It's been 11 years. ELEVEN YEARS. Eleven years that I've been living here in Mexico. I never thought i'd stay this long, i never thought i would ever come to realize that damn, i'm actually going to miss this place.
Me in Mazatlan, early May 2002
11 years ago, i entered Mexico by bus, from Los Angeles, through one of the busiest border city: Tijuana. I was heading South, and i spent my first 22 hours on Mexican territory in a bus, got stopped and the entire bus searched out a few times by armed-up-to-their-eyeballs military men in balaclavas, little did i know back then that this supposed 3rd world country was the place i was going to call home for the next 11 years.
I believe the real date stamped on my passport was May 3rd. But then the IMM (Mexican Immigration Institute) got it wrong and stated that i entered the country on May 5th. And i kinda liked it better.
Me: why is everything closed today?
Taxi driver: because it's May 5th, we celebrate the Battle of Puebla.
Me: what happened during that Battle?
Taxi driver: Mexican army kicked the French army's ass!
*** sigh ***
It was in 1862.
And 140 years later, here i was. Doing my own personal revengeful invasion of Mexico. At the ripe age of 24.
Mexico is nothing like what the medias are showing or saying. It's an amazing country, with amazing people. It's been the place I've called Home for the past 4000+ days. And it would most likely have remained this way wouldn't have life gotten in the way.
My neighbors asked me to make a list of all the things i'll miss when i'm gone. So they can see, through my eyes, what i value most from their country. It's a great idea for a post. I'll work on it soon. We tend to forget what we have and even worse, forget to enjoy what we have while we have it for focusing so much on what we want. Life is short. Every minute counts.
What i'll miss the most are the people I've met throughout these years and who have been, somehow and somewhat, part of my life and part of the person i have grown into. Realizing that i will probably never see some of them ever again drills a painful hole in my heart.
These 11 years were never planned. But I've came to realize that even the best laid plans go awry. Life is good. It's only just a new beginning :)