5 Things I learned in and about Mexico Part I

posted in: Latin America, Mexico | 0

I’m living in Mexico since three months now and there are already a lot of things I learned during this time. I didn’t only learn things about this colourful, noisy and interesting country and how everything works here but I also learned to appreciate, accept and adore things, values and opinions here in Mexico. Here are the first five things I want to share with you:

1. It’s not that hard to be kind and welcoming.

Kisses, Hugs, Kindness. “Así somos, los mexicanos”, did I hear a girl say. “That’s the way we Mexicans are.” I learned through these amazing people here that it’s not so hard to just give someone a hug or to tell someone honestly that you like them. They like to share here, they like to give, because you know that you help other people that way. And that can make you happy. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a charity life project that you have to pursue, but spreading a little love and happiness everyday can definitely do the thing. Making someone a compliment, treating someone to a coffee, cheer someone up, offer your help to someone. It’s not that difficult and helps everyone involved.

2. Rammstein is known everywhere around the world.

What more can I say? At least better than Hansi Hinterseer.

3. Just because something is working well in Germany, doesn’t mean that this is the only right way.

Yes, we in German try to hide our electrical towers and build cables into the walls of buildings instead of just letting them hang around loose on the outside of a house. Yes, we in Germany get provided by big companies with gas and fuel instead of listening to a truck in the streets that’s selling big barrels of it directly to you when you stop them.Yes, we in Germany throw our toilet paper directly into the toilet instead of a trash can next to it. But all of this doesn’t mean that we in Germany do everything right and those who don’t do it that way are doing it wrong. No. As you can see, it works perfectly that way and if the people in Mexico don’t feel the urge to change it or at least don’t prioritize it, that’s totally alright and neither better nor worse than in Germany. Just different.

4. To find the right Camioneta, just ask a local instead of looking around for ages.

In Berlin I’m asking my bvg app or Google Maps what kind of public transport to take to get to place A to place B and most of the times I get the exact minutes of arrival and departure of the trains and buses right away. Well, in Mexico all of this is happening in analogue dialogues in the non-virtual world. The way from place A to place B seems too far to walk but neither do you wanna spend money on a taxi? Just ask the people on the streets, they’re using the public transportation almost daily and know at least their usual routes by heart. Bus stops aren’t really obvious sometimes, which is why you can assume to be around one as soon as you see a big mass of people waiting at the same stop. Once you’re on the bus, you’ll have to know where you have to get out, so either you let Google Maps run simultaneously and get out of the bus as soon as you think you can walk this bit or you ask the bus driver to inform you once you’re there. In small camionetas (like vans) you can also tell the driver where exactly you’d like to get out, for example you just point at the next corner. Might be a little more complicated than a simple app, but it works.

5. Having a foreign language around you constantly can be pretty exhausting.

In the first few weeks I really had some difficulties speaking Spanish. Even though I was already quite good at Spanish when I came to Mexico, it’s just a whole different thing to participate in conversations within a group when everyone around is speaking super fast, at the same time and using slang. Or when you’re being asked the same thing for the third time and you still don’t get it. Or you get something wrong and talk about a completely different thing. Yes, that happens and that’s frustrating and demotivating but you’ll have to live with it. After now three months I have almost no problems at all anymore speaking Spanish. I can watch movies or theatre pieces in Spanish, read books, newspapers or texts in Spanish, can easily talk to people in bars, can tell stories of my life, talk to people on the phone in Spanish and most of all I can express my humour in Spanish. I might not speak like a native but I’m definitely feeling really well now with that language all around me.

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