Survival Techniques

Recent complications have resulted in lag time between my posts this month.   The mayhem, which seems a constant component of our life in Mexico, began with a weirdly unruly signal in my generally consistent “office” location. The day I discovered the capricious connection I also battled biting ants in my  pants(literally), my tree(roofs)  flowers falling into my keyboard jamming the keys, and the stench of my dog Moecha, who insisted  on sitting up wind of me after eating rotten dead thing. I didn’t manage to post that day, and since I was behind schedule I planned a trip to the ‘big’ town (Tehuixtla, population 6,311) to get caught up and program some posts in advance from an internet cafe in the case the return of my signal required a realignment of the planets.

The day I was to make my trek to civilization I crashed in to the wall of peri-menopause like (forgive the cliché but this is really what it felt like), a ten ton truck. This insanity was accompanied by a violent stomach flu, endured alone for 12 hours with no telephone to call for help. (Felipe confiscated mine after he dropped one down a well and destroyed another escaping a charging bull.)

As I lay in the bathroom floor trying to determine which wave of heat was fever and which was hot flash, (the hot flashes come with the sensation of bugs running all over your body) I pondered how I would set up my hand washing station because two days prior we’d lost our electricity and when it returned there was no longer sufficient power to operate our refrigerator, or washing machine. In the blurred floundering of fever it occurred to me I might die on the bathroom floor and with the cumulative effect of adversity I was experiencing, it might be a blessing.

We’ve lived sin luz (without light) before, but to a greater extreme. The last time we were completely without electricity for nine months. I actually feel fortunate this time because we have light so I can read at night; reading by candlelight is not romantic, it’s hard on the eyes and your books fill up with smashed bugs.   Most importantly, I can still charge my computer, writing anything over 500 words with a pen is exasperating. Cut, copy, and paste is my personal sacrament after writing 1000’s of words of my book on paper before my uncle David gave me a laptop, which I fondly( and genuinely) refer to as my soul mate.

In a ‘normal’ life, we’d call the electric company but since our electricity is illegally installed (we live too far out of town for an official hookup) that’s not an option. The amount of time we will live without refrigeration and continue the never-ending toil of hand washing laundry is unknown. But one of Mexico’s many gifts to me has been the understanding; that change is constant, thoroughly rinsing soap from underwear is crucial, and as long as I write, I’ll be all okay.

Humor and writing are my survival mechanisms, what are yours?

This entry was posted in living in Mexico, Mexican small town culture, Mexico, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , by vsvevg. Bookmark the permalink.

About vsvevg

Hello, I'm Abby Smith. I started this blog in 2010 to write about the pursuit of a self-sustainable life in rural Mexico. In 2015, my then-husband and I moved to Nicaragua, where we created a successful farm-to-table and in-house charcuterie program for a high-end beach resort. In 2022, with mad butchery and cheese-making skills under my belt, I started a sustainable food systems consulting business. Happily, I also have more time for my first love-- writing about food and the complexities of the simple life.

8 thoughts on “Survival Techniques

  1. I always love your posts. I hope you are over your ailments and that you have electricity again. So sorry we can’t come sooner, but we hope to visit in March. Please hang in there and take care and kiss Moses (and tell Felipe hi) for me.

  2. Hi Abby!

    How many people in this world can say their phone was destroyed during a charging bull incident?!
    That’s pure gold!

    Given your communications discombobulation situation, power outage, and the physiological “challenges”, it sounds like you and Felipe are overdue for some good luck, don’t you think?

    Loving your blog. Very entertaining. Please keep ’em coming girl.

    Love you,

  3. And here I was complaining that I had to wear a hood over my hat as it’s chilly here… Poor you! I do hope you feel better and that the remaining electricity comes back on. Like you, I believe that humor and being able to laugh at oneself is key! That and reading and a good hug can go a long way 🙂

    • totally agree on that Letizia, the hug and book, but arhg!!! I am out of novels! and I have a hard time focusing on non-fiction when I stressed. But I should be able to restock in March. As always, it is good to hear from you.

  4. I was noticing that there werent vsvevg posts showing in my email. Abby, my survival techniques as an expat living in Mexico include grooming myself, smoking pot and listening to my ipod. A trip to civilization feels so good. We are in Mexico City right now after camping on the coast of Oaxaca for two months. I realize now too, like you said it, my ipad is my soulmate. 😛

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