- The periwinkle sky. It's somehow more colorful than up north!
- The noise. Military drills, dogs, cats, construction, vendors, PR trucks, music, engines, birds... West LA sounds totally dead after Mexico. So dead, it send me into a spiral of depression. I'm going to have to hang out in East LA! But the music will be different.....
- The freedom. You think the rest of the world envies the US for its freedoms? Ha! Are you kidding? Mexicans are free in a way that the Americans have not known for decades. Maybe never. Try driving a pickup with your extended family in the back, for example. Or build a pyrotechnic erector set tower in front of YOUR church and set off rockets every night for a week. Or have your 12 year old work at your restaurant while your 10 year old is caring for your 8 year old. Or simply stroll down the beach with a beer in your hand.
- Buying real food at real stores. Greengrocers for fruit and veggies. Butchers for meat. Fishmongers for seafood. Tortilla shops for tortillas. Et cetera. Take a container to the local restaurants and get some chile rellenos to go.
- I've already gone on and on about the fish, but they have lovely produce as well. Not a giant variety, but almost all of it is local and delicious. It's as good as what you'd find at a farmers' market up north, except cheaper.
- The People!! I love the simple, content, beautiful people of this village. I love how they are friendly without being too familiar.
- The Sometimes Bizarre Non-Mexicans who can be all too familiar without being very friendly. (The man who came to our house a dozen times insisting we let him use our internet connection comes to mind immediately. "There are several internet cafes in town," I told him but all he had to say was "Their connection speed isn't very good." And then there was the mother-son party crashing tag team. They came to a dinner we were having with friends, ate most of the food, drank bucketfuls of Miss J's tequila but ignored us henceforth!)