Ni modo

One week and two days.  In the past week I have been learning the nitty gritty of how to survive in Mexico. And perhaps my favorite expression so far is “Ni modo,” which means, “Nothin’ you can do about it!”

After being told by the mattress store to call to ensure a delivery time after a certain hour, the line was busy.  So I went home and hoped that it would come and I wouldn’t miss them.  Ni modo. (they came!) At this moment, I am waiting for the technician from the internet company to arrive. They were supposed to come between 2 and 6. It is now almost 7, and they may not come.  “Ni modo!”, but really, this does not do for my American sensibilities of order and timeliness.

Traffic is awful between the hours of 7:30am and 8:00pm, and the metro is so much faster and more efficient (yay for public transportation)!

I have also woken up in the middle of the night and thought, “What have I done?” I loved my life in San Francisco! And…

I have been pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoy the new hires at the American School (so far) and have been experiencing Mexican hospitality. (My upstairs neighbor brought me the mail and explained the light bill to me. He tried valiantly to fix my lock!) My Mexican friend and her husband took me out for dinner and drove in circles looking for the one way entrance to my street instead of dropping me off at the corner. I spent a leisurely Sunday exploring the metro, old buildings, and my neighborhood. I’ve had wonderful conversations with taxi drivers, one expressed, “Y que encuentra un marido mexicano!” (and may you find a mexican husband!).  And yet, there is something missing…

I moved to Mexico City for an adventure. Something to shake up my life a little bit. And the reality that I actually live here and must accept the rules and regulations (of which there are really none) is starting to set in. When living abroad in the past I knew I was coming back to my known life where, however expensive, or sometimes lonely, I always knew and was comfortable with the rules.

If I’m really honest with myself, there’s certain things that I’m shocked at and want to say, “But you can’t do that. Don’t you know who I am? I’m an American (as broke as I may be)!” But no matter how “American” I am, I’m not going to get peanut butter or kale. Appliances and clothes are expensive and no amount of being “American” is going to change that. The gym I want isn’t going to magically appear and traffic won’t stop for me. Netflix, no matter how much I say, “But I’m an Ameeeeriiiiican”, will not show up on my computer in Mexico. Mexican taxes will remain high and I will have to pay them. And, especially because I’m an American, I’m too scared to tell my next door neighbor to turn his damn music down! This sounds like I’m complaining! And partly I am! But isn’t that my right as an American? 🙂

As someone who labels themselves as “open-minded,”  “adventurous,” and “flexible,” it’s amazing how much I still expect the sea to part for me. It is the transition from “Oh, this is how other people live,” to, “holy shit, this is how I live,” that perhaps has been the biggest culture shock.


2 responses to “Ni modo

  1. These thoughts are molded wonderfully. There’s also something to be said for maturing/growing up! You ARE “open-minded,” ”adventurous,” and “flexible”…compared to many 30-yr-olds. But you’re more likely to expect the sea to part for you now, perhaps, than you did when you were in Brazil at 21, or Nicaragua at 16. It’s unlikely that you’ll become LESS expectant of such things. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that! There comes a time in which you simply can’t be bothered with cheering when something that should work a certain way actually does. Instead, you expect it.
    Carry on, sister!

  2. After three months you’ll have your groove totally on and SF will be a vague but fabulous distant past. You’ll be banging on your neighbor’s walls when the music is up and cursing the metro when it’s making you late. Also, SF will come visit you whenever you want. I’m thinking me, P & T need to descend on you when you’re settled in and on break! And remember, the one thing that pisses off Central and South Americans is us calling ourselves Americans! (In our defense, it IS the last word in our country…)

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