Culture Shock and Bedsheets

I’ve written about Culture Shock before, and how I’m currently in Phase 3, where I have a more realistic view on living in Mexico: sometimes good, sometimes bad.

As you can probably tell from my blog, I am usually ecstatic to be living in Cancun. It’s such a beautiful place with great people.

The life.

However, there are still rare occasions when I think, “What the heck am I doing here?” This weekend was one of those moments.

From out of the blue, I’d spent the past few days thinking how nice it might be to live in the States again. I had fantasies of sprawling Target stores, malls filled with cute clothes, driving my SUV around town, filling up on Tex-Mex, central air conditioning, watching movies without mentally criticizing the Spanish subtitles, not living in fear of flying cockroaches … glorious. I wasn’t upset about Mexico, just thinking how moving back to the US might be an option someday.

Then on Sunday, things took an ugly turn. After a nice movie date, Jorge and I went to several department stores around Plaza Las Americas in search of new bedsheets. Much to my dismay, there wasn’t a single set of bedsheets for under $750 pesos. Most were around $1000 pesos (about $80 US). For that price, those sheets better give me a friggin foot massage. And none of them were even attractive. Jorge suggested getting sheets from the grocery store. Grocery store sheets in Mexico are undeniably cheap, but they also feel like sandpaper. (Trust me, I bought many grocery store bedsheets during my university years in Cancun. Never. Again.)

Wanting to get a comfortable night’s sleep without having to sell our firstborn child, Jorge said we could look online to order some from the US, then I could pick them up with I go to the US for Christmas. Well… I don’t want to wait until December. But that’s probably what we’ll end up doing.

I was in a bad mood the rest of the afternoon. When we got home, I started telling Jorge I was going through culture shock this weekend. Then I rambled on and on about giant pretzels, reasonably priced sheets, and Arby’s roast beef sandwiches with root beer.

And that’s when I started to cry.

Which Jorge thought was hilarious.

Until I Googled a picture of an Arby’s roast beef sandwich, and he suddenly became more understanding.

Update: OH MY GOSH Thanks so much to all my friends and readers who have offered to get me sheets! So, so sweet. I love the internet.

29 thoughts on “Culture Shock and Bedsheets

  1. LOL!!!!! I think you should get people that are visiting Cancun (thru this site) to bring you stuff like sheets jaja, que sirvan de algo tu jaja. I agree stuff in Mexico are more expensive and the quality is not there especially clothing.

  2. I totally understand. I used to think the same things when I was in Mexico- turning on the hot water without heating it first, jumping on the subway and going where you like, 24 hour stores. The grass is always greener though and when you are back in the states, you will probably be thinking how fabulous Mexico is. Thats how I am πŸ™‚

  3. One thing I do think Mexico is superior is in Grocery Stores like MEGA or Chedruai the variety of food and freshness is awesome, pan calientito, tortilleria, deli meats and cheeses, so many items and varieties of food. That’s the first thing I do when I visit Cozumel(go to a grocery store and buy stuuf for the beach). I also think Mexico is more laid back and not as uptight as the US when it comes to living life.

    • I do love Mega! I’ve never been grocery shopping in the US because I’ve been living in Mexico since I was 19, but from what I hear, Mexican grocery stores have almost everything a US grocery store has, and lots of things they don’t. I also prefer the Mexican lifestyle, which is why I’m here πŸ™‚ The culture shock just gets the best of me on occasion, but usually I love it here!

  4. My parents are coming in 2 weeks. I might be able to get them to mule you over some sheets. Let me know and I’ll check with them.

  5. I found my own personal solution to the sheets dilemma: sleep in a hammock! I hated the polyester blend bedsheets in Mexico ughhh

    Like Josie said, the grass is always greener. Target and the malls and everything are awesome, but they get old fast, especially when you have to deal with snow/cold weather and the horrendous gas prices from having to fill your SUV to get anywhere here. I have a mid-sized car and it costs me over $50 to gas it up. Just getting to work and going to the grocery store drains my tank in a little less than a week. I miss cheap, reliable public transportation!

  6. It started for me when I was pregnant with our son. I couldn’t stomach any of the food I normally loved here, I hated hailing cabs and buses, going to so many small stores when all I wanted to do was get in my car and drive to Wal-mart and buy a huge smoked ham and green beans! Pregnancy was MUCH easier in the US, and ultimately, after our son was born, the idea of living so far away from my family made me increasingly sad. I had never felt that way before and it’s been an uphill battle to stay positive about being in Mexico. I see my parents watching their grandkids growing up via webcam and it just breaks my heart. So much that we’ve decided to go for a waiver for my husband, instead of staying here the ten years as planned.

