A decade gone by

2014-01-10-The-TENIT WAS 10 YEARS ago about now when I was last in the United States. I don’t recall if it was just before or just after Obama’s first inauguration. I prefer to think it was before, so I can say I never set foot in Weepy Barry’s America.

There was no Black Lives Matter or Antifa, and SJW had not been invented yet. There was social strife and victimhood because multiculturalism had been boneheadedly promoted long before I departed, but nowhere near the absurd level that now exists. But I had never voted Republican.

My Democrats were not rioting in the streets. Nor were they prone to hysterics. They were more sensible people.

Visiting outside your native land is a strange sensation. Living in a world so different than that which sprouted you is odder still. Though I’m a Mexican citizen and almost never speak English, I don’t fit in below the border.

I just have to live with that. A price to pay, well worth it.

Quite a few Americans live in Mexico. The Mexican government puts the number at around 750,000, though you see much higher numbers on the internet, stated by people who don’t know what they’re talking about.

From what I read on internet forums, etc., most Americans (expats, a term I never apply to myself) in Mexico visit their homeland on a regular basis, as do Canadians. It’s like a siren call, but I’m deaf to it.

There are reasons. One is it’s very expensive up there. Two is that America has become a disappointment to me. (Former Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy recently described contemporary American culture as vulgar and slipping into moral relativism.) Three is that it’s dangerous up there. Four is there’s nothing above the border that I need.

The last time I left Mexico was in 2012 when we flew to Cuba, which is a miserable place, but it was interesting. We’ll never do that again.

The last time I was in my old hometown of Houston was either 2007 or 2008. It had changed a lot since I left in January 2000. I imagine I would be flabbergasted to see it now.

Like San Miguel de Allende, where no more Mexicans live, Houston might be the flip side, where no more Americans live, just Mexicans.

And the last visit to another old hometown, New Orleans, was 2006, about a year after Hurricane Katrina. The city was a mess.

There are some things I miss about America. Fall foliage in Atlanta. Floating in the crystal clear Sabinal River in the Hill Country of Texas not far from the town of Utopia. Hot bowls of Vietnamese pho in Houston.

But America lacks some things I enjoy here. Cows on highway overpasses. The bray of burros in the distance or just down the street. Dogs on house roofs. Real cobblestone streets. Inexpensive living. Gonging of the church bell from the plaza. Hummingbirds sitting on my aloe vera.

Lovely brown-skinned babes. One of whom I married.

I cannot imagine I’ll ever visit the United States again. When I left America I was a youngster of 55, wet behind the ears. Later this year, I’ll turn 75, mold behind the ears. It’s been quite a ride.

18 thoughts on “A decade gone by

  1. Felipe, I too am quickly sliding away from the liberals and their agendas. I used to believe that the Conservatives (Canada) were the evil right-wing capitalist beating up on the lesser society members. Although that still happens, the liberals and their contortionists who believe they are creating this multicultural utopia are sickening. Speaking your mind or defending your position on something they disagree with is automatically racist, sexist, misogynistic, mean-spirited, etc. Watching Jordan Peterson on Youtube has been an eye-opener for me.

    That being said, there is right wing, and there is ridiculous. Sadly, Trump falls way into the ridiculous and dangerous on so many levels. Our own leader (Truedope) is just as dangerous, only from a liberal point of view.

    They share some undesirable traits. Incompetence and arrogance are a poor combination for any person in charge of anything and anyone.

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    1. Karlos: While I’m with you on “Truedope,” I’m not with you on Trump whom I like to think of as the 21st century version of Teddy Roosevelt.

      He ain’t perfect by a long shot, but he’s quite effective and lots of fun. One needs to subscribe to the White House newsletter to have a good idea of all the good things the current administration is doing. You won’t see it in the news media.

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  2. I have heard that many American expats in Mexico are “illegal” (overstayed visas). Whether that’s true or not, I don’t know (I would imagine there are some.) but it could account for the discrepancy in official numbers vs. estimates. I do find it an amusing thought, though.

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    1. Creigh: I used to scoff on hearing about Gringo illegals down here because it was a piece of cake to get a visa. It’s still fairly easy though not so simple as before. But who knows? But if they are here, round ’em up and deport ’em is what I say. Obey the law. (Even though I know one woman who’s lived here a long time with no papers. She cannot meet the financial requirements.) On rare occasion, Mexican immigration officials from the nearby state capital come up to these parts and ask Gringo-looking people for their papers. Yes, racial profiling, which makes perfect sense in many situations. I know people have been caught and deported that way. Once, coming home from Mexico City not that long ago, our bus was stopped, and officers came on and asked people for IDs. I don’t know what sort of officers they were. Had that happened to me 17 years ago, I would have been caught with no papers at all because I didn’t carry my visa or even a copy of it for a while. But I’ve always been legal.

      That 750,000 figure from the Mexican government, the only entity that knows for sure the number of legal Gringos, was something I read within the last two years. When I moved here 19 years ago, it was common to read online that a million Gringos lived in Mexico. It was invariably other Gringos saying it. Not a chance in hell at that time. Lots have come down since then.

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  3. Felipe: There is lots of turmoil and, short of living in a cave, it is hard to escape. Despair not, enjoy the life you have chosen.

    My wife and I live like hermits for the most part, by choice, because most of the people we meet live within miles of where they were born and don’t understand how we could have lived in so many places. Curiosity is a force we can’t escape.

    Hope the gas problem is solved soon so you can replenish your stock from Costco.

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    1. Kris: Lots of turmoil indeed. Sometimes I think it would be better if the Cold War had never ended, if the Soviet Union was still in place. People knew then on which side their bread was buttered. Most Westerners born since, say 1980, live in a la-la land, thinking their lives are historically normal. Not even near.

      And we’re off to Costco today to replenish the larder, which was in dire need. I got gas this morning. More on that mañana.

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  4. Well said, Felipe. We are in land of great despair. I keep tripping over Alexandria Two-Name and her relativism quotes. Her statement that when she’s factually wrong, she’s morally right. Right. Her own morals.

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    1. Carole: I would just put the silliness that has become much of the United States out of my mind were it not for the fact that what happens there affects the entire world, especially Mexico. As a great man has said, more than once, Sad.

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    1. Señor Gill: The outcome is not difficult to see. The nation will be run more like Latin America and Africa than like Western Europe. This is not rocket science. Cultures matter.

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  5. I myself have never fit in here in Mexico and probably never will, but the USA is becoming so bad that I don’t even dream of going back home. I think to myself, go back home to what? It’s not what it was, and that makes me sad. Pretty soon we will not have to worry about illegals coming to the USA because nobody is going to want to come, with the way things are going .

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  6. Congratulations on living the life you chose to live and it worked out well for you. I only go north to visit my mother. Other than that if I never set foot on gringo soil again, that’s fine with me. We’ll have to agree to disagree why the U.S. is on a downward trajectory. Especially the last two years. If it continues with the clown ruining things it may never recover.

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    1. Gerard: Visiting my mother was the primary reason for my returns the first nine years, but when she died those trips ended. That was 2009 in January.

      As for the Blond Bomber, I suggest you subscribe to the White House newsletter, which is very informative about what the Trump administration is accomplishing, which is considerable. You’ll never get much correct info from my old employer, the mainstream media.

      Yeah, I know you’re not gonna do that, but I had to say it.

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