In 1981 the American Consul invited us to a Fourth of July Picnic, held in the backyard of the consulate. We all found room to sit and visit and eat some rather horrible baked beans, around just two picnic tables. We, the participants, were asked to bring a covered dish, dinner-on-the-ground style.
Most of those present, I learned, were here in Yucatan to actually ‘do' something like go to school, investigate something, work at a job, be a DEA person, or marry a local.
There were no cel phones and television entered our homes by way of enormous and ugly antennas, some larger than the actual roof of the home. Gossiping was usually accomplished face to face. The digital age was still some years away.
There were no shopping centers; Walmart had not been invented and no one had ever heard of Costco or Superama, shopping standbys which today’s expats can’t live without. And I actually considered driving to North Carolina to bring a good refrigerator. NAFTA would not be a fact for fifteen more years.