    And yes, buy the sheets in the US and bring them back. I have done that for the past 3.5 years. πŸ™‚

  7. Awww…Laura, I get it πŸ™‚

    The sandpaper sheets are horrible. I made the mistake of buying them once for our guestroom – I went and got a sheet set at Costco afterwards for $1000 pesos. They are fantastic. Truth be told? Canada is so freaking expensive as well… Nothing like the States. However, with the comparison, I find living in Cancun can be quite expensive… Can you do it cheap? Yes, but then you end up with sandpaper sheets!! I try and stock up on as much as I can in Canada, and bring it down… I am always asking family/friends to bring us stuff.

    Let me know if I can bring you something. I’ll be back in Cancun in 15 days…. Ship it to my Canadian house πŸ™‚

    • I find living in Cancun can be cheap, but only if you’re willing to make some sacrifices, like you said. Our rent is dirt cheap, for example, but our house doesn’t have very good electricity or water pressure. I do love the house, though. (You haven’t seen it since we actually got furniture for the living room haha)

      • Cancun can be cheap for sure – Just have to make smart decisions, LOL!!

        Again, let me know if you want to ship sheets to my house, I’ll bring them down for you in a couple of weeks. You should see all the things Gill just took with him, LOL!
        You have a great house πŸ™‚ I love the yard!!! I’ll have to come over soon and see the finished product πŸ™‚

  8. How much would a house like the one you live in cost if you were to buy? Houses are pretty cheap in the states right now.

  9. Wow that is a lot for sheets. We have never looked for any here because his family had some for us to use but once I put it on the bed I found they were not the right size. I hate sleeping and having the sheets move all over. So I did bring us back sheets one time and after hearing this boy I am I glad I did.

  10. uuuuuuugh I totally understand. I love living in Peru..but being pregnant here has been a COMPLETELY different experience than I ever imagined. Not being able to find ANYTHING baby that doesnt cost a million dollars…It kills me. I’ve had my share of emotional breakdowns.

    We are going to the states for Christmas this year too (first Christmas in 4 years) and I AM ECSTATIC!!!!!!

    And…I was just thinking about Arby’s today. *sigh*

  11. Ugh, sandpaper sheets. We (mistakingly) bought some from the wal-mart for 300 pesos. In Canada I can find decent, comfortable ones for 20 dollars – so I am thinking 300 pesos is pretty average… T’was not the case..So so so uncomfortable! lol, waste of our hard earned 300 pesos! Last time we were there I thought brought everything with me… but our new sheets. Needless to stay, sleeping on our sandpaper sheets was not the highlight of our trip. lol!

    I think everyone goes through waves, and I think your feelings are very normal.. Hope you feel better soon, amiga! πŸ™‚

  12. I completely understand. I love Brazil, but God is it expensive. Did you think so? Our rent is outrageous, especially for the age and size of this apartment (it’s only like 68 squared meters). It’s a 2-bedroom. We’re actually moving tomorrow to save on rent.
    EVERYTHING is expensive in this city. It’s amazing how fast your money goes.
    I dream of Target, of cheap food, to shop ’til I drop, and now baby clothes! I can’t WAIT to get to the States in just two months. I’m going to buy clothes for a year for the 3 of us and save so much! Instead of spending $250 on a stroller from Brazil, I’ll pay $70 (if we don’t get it at our baby shower).
    I also get frustrated when I see overpriced sheets, hangers, picture frames, etc. It also makes me feel lucky that we can get so much from the States.

  13. Hey now, don’t bring up Arby’s or things will get ugly for me down here in Brazil. πŸ™‚ I’m sorry to hear that you’re having a bad day but these things come and go (as I’m sure you know) and later you’ll be in live again. Plus, think, most couplea realistically have a one country option, you have the US and Mexico! That’s cool!

  14. I totally know what u mean. The culture shock got me last mos after living here for 3 mos moving from rosarito beach where we always had access to our USA city san Diego! The heat is the worst part of moving here during the summer! Also craving Indian food but only finding places in hotel zone where the prices are way more expensive then the states! We live in villas del arte a nice private community and we are paying way less for a 3 bedroom. I’m going thru a withdrawal from all the cute crystal metaphysical shops and barnes n nobles! Lol we finally got some nice sheets in chedraui! Very comfortable I was amazed! Way better then stuff we found I. Commercial mexicana!

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