Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Stuff I Brought to Chacala

This is a Coral Vine, antigonon something or other.
It's bursting into bloom all over town
I can't remember what I was thinking when I was packing to come to Chacala. I did know I was only bringing two rolling carry-ons and a small backpack. But I don't think it was clear to me that I might be here, in Chacala, for years. I think I just knew I wanted a different life. But didn't know where that would be, or how I would get there, or even what I would need.

But, it turns out I am pretty satisfied with what I brought. It took quite awhile to pack. I knew I had to get rid of everything I owned, except what would fit in my bags. But it quite awhile to figure out my packing strategy.

First time round, I was thinking about clothes and towels and sheets and that kind of stuff. Then, it finally clicked that I should only bring stuff I couldn't get in Mexico. Even then I knew you could get the basics here. Even the same brands of sheets and underpants and tee shirts. So during my next round of packing, I dumped a lot of stuff.

There are a few things I wish I had kept. Like my Land's End cotton, long sleeved dress-type shirts. White, blue, yellow. I only brought one, a yellow one. I use it a lot. It's hard to find 100% cotton stuff here and it's pretty expensive. Oh well.

By the fifth or sixth round, I decided to mainly bring things that were precious or important to me. Like: two gardening books about tropicals and succulents, my pruners and trowel, a favorite enamel dinner plate and french ivory forks. A good knife. Some special little boxes, an envelope of photos. Six months of diabetes medication and my glucose testing meter. Some antibiotics and pain pills. Two Spanish dictionaries and a LP travel book. Mt. Analogue and Natalie Goldberg's "Living Color". And two big pieces of special fabric and about 8 smaller pieces that I really love. Some little pretty things. A box of glass beads. And a couple of sets of pens, some good water colors, and good art paper my son and ex gave me right before I left. And some clothes. etc. A bunch of packets of my favorite floss, just in case.

My choices turned out okay. I think I brought the right stuff. I love having some of my favorite things from my old life here with me. Feels familiar and homey.

If I could shop in the US (and only be there for 3 hours or so), I think the only thing I would really like would be some heavy sandals that would protect my feet when I am gardening. They have lots of shoes here, but Mexican feet are shaped differently. Is that possible??? Anyway, the only shoes that seem to fit my feet here are rubber flip-flops. And I don't like walking thru calf-deep vegetation wearing them.

And my son and ex have brought me all kinds of great stuff when they come to visit. Kind of filled in the gaps. Really great stuff. It's sort of odd that other people (my family) are so good at noticing what you want and like. I am a terrible gift selector and can never think of the right thing. I am sooo lucky to get such good gifts. Stuff I really want or need.


Jill said...

I've noticed the different foot size thing in Latin America too. I have good intentions, but the only shoes that seem to fit properly are designer shoes. I tried Honduran shoes once and they broke off my feet as I was walking. Strange.

myahspirit said...

How would someone be able to send something to you that you needed?
We are planning on going to Chacala sometime in Dec, 2006, or Jan 2007. Just thinking that if you really wanted something that we could bring, let me know,, I will if I can.
We read your blog almost every day, we look forward to it.

myahspirit said...

We plan on visting Chacala in Dec. 2006, was wondering if you needed anything that we might be able to bring to you. We read your blog everyday.