other approach, which usually includes frequent returns to the land of origin, that’s another trip altogether.

        For some reason, I’ve always chosen the path strewn with potholes and rockslides, and it sure as hell has been interesting

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    1. Andres: There is that. Were I to move back to the United States, a cringe-worthy notion, I’d have to find work as a Walmart greeter or something like that. Our income is about $26,000 a year, which comes from SS plus a measly corporate pension. More than enough here, but only marginally above the poverty level for a couple in the United States.

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  3. Your timing when leaving was excellent, as this was about the time the decline of the US accelerated.

    The day is coming (I believe very soon) when it will take True Grit to live in the US. Some of us will never consent to Socialism.

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    1. Ray: I have often marveled at my timing. It was very soon after I flew over the Rio Bravo that print media began to vanish. Lots of folks I worked with were laid off. Most newspapers now are trying to get by online to varying degrees of success. The New Orleans newspaper’s website is dreadful, and the Houston Chronicle’s is only marginally better. At least places like the NY Times and the Washington Post do a great job online if you don’t count the lamentable level of their journalism. On a tech level, they do wonderful work.

      As for what’s happening in general in your country, God help you. Literally. Save your money. We have room for you down here. Bring the Redhead and the bulldog(s). It’s really inexpensive. Unfortunately, what happens in the U.S. affects the entire world, plus it appears Mexico is on the verge of electing a leftist nincompoop as president. We may have to move to Panama.

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  4. And with views such as your own, you really do have reasonable fear of persecution NOB these days. I’d imagine that you’ve followed the controversies over demonitization on YouTube, censoring of conservative speech on Twitter and FarceBook, and the left’s general belief that free speech only applies to boringly non-controversial speech.

    I don’t consider myself a conservative, and only recently left off being a liberal, but I’m frankly sick of the entire nonsensical mess. If it weren’t for my difficult situation stateside, I’d have likely refugeed myself in Q4 of 2016.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where one has to be careful of voicing any support whatsoever of our president.

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    1. Kim: Yes, I keep very close tabs on what’s happening in my previous country. Pathetic. You may not like to think of yourself as a conservative, but in many ways you have become one because you are quite smart. And educated. Though being gay, like being black, makes one a political nincompoop of the left, more often than not, it does not require it. And yes, it’s a good time to live south of the border. I could put the whole mess of what’s happening out of my mind but for one unavoidable fact: What happens in the United States affects the entire world.

      At least, we have Trump to delay the inevitable. Alas, that’s about the most we can expect of him.

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      1. Actually, it has been quite fun seeing the Left tie itself up into knots over the whole Kanye West brouhaha. He has single-handedly changed the entire political dynamic.

        By the way, I have yet to find a close gay, liberal friend who actually believes the more ridiculous stuff coming out of the extreme left these days, whether it be about “safe spaces,” special pronouns for the transgendered, or reparations for blacks, they all roll their eyes when the topic is mentioned. It gives one hope.

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        1. Kim: Good to hear your gay compañeros maintain a degree of sanity. Gives one hope. Of course, the real gay nutcases aren’t likely to be your buds in the first place. As for Kanye, I wish it had been some other famous black dude. He’s long been something of a pendejo in my book.

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