Thursday, July 15, 2010


When you move to a foreign country, of course there are things that you will leave behind. Sometimes they’ll seem trivial, but they’re a loss none the less. I have to restate here, in case I failed to previously, that we love the U.S. and are proud of being U.S. citizens. Our leaving, unlike many others that we’ve met, had nothing to do with dissatisfaction with politics or other nefarious reasons, it was almost totally economic. We just found it very difficult to survive on our retirement. Property taxes, insurance, utilities keep raising, finally reaching outside our ability to pay. Here in Belize, especially since we’re off the grid, we can survive. (I won’t go into the fact that we’ve been unable to sell our house in Oregon, which is really dragging us down).

Back to things that we do miss. Outside the grandchildren, of course, I have to say that I probably miss Costco as much as anything. Just dreaming of those shelves stacked with all sorts of diverse and lovely products. Even with just the two of us, it paid to buy their giant economy sizes and store them. How comforting to have well stocked shelves.

Here, it’s back to older times. Peter’s or Running W for meat, Caribbean Chicken for Chicken, a Chinese market for good prices, 3 Flags for non-perishable items and of course, the market for vegetables. The vendors here don’t seem to need the huge markups that most US stores demand. The big GST of 12.5% on non food items has hit everyone pretty hard though.

This all came to my mind when I bought a jar of garlic powder. Dumb! As with all powdered products, it got hard and I’ve had to chip it out of the jar. I was reminiscing to my friend, Diane, about the wonderful jars of garlic in oil that I used to buy in Oregon and she told me that she buys garlic bulbs at the market, peels and chops them and stores in olive oil. It’s labor intensive, but what the heck. So today, I’m peeling and chopping. It smells like a little of Italy in here and I love it. I think I’ll go out into the garden and work for a bit. When I used to have horses, we’d give them some garlic in their feed to repel the bugs. Maybe I’ve hit on something. We’ll see! Oh Costco, I miss you!

1 comment:

Raquel said...

We too are from Oregon (Portland area) and are planning a trip to Belize in 2 weeks. Our dream is to move down there in 2-3 years. We also love the idea of being as self sufficient as possible. I grew up and have lived on a farm all but the last two years of my life, so gardening and raising animals for food is nothing new to me. I'm up for the challenges We will endure and the simpler life it will bring. We will be coming to the San Ignacio area for a couple nights, and would love any advice that you would love to pass along to these expats to be!