Mexico teaches me a lot. About life, about myself, about people, culture and opinions. So here goes my second part of things I learned in and about Mexico. Do you have any things that you learned while travelling or living abroad? Let me know in the comments down below. But for now I hope you enjoy my little list of pieces of travel wisdom!
1. The cliché is ture: Punctuality is not a Mexican value.
“Ahorita” has many meanings. Five minutes, half an hour, tonight. You’ll just have to read between the lines to get what they really mean. Or you’re being the German and ask for an exact indication of time that they then more or less stick to. Of course I’m not speaking about each and every individual living in Mexico but when theatre pieces regularly plan that people still wanna buy tickets after the official start time or a 5km-race begins half an hour late, then I guess you should get used to those situations. I must admit however, that I also adapted to that measurement of time so I’m not stressing about time so much anymore.
2. No te preocupes, no pasa nada.
„Don’t worry, it’s not that bad.“ Actually this has always been my motto in life but here in Mexico I guess I somehow really adapted to that „Everything’s gonna be fine“-mentality. Of course there are always things that don’t work out as you planned them or bad things happen but this is not the end of the world. ‘Cause in the end, somehow everything turns out fine.
3. Skulls, Chili, Tequila and colourful decoration is really part of Mexican culture.
This might sound pretty simple but I always compare that fact to the opinion of people on Germany. Ask anyone who’s not living in Germany what comes to their mind when they think about that country and I guarantee you they will mention at least one of the following: Lederhosen, Dirndl, Beer, Pretzels, yodeling. And Rammstein. But we’ll leave this one aside for now. However I personally don’t think that the majority of the Germans walk around in Lederhosen or drink more beer than other people in this world. I might be wrong but I guess that those „cliché traditions“ are not really common anymore. In Mexico however you actually do see a lot of colourful garlands in bars, you always have your food with chili (even sweets sometimes), skulls are decoration items and Tequila (or even better Mezcal) is part of every party.
4. Mexico is not just an endless summer.
I might have confused Mexico with Tahiti here. Happens. But actually this is exactly what’s so fascinating here in this country. In Germany we have spring, summer, autumn and winter. Everywhere and every year. It might vary a bit depending on the location, so some parts may be warmer, some might be cooler, but all in all the weather in Germany is practically the same in every place. So you can wear everything during a year, starting with your bikini and ending up in a winter coat. Well, this is actually what you can wear in Xalapa during a day. While it’s pretty cold in the morning, normally the clouds disappear during the day and it’s getting incredibly warm. In the afternoon the clouds come back and it’s starting to rain and/or a storm appears and in the night it’s cold again. Maybe not -10° Celsius but still enough to be cold without a jacket. This is just the climate in Xalapa. If you’re going to Veracruz which is a one-hour-drive by car, it is super warm all the time. This is where I would’ve had my endless summer.
5. You get to know people best in their own language.
As long as you don’t have anyone in front of you who is almost as fluent in a foreign language as in their mother tongue you normally get to know people best in their own language. You don’t necessarily have to be perfectly fluent yourself in that language because mostly you get what they’re saying by understanding the context of what they’re saying. It’s just that you can always express yourself best in your mother tongue and you can find exactly the words that you need to represent yourself and the way you’re thinking. And this is exactly why it’s always worth it to learn a foreign language. In my opinion languages are the door to the culture of a country, to stories, to identities and most of all to the heart of the people.