1). Time is relative.
I think it’s probably a good thing that I was in Tennessee for a couple months prior to moving to Mexico. If I thought people were slow there, I was sadly mistaken. The only thing that is faster (and more erratic) here is the driving. At restaurants you have to ask for your check. It’s considered rude to bring it to you. The only time I saw people at school move quickly today was when it was time to go home.
2). People want to help foreigners.
I joke about butchering the language (although it isn’t really a joke…), but I’ve met very few people who look at me like I’m a crazy American. The server at my hotel restaurant got the brunt of my questions, and the ladies at the front desk just smiled sweetly and talked slowly. Even a man on the street the other day helped me correctly pronounce supermercado. I feel like this is important because I’ve heard so many Americans mutter, “Why don’t you learn English before you come here?” Today I just informed everyone I needed to practice. They help me as much as they can, but there was a lot left to guessing today.
3). Poverty vs. Wealth is drastic.
In this one small city, you can get a glimpse of such different classes of people. Those who are well-off would blend in with Americans (although the addition of stilettos with every outfit is a bit over-the-top in my opinion). Yesterday, it was explained that Tuxtla has “nuevo rico” that are a bit smug (that doesn’t seem like the right word, but I can’t think of the one I want). Down the road a short bus ride, long skirts and tired expressions are more common. Houses line the hillside in neat box-like shapes with flat roofs.
4. Everyone greets one another on the street (unless it’s dark).
The older people especially do this. In the morning, they smile and say, “Buenos Dias”. In the afternoon, they say, “Buenos Tardes”. In the evening you keep your head down and walk…
5. Milk comes in three forms: yogurt, evaporated and powder.
I learned this the hard way today. I searched in vain for milk, and found the dairy section where you can buy every kind of yogurt except Greek. Seriously, there is even apple flavored yogurt. Then I found the “milk” aisle. Ha! I think I might just eat yogurt for the next six months, thanks.