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Tomorrow marks four weeks since I arrived in Mexico.

When I came down here in January for a week-long scouting expedition and left with a contract to buy a house, the actuality of living here was remote and conceptual. I still had a lot of time to keep living my life in Seattle. I had a shit-ton of things to get done and a four-week trip to Europe, but I continued to live each day pretty much in the mode of business as usual.

Even after I got back from Europe, my house under contract and all my furniture sold, gave notice at work, booked my flight, started packing my remaining possessions, enjoyed numerous final outings with friends, and moved out of my house for the last few days, living in Mexico was still an idea, a thing of the imagination. It never felt like a real thing.

Now, of course, it is very much a real thing. Four weeks, it turns out, is enough time to form new friendships and establish new routines. I have two trivia nights, Tuesdays at Purple Garlic and Thursdays at The Cocktail Bar. I am playing bridge minimum two times a week at Lake Chapala Duplicate Bridge Club, and I've got potential for a couple of regular partners. I eat out a lot (sometimes with friends, sometimes by myself) because it´s cheap and good. (I'm currently at one of my favorite breakfast spots, Scallion.) I have American TV (the channels I'm getting are actually from Seattle) plus Netflix and Amazon Prime, plus I can stream NPR and other radio stations from the US. Yesterday I went to my first movie (Rocketman, in English with Spanish subtitles). And I've put in a few hours of work this week for POP.

I've gotten my first haircut. I have a regular plumber/electrician/maintenance guy who I can call to come over and fix anything that needs fixing at my house. I got fingerprinted yesterday for my permanent resident card. I'm learning the names of the streets in Ajijic and the names of the other towns in Lakeside. I've shopped at the Tianguis and stopped along the carretera to buy produce from vendors. And I'm picking up Spanish words and expressions (though I'm still a long long way from fluency or even reasonable survival Spanish).

I'm learning about how Mexican time is measured. Some things happen faster than you'd imagine. Other things I wait for days, or weeks.

I wonder, though, as I meet people, how things will settle down after I've been here a while. It's easy to meet new people here, and friendships seem to form very quickly. But how real is a friendship that isn't based on gradually getting to know someone and discovering the things you have in common? Eventually, will my new friends grow bored with me or find me lacking in some important qualities? Or vice versa?

I wonder which routines will be permanent and which will change. Which friendships will flourish, and which will fade? What new people will I meet? What new activities will I get involved in?

Four weeks has quickly turned the concept of living in Mexico into a reality. But four weeks is really not enough time to feel settled in. That will take time.

A vendor selling baskets and other stuff at a restaurant

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