Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Amer-Mexican Dream - For You, Stephanie Chua

We AIN'T poe-no-moe.

So THERE Mexico and THERE to YOU immigration and the big ole American Dream. Up yours, around the corner, past your colon and a big wiggle jiggle to YA!


Ok, so, we're not like, rich or anything, hell, by American standards we're not even close to middle class but for Mexico standards, and the standards that we feel A-OK in, we're great!

It took us a long time to figure out life here but I think we've finaly got it down and all I see ahead is better, not worse like before.

SHIT on a shingle we were soooooo broke when we first came here and between freak-accident after freak-accident and making barely any $$ we were soooo dutch fu*** for a couple of years. But my parents helped us out in their quiet, trying-to-be-subtle we-love-you-don't-want-you-to-eat-only-beans way a couple of times (for which I never asked for, I'd die before I asked for help but I think parents can sense it) and we worked hard at whatever we could find and we made it through.

If you've been here before you know that I stopped working in the U.S. and got brave and found myself a job teaching English in a private school here. I found another school, bargained and got more money and am now even working Saturdays for extra cash. (And I love Saturday teaching so it's no hardship!)

I've been bringing things across the border for my husband to sell in the flea markets for a couple of years now and it's done well enough but the awesome stuff started happening a few months back.

My husband is handy with fixing things and just up and decided that he was going to fix, repair and sell blenders (Mexicans use blenders like, every day cooking here) from out of our house. It took him a few weeks but he got them all figured out and found a wholesaler for parts. Out went the shingle and in came the customers.

Over the next few months he hemmed and hawed and FRETTED and freaked about his ability to fix washing machines. He's fixed ours quite a few times and wanted to strike out and put out a sign that he could fix THOSE too but he wasn't confident enough. But time and a good wife wore him down and a really neat day came when he was out looking for parts for a washer and he found a Angel of an old man.

The old man lives in a neighborhood far from ours and has been fixing washers forever. My husband was looking for some parts and was asking him some questions, they fired up a conversation and before he knew it the man had offered to let my husband come by the next day to teach him everything there is to know about fixing washers.

That was the push he needed (thank you Angel old man) and right now we've got 8 washing machines sitting in our front and back patio. He's been fixing for people, buying broken ones for diddle squat, fixing them up and selling them. And SOMEHOW within the span of about two weeks that all this has been happening he suddenly became a stove repair man as well.

Just WHEN he figured out how to fix stoves is beyond me, I think it came to him in his sleep one night but he's bought 3 busted ones, fixed them and sold them in the past two weeks so I'm not going to second guess it.

Last week he had 1,000 fliers made up to advertise all of his services and as soon as the rain stops he'll be handing them out.

He's put every last dime he's made strait back into his business, buying lots more things from the wholesaler he found here to sell at the flea market and even hired himself a worker to help sell all of his stuff when he goes.

AND. OMG, THIS is where I get reeeaaaaalllyyy excited!! Last week when I was at a tool wholesaler in the U.S. the friendly man that owns the place told me about a school here in Mx that my husband should check out. It's like a collage, but for WORKERS. They offer 3 month courses just to teach you how to fix stuff. The ones he and I are really excited about are the refrigerator course and the air conditioner course. Those are two things that he doesn't have the know-how to just up and figure out and he REALLY wants to add them to his skill list. There's an electronics/t.v./ext. repair course too and I'm thinking over the next year he'll be a school boy again. The amazing thing? The courses cost about 600 pesos. That's less than 50 US dollars for a 3 month training program. I'm psyched for him!!

Keep a secret?

I have a cleaning lady now.


EEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D lol!

She only comes twice a week but it's like a miracle those two nights a week when I don't have to spend 3 hours cleaning and washing and can istead be with my BABIES of whom work takes too much time away from any way. She's a super nice lady and I have to SERIOUSLY rein myself back from freaking out and cleaning along side her when she's here. Sometimes I do, if the babies are alseep, I figure it'll go faster and we can get MORE done that way, but I know it's just me feeling weird having someone clean my house. Anyhoo, I'm just massively happy that I have more time with the babies and less with that damn mop.

We don't have to eat beans every day anymore and the babies are fat, happy and massively spoiled when it comes to toys and clothes (we buy everything used, can't seem to break that habbit and why should I?) (and love). I can go out with my friends to eat and not have to freak out that there might not be something cheap enough for me on the menu, we're OK now. We're better than Ok, we're great.

So. The thing is, I love the United States, I always will, but I've come to realize that if you want it and work for it, that the U.S. isn't the ONLY place on earth that money can be made and lives can be made better. I actually turned DOWN another job (a few hours a week teaching violin) a few weeks ago because the hours weren't right and would have taken away too much time from the babies. For me, it's a big deal to be able to be comfy enough to feel ok to turn down a few more $$ a week and I'm so thankful.

I could also be teaching more hours during the week after school as well but we don't HAVE to have that money anymore, we're ok. Our house is warm and there's plenty of good food to be shared and Internet to tell everybody about it.

