Live or Retire in Mexico: It Improves Your Social Skills

The social skills that I have fine-tuned while living in Mexico are standing me in good stead during this visit north. In Mexico you learn to stop whatever you are doing or thinking to say hello to people. You learn to look them in the eye, take their hand, and often even give them a friendly air kiss on the cheek.

Even though our visiting marathon is starting to affect my mind, I am still confident in my ability to greet the droves as they arrive at my family’s home. I am still able to smoothly, and warmly say goodbye to people even if I know that I’m about to greet someone else in a couple of minutes. On some days I am hosting groups of people from up to three different areas of my former life. We have school friends, local area friends, mom’s side of the family, dad’s side of the family, as well as family friends all coming to be with us. Phew!

It’s crazy to think that I only get to see these wonderful people for only a few hours a year! I guess that’s just one of challenges involved when you decide to live or retire in Mexico. I’m sure glad for my improved social skills that come with the same package.

Another part of this package is that I expect to see people acting like Mexicans. I keep having these little moments when I’m quietly surprised by people’s actions.

For example, we took a walk along our town’s waterfront and there were two women with their babies in strollers just preparing to leave as we were arriving. They chatted much more loudly than Mexicans do and I could easily overhear them. I could tell by their conversation that they were friends. Suddenly, they said, “Well, bye.” “Bye, see you,” and each went to their cars to load up. They didn’t kiss each other on the cheek! They didn’t even shake hands! I was shocked, until I remembered that we are in the Pacific Northwest and that isn’t done here.

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