Well, no one stopped me, so here is a lovely essay about American Expats in his native Mexico by Arturo Garcia, who is now a Mexican expat and wonderful artist and poet living in the U.S. I guess we traded places:
If there were Americans in Chapala, in Ajijic there were even more. They met at the Old Posada, at the Plaza, at the restaurants in La Montaña, and at the Lake Chapala Society. They had large houses in La Floresta, in Rancho del Oro and more in the heart of town where they felt part of the native community. Those who chose to live in town were not bothered by the cocks that began to crow in the corrals at five in the morning or by the dogs that barked all night at some opossum or some nagual soul that arrived in the shape of an owl. For them, the superstition of the people was ancestral mysticism and they saw it as part of our culture that they had learned in books and that the townspeople without knowing, lived by innate wisdom and by being direct heirs of the Indians who survived the conquests. People had that in their blood and Americans were attracted to it because everything was authentic.
Americans who were touched by the magic of the town left everything behind to stay. Many set aside their piece of land in the municipal cemetery because that was how great their love for the town was. Sometimes they used the politics of their country or the state of social decline as an excuse, but the real reason they did not return was not known to them. They were simply bewitched by the spirit of Ajijic and there was nothing to separate them, not even death.
They, the Ajijic Americans, stood out by their way of dressing, by the efforts they made to speak Spanish and did not judge the native ways of some inhabitants who refused progress, on the contrary, they went to the store with their huaraches and embroidered morral bags made by Huichol Indians while the women came out with their Oaxacan blouses looking and feeling like Frida Kahlo herself. It was nice to see them with their Mexican hearts blending with the locals, putting aside their cameras to hang Wixarika morrales on their shoulders when they decided to stop recording memories with the 35-millimeter camera roll to start storing them on the roll of memory living the experience permanently.
Photo: Pedro Loco. Inside Lakeside.