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  • Writer's pictureCharlys Trevino

The secret to happiness is letting a situation be what it is instead of what you think it should be


I came to the pueblo of Tequisquiapan planning to stay five days, instead I've been here a month and planning to stay until end of May! It felt good to hang up my clothes in a closet for a change. I stayed at my initial Airbnb for 20 days before finally finding a short term rental with the help of my Airbnb hosts who I now call friends. Rene and Gina have graciously helped me navigate the rental market and find the house in which I am currently renting for a few months.


The rent was less then half of what I had budgeted for a monthly stay but the house came with some challenges for the price. It wasn't all inclusive, so no furniture, dishes etc. but the rental agency agreed to give me some basic furniture (Couches, dining table, a bed) but I would have to provide the rest. And it was enormous! Two story, 3 bedrooms 2.5 baths. I will need to pay all services, gas, water, electricity and there was no internet! I eventually was able to convince my neighbor to let me use their Wifi during my stay but it only worked outside.



Gina was kind enough to lend me most of what I needed in the way of sheets, towels and my favorite, a hammock! I bought some dishes, cookware and cleaning supplies. I was excited to hang my hat for awhile and tinker outside in the neglected flower beds. It is spring by all accounts and I miss getting my hands dirty in the garden.




The house needs to some love that is for sure. It could use a major renovation but it has character and good bones! I have a weak spot for houses with abandonment issues and good bones and I thought, what the hell, I can make this work for a few months. Plus it had some wonderful outdoor space which I had been looking forward to. Below is my outdoor living room when I want to watch movies or use the WiFi!



What I didn't anticipate was how different it is to navigate the culture in Mexico as opposed to what I had been use to in Switzerland. I mean, OK, I knew the cultures were different but it was more about managing my expectation of how things should be done here in Mexico.


The first sign of trouble came the first night when I accidently locked myself out of the house, in my sock feet not looking at all presentable. It was an awkward meeting of my neighbors but in my panic state of what to do I couldn't worry about my appearance. Luckily a few hours later after some searching we found a locksmith to come out and open the door.


On the second day, I discovered the hot water heater wasn't working. After a call to the rental agent, they sent someone to fix it. On the third day I woke up to not having any water at all in the house. After another call to the rental agency I was told that probably the workers who had been working on the kitchen before I moved in had forgotten to turn the water back on. Yep, that was the culprit but now the water tank on the roof had to fill before I could get water to the house.



On the fourth day the water heater again broke but this time it took them three days to finally get it fixed. I had one hot shower since moving in. My frustration level reached the boiling point when the guy who came out to fix the water heater for the second time went off to find a ladder at 11am and didn't come back until 9pm when the plumber finally showed up to finish the job. In the mean time I didn't have water or gas all day.


Shouldn't have all these things been checked prior to me moving in?? How inconsiderate of the guy not to call and tell me he wouldn't be back right away. But when I vented to my new founded friends, everyone shrugged and said "welcome to Mexico".


This got me to thinking, was it realistic for me to continue to compare the "Swiss" way of doing things to any other culture? Not if I want to keep my sanity!! Could I learn to lower my expectations or not even have any if I choose to live in a Latin country? All things to consider as I navigate my way through these countries. Despite having some regrets in deciding to rent this big ole house, the learnings I've taken away on how to manage my expectations while navigating the Mexican culture have been invaluable.


Maybe it is best not to have expectations at all.





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