People are always asking me what I do all day in Puerto Vallarta now that I have been put out to pasture, or retired as others of us like to say. Am I not clouded by a sense of over and over again, the same old, the same old? Somehow because we have moved to Mexico for part of the year, people think all I do is I sit in the shade under a tree with a bottle of tequila by my side.
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But I would say “What do you do all day where you are?” Ok, curling is out down here, but other than that large difference, how would you spend your average day back in Canada? Timmy’s?
I have lost my love for the ubiquitous coffee shop known as Tim Horton’s, because when they were bought by Burger King they decided to expand in greater numbers into the US market, but forcing them to change their menu to a more American taste. Suddenly I found that my daily and mandatory bran muffin to keep the engine room in working order, was now covered in sugar and the coffee had taken on a decidedly “Dark Roast” taste. Both were too much for my bland pallet. I was out. But I know for most Canadians they simply bowed their heads to the inevitable and continue to spend their mornings at the Canuck Icon and sit amongst their friends. Then perhaps a large lunch with the Mrs. consisting of Pea and Ham soup topped off with an enormous sandwich of something bad. Then after a short nap full of groans as the “something bad” makes its way to the lower tracks, you must pick up the grandchildren, whom you have called on more than one occasion, “The little buggers”. After playing with the imps on your bad knees, your very unpunctual daughter arrives making excuses that are clearly a fairy tale which would not bear any kind of scrutiny, only to tell you that you must take the kids to school tomorrow because she and her low-rent husband who you begged her not to marry, have an appointment with the debt counsellor. Am I wrong? I don’t think so, not after listening to the stories we hear here in Puerto Vallarta everyday from exhausted seniors who are trying to relax away from their off-spring without being called “So judgemental, cheap and selfish”.
I on the other hand bound from my bed after kissing my wife on all four cheeks and stand on the balcony to be once again transfixed by the view and where we live. Sure the roosters and dogs have been up for some time, plus 3 car alarms and the women who plays the same tuneless CD until I want to lob a brick at her, but this my neighbourhood.
When we returned to Victoria to sell our home, there was a man next door who appeared to cough all day and most of the night. He was so loud that I kept expecting to hear a body hitting the floor after dying through exhaustion. At least with the PV car alarms there is some hope that they will stop. He was still coughing when we left. Also the gardner across the street drove us batty with the leaf blower which seemed attached to his right arm. We shall never forget that sound.
As I was saying my morning kicks off with a beautiful view and a few deep knee bends followed by several stride jumps. Yogurt and fruit is our breakfast of champions and is adhered to without a thought of change. Lemon water is also a big favourite before the tea is served. Just like clockwork after about an hour our collective eyes begin to cross and we hurriedly make our way to favourite bathrooms for the “poop de jour” moment.
Later, now light as feathers we prance down our steep hill for the walk that gets the blood moving and strengthening the leg muscles. I bet not much of that goes on at the local Tim’s back in Canada, eh?
Then we walk through the Ley’s supermarket, partially I admit to check whether the long promised tonic water has arrived as our gin requires it, but also to see what fresh fruit is on display. The food in Mexico especially the fruit and veg are second to none. Sometimes we just wait for one of the many farm trucks that ply the roads of the Centro district with even a fresher variety but of course sadly, they don’t carry tonic water.
Then after walking back to the condo with our goodies, it occurs to us that lunch approaches and what should we do? Eat in or out? These are the sort of choices I like these days, nothing more earth shattering than that. After we have made that heavy decision, it is time for a well deserved nap. Several hours later at 5 pm, a vodka and grapefruit juice on the terrace before winding our way down the hill again, usually to our fav The El Arrayan restaurant and a delicious dinner.
However instead of dessert we have to walk all the way back up the PV equivalent of the Matterhorn which naturally works off those supper calories, before the hot chocolate and nature’s nurse, sleep. Another perfect day in paradise. That’s what we do in retirement in Mexico.
Copyright Christopher Dalton 2015.