Tag: Mexico

Expatriate Networking, Mexican-style 1995

Moving into our home in Mexico City in the summer of 1995, we encountered unique challenges unheard of in Westport, Connecticut. Like having the telephone company appear at the door to ask if we wanted our telephone service connected? Oh, yes please. Well to do that would cost us the equivalent of US$200 in cash. If... Read more »

Pedro the Parabolic Pirate and DIRECTV

Moving to Mexico City in the mid 1990s, was no big deal to a lifelong expatriate like Annie. But she did have to admit that there was one thing she’d miss terribly, her beloved PBS. US-based friends said, what about DIRECTV? DIRECTV? In Mexico City, Mexico? She’d already learned of those who’d say, “Oh you’re... Read more »

Foreigners in a Foreign Land

Vocabulary, Culture and Foreigners Monique had immigrated to Canada from Egypt, a place so polluted that the white dress she began her day in was gray by dinner. Although her English was very good, she lacked many colloquialisms and customs peculiar to her new North American homeland. Like what type of winter coat does one... Read more »
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The Placebo Effect; or The Karma of Things

  What is a Roman Catholic Church without the karma of its icons? So thought Maria when she learned that her hometown church’s icons had been stolen. Stolen! Can you imagine it? In Mexico! But with monetary donations from friends and family, a collection was raised to buy new icons. May I stash them out... Read more »

View from the Loo

“I’m off to the loo,” I announced to no one in particular one fine Mexican day. “The what?” questioned the curious new woman fresh off the airplane from America. “The loo,” I repeated. “The restroom,” I translated. Or the servicio, as it was called in Mexico. Or the toilet as it was called in much of... Read more »

At home, abroad; the expatriate

Forgotten abroad, is the expatriate. Charles Dickens would have named the person sitting across from me, “the well-meaning relative.” Late into the night, the interrogator repeatedly hammered as to why we lived abroad? “How will your kids ever grow up to be real Americans, when they’ve never lived in the USA?” My overtired brain had no... Read more »
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The Cultural Perspective

Over the years living in Peru, Paraguay, Ecuador and Mexico, I learned that Latin Americans don’t want to disappoint. It’s a cultural thing. It’s also a thing that confounds expatriates, who come from a rather different cultural perspective. For example, there’s that word mañana. Though our well-thumbed dictionary defined it as tomorrow, I’d learned firsthand it... Read more »

Before Donald J. Trump, Ecuador's Flirtation with a Clown President

Before there was America’s clown president, Donald J. Trump, there was Ecuador’s almost clown president, Abdala Bucaram Ortiz. Brothers from different mothers, these boys? Both shamelessly aspired to fame via infamy, for bad press was far worse than no press; Both admired, emulated and cozied up to authoritarians; Both trawled the bottom of humanity for support; Both... Read more »

One Regret I Regret: or, if only I'd known what I know now

           If Dr. Who parked his time-traveling, blue police box TARDIS outside of my door, I’d revisit the younger me. That 21-year-old who agonized whether to follow her gut instinct and go to Lima, Peru to live with her American boyfriend and his family in 1972.  As my younger self’s guardian angel, I’d whisper “Yes–take that... Read more »
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Get Over Yourself, America

America, did you know there are other countries in the Americas—yes other countries in addition to the United States of America. Hold onto your socks, cheerleader types. The Americas includes North America and South America according to those maps that hung in 1950s elementary schools. And if you really want to get irritated, notice that... Read more »
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    Candace Drimmer

    I was an accidental expatriate; love and marriage led me to it. One day I was a bandy-legged kid sitting atop my dogwood tree looking out of my small backyard world in 1950s New Jersey, wanting to move somewhere--anywhere, different. Next thing I knew my father had accepted a job in Houston TX. I was ecstatic, it was a foreign land in 1961 America. After high school graduation, my parents’ gave me a matched set of fawn-colored hardsided American Tourister luggage. Taking the hint, I went to college; well four colleges in five years--it was the 60s after all. Meeting a young hirsute anti-war, soon-to-be-Peace Corps volunteer, I fell in love. After finishing up college coursework for my degree, but before I even walking a graduation stage, I grabbed the paper airline ticket my boyfriend had sent me, my brand-new passport, and was off to the airport and Lima, Peru.

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