Observations of all things Mexican.

Ok, been here long enough that I feel I can make some obversations about all things Mexican.  Some good, some bad.

Mexico is life in the street.  EveryONE is in the street.  EveryTHING is in the street.  People, cars, shops, dogs, old ladies, kids, trash, cobblestones and more trash.

It’s noisy, really noisy and takes a toll on a North American trying to walk around casually.  Ain’t no casual strolls along the streets in Mexico.  You keep your eyes, ears and wits about you when you’re going somewhere or the next thing that happens is you stumble in the sidewalks that haven’t been touched in 500 years, get chased out of the street by a speeding taxi with horn blaring, or bumped into by other people trying to get through their day.

Everything is noisy.  Houses are built on the street with windows that open directly to the streets.  You get to know your neighbors very well whether you want to or not.  Businesses are on the street (and in some cases actually IN the street).  Dogs bark everywhere.  Sirens blare from police cars and ambulances
constantly cruzing the streets.

On the good side, everything is VERY social.  Everyone is cordial.  I would not describe as friendly in U.S. terms but generally cordial and kind when spoken to.  People take their time walking to and from events.  There is a LOT of walking.  People walk to the parks.  People walk to the Zocolo (downtown
square).  People talk A LOT.  Everyone kisses each other to say hello (even if it’s in the middle of the street and blocks traffic)  Saying hello seems to trump all other activities surrounding you and make you immune to speeding cars and other people in the streets trying to get by.

streetscene

People work very hard and get paid very little.  They don’t seem to complain.  It’s the way it is and probably beats what their parents went through.  They tolerate LOUSY infrastructure and never seem to complain.  In fact, they are delighted when something works.  They tolerate incredible corruption
and terrible public service.  To illustrate, yesterday on my way home, I passed a parked MARKED police car with a policeman inside the car totally laid back and sleeping in the car.  Really wanted to take a picture but didn’t want to end up being able to discuss Puebla’s jail system if I pissed the guy off.  Everyone just walked by as if this is the way is it everyday (and it is the way it is everyday)

Can’t say I EVER want to live here but has been an incredible cultural learning experience for me and really makes me appreciate how hard it would be to leave friends and family to start a new life, with a new language and new customs.  Wow, have great respect for anyone that succeeds in that effort.

Also makes me realize HOW HARD mastering (or even being able to speak like a 1st grader) is in a different language.  Trust me, Duolingo doesn’t count (even if you’ve completed the “whole course”)

All for now.  Dogs barking, sirens blaring and horns honking outside as I write this.

Ahhh Mexico.