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The Brick Wall In Mexico is Me

Monday, June 13th, 2011

Comparing being in any country that is not your birth country for 2 weeks and being in a country for an extended period of time is apples and oranges.

Take a look here:

It’s not easy. I have been in Mexico for 5 years and still am not fully culturally adapted. Honeymoon, denial, resistance, humor, anger, rejection, acceptance, adaptation all happens at the same time on different levels at different times. There are some things about Mexico I just cannot accept let alone adapt to and probably never will. You probably know what they are. It’s all over the papers north and south. I watched the Mexican documentary Presumed Guilty There is no “system” of justice in Mexico. I am watching this system unroll since the murder of a friend. Four suspects (2 American and 2 Mexican) have been released at the whim of a judge who probably didn’t read the unorganized 6 inch file. I suspect he just hopes the whole thing will go away to avoid an international incident. I get to make the decision whether to accept it or not. But then I get to experience the frustrating consequences of that nonacceptance.

The cultural shock of reentering my birth country has always been the worst because I am reentering a changed person. Living part of the year or every second year in Thailand complicates things. Mexico to the US>US to Thailand>Thailand to US>US to Mexico. Each time my friends may think I have reverted to the PMS stage of my life. It feels like it until I smooth out.

It would be happening in whichever country one chose to live. The most valuable thing the new country is giving their expats is a chance to grow as a person. Anything else is gravy. There is no way a local is going to be able to understand the inner processes of the expat unless they have had a similar experience. We often are blessed with their patience. It may take years to peel back the layers of the onion if we are willing to reflect.

The least of what the locals will be gaining is a chance to learn and practice English. They will have to speak for the rest of it. I can’t speak for them. I just hope it is positive.

Ironically, probably the most difficult feeling is the intolerance we feel when we meet the intolerant because we open up and meet a brick wall. This forces us back in on ourselves. This is when we grow…or not.