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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Time For Reflection

It's taken me a while to think about some of the differences between home and Mexico but I've had a few chilled days to myself. So here are some of the things I noticed:

If you're offering someone a cigarette it's considered rude to take the cigarette out of the pack and hand it to them. It's better to let them take the cigarette out of the pack themselves. I'd offered many Mexican people cigarettes by hand before 2 Oaxcan guys told me this so I don't think it's really that big a deal. Interesting though.

Shoe shining is still very much practiced in Mexico. I guess it's because the streets can be very dry and dusty and I think it's also a status thing. The rich buisnessmen couldn't possibly clean their own shoes!

Most Mexican dishes use all the same ingredients (tortillas, meat, cheese and beans) they just present them in a different way and give them different names.

Mexican people are very tactile, even when meeting someone for the first time they will hug you and give you a kiss on the cheek.

It is not uncommon to see older men lying on the street in broad daylight passed out drunk (or possibly dead).

Mexican policemen and government security guard are heavily armed with guns. Big massive guns.

As a general rule, Mexicans are very friendly and helpful. The downside to this, however, is if they don't the answer to something they will tell you anything. Hence me walking around the airport for 2 hours before I located my lost luggage!

Mexican people are always late, not by minutes but by hours. They will often use the traffic as an excuse, which, to be fair, is a valid excuse as the traffic is crazy in the city.

Mexican people are extremely noisy! There's no such thing as going for a 'quiet' drink as the bars are always playing extremely loud music. They also like to hoot and holler a lot, especially on public transport where they're often trying to sell CD's or snacks.

So that's about all I can think of just at the moment but I'm sure there are many more differences, and probably much more interesting ones but this is all my brain's allowing me to remember just at the minute.

I'm In Riobamba now and have treated myself to a private room in a hotel for a couple of nights. After sharing dorm rooms it's such a pleasure to have my own space and a TV. I watched all manner of nonsense last night just because I could. I don't normally watch a lot of TV at home but it is nice having access to it. Tomorrow I'm making my way down to Cuenca. There's supposed to be some good museums down there so I'll while away my time soaking up a little bit of culture!

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