We're GREAT and we're going to be MORE great in the coming years. For the first time in Mexico I'm EXCITED about our life!

So anyhoo, there's more to life than the land of milk and honey. There's tortillas and salsa ya'll.

Who knew.


BC said...

I've been wondering for months if you would be coming back when the time came that your Chino could re-apply for a green card, or would you just be comfortable enough to stay. Seems I have an answer! I am filled with respect and admiration, Gringa. I hope that if we ever get the chance to follow through on my Big Guy's dream and retire to Spain I find I have even half of your fortitude!

Jill said...

Good for you guys! I'm so happy for y'all. Yours (and I mean yours and your husband) is an inspiring story--thanks for sharing!

Larry Prater said...

Lindy, I am so happy for you and Chino and Daisy and I think you have another one, and I am so proud of all of you. I think it is so great that you can make it here in Mexico, and not just have to dream about going back to the US someday. All things being equal, I think here is much better.
And a cleaning lady!!! Isn't that great? You and Chino are so lucky to have each other. Now remember, when you take your vacation down south, I have plenty of room for you all to visit.

Unknown said...

That is so awesome everything is going great for you and your family!! You deserve it, I know you've been through some rough patches but you always have a positive attitude and good sense of humor about everything. You're an inspiration! Thanks for the shout-out friend;) Looking forward to reading more.

Stephanie G said...

Congratulations, I am so glad to see it is going good for you, that gives me hope!

Zoe said...

What an uplifting inspiring blog and so many of them this week! You must be bubbling over with enthusiasm, optimism and excitement. It shows, too! '-) I'm happy as hell for you and hey! You have a cleaning lady more often that I do, which is every TWO weeks.

~ellen~ said...

I am so happy for you all! You are both intelligent, hard-working people, so I knew things would start working out for you sooner or later. Yay for you!!

Boy, I remember when I first found your blog, years and years ago. I remember assuming your name was Danielle, and wondering why you were calling yourself a hor. :D

Look how much has changed since then! Someday, you should write a book of your story, it's been an interesting one. And I know it'll have a happy ending!

With undying bloggy love,

Ana said...

Chino has an "employee", you have a cleaning lady!!
This was an informative and useful post for all the indecisive ppl out there.

Lisa n Javi said...

Great post Lindy. I am so happy for you and your family. This is a post that gives us all hope for the future.

Anonymous said...

So glad things are going so amazing!

We just got a cleaning lady last month (once a week). Most of the time she's there while I'm at the office, but I feel I still feel weird having her clean while I sit on my ass and watch TV/eat dinner in the evenings.

Liz said...

I'm so glad that you've blogged again!!

I so happy that things are going right for you guys! The struggles were hard but you now can be so proud of making through those times AND for Chino getting into a great repair business for himself.

That's awesome! I'm so happy for you and your family!

rubireyes said...

This made me smile from ear to ear. It is great to read success stories that don't involve going back to the US.

Gringa-n-Mexico said...

Aw crap, I've been busy with babies and haven't got to reply, I like to reply to EVERYBODY but this baby wants to TYPE and it's driving him mad to see ME typing, so, sorry for the lameness but I read ALL of your comments and thank you for each one. You all make me smile and feel good and just.....SHINE on the inside. Thank YOU THANK YOU :)

raúl said...

I certainly know how you feel. I made a good living in the USA and people thought I was nuts for moving down here. I think I live better here. I work less and have money to do the things I want. I don't have kids, so I can spend money on vacations and see more of Mexico than I ever could by living in the USA. I want to get a cleaning lady, but I think I would just have to leave the house on cleaning day. It freaks the bejeebus out of me to have someone cleaning my house and I am not helping out. Glad to see you ain't strugglin no moe. Congrats to you and yours. Now maybe you can find some time to come down here and visit us in the center of the country. :)

Gringa-n-Mexico said...

Raul - I'm sorry I don't know how to do the accent on your name! And YES, it freaks me out to be here when she's here. But we make due, today we made her stop and we all had dinner together and then I DID help with the clothes, I just can't help it! :D But she's only here for a couple of hours so the more she/we get done the better :D

Gringa-n-Mexico said...

Raul - I'm sorry I don't know how to do the accent on your name! And YES, it freaks me out to be here when she's here. But we make due, today we made her stop and we all had dinner together and then I DID help with the clothes, I just can't help it! :D But she's only here for a couple of hours so the more she/we get done the better :D

Sparx said...

Freaking well done, gal... Been ages since I came by and man, I'm glad I did... I get freaked out by our cleaner too and she's lovely - those two hours a week are like gold...

Gringa-n-Mexico said...

Sparx - GOLD is right!

Gringa-n-Mexico said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
She-She said...

I'm so happy for you both.

She-She said...

I'm so happy for you both.

She-She said...

I am so happy for the both of you. God bless!

I'm the Mami said...

Good for you guys! Boo ya American dream for realz!

So happy to see that others also think its possible to be happy in a country other than the United States.