I’ve been working in Mexico City again this week and I’ve made some ‘not so keen’ observations that might help others that travel to this beautiful city of nearly nine million people.
- People appreciate it greatly when you “try” to speak Spanish – even a little bit. It’s not too hard to remember “si” or “buenos dias” or “gracias”. I’m always greeted with smiles when I speak Spanish (or perhaps they’re just suppressing their need to laugh at my poor pronunciation).
- Men don’t wear shorts here. Only children and touristas.
- Public prayer is encouraged. In the El Palacio de Hierro department store in which we were installing a new shop there was a small shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe at the employee entrance. Several people blessed themselves upon arrival or departure from work. Imagine that at a Macy’s!
- Margaritas are for girls. Next time order a Michelada or a tequila.
- Refried beans is the breakfast of campeones! Just eat it. It’s great with your eggs.
- Mexico City is in a valley of mountains; the elevation is high and the air is dry. Wear a sweater at night. It gets cool even in the summer – nobody will think you’re a sissy (unless of course you order a Margarita).
- There is a rich and vibrant history here. There is French, German, and English colonial heritage as well as Spanish. The Mexican people have also held on to many native customs and traditions. How sad for the U.S. that the same is not true.
- Mexicans work hard. My installation crew here could easily “out-work” any crew I’ve had in the U.S. or Europe.
- Films dubbed in Spanish in Spain are annoying to Mexicans – According to Jorge, “Rambo or Rocky shouldn’t speak ‘proper Spanish’ with the lisp!” “Muy loco!”
- If you look like me people will ask you if you’re Steve Martin – happens every time I’m down here. I usually just smile and say “si” or “buenos dias” or “gracias”.
- I’m looking forward to getting home tomorrow but I will miss Cuidad de Mexico a little. Especially Jorge, Hector, Gustavo, Miguel, Marco and Marcela who did an amazing job this week and welcomed me into their city as well.
Tonight it seems only fitting that I ask Our Lady of Guadalupe to watch over each of them. May she intervene on their behalf and ask her Son our Lord to bless them and their families.
Oh yes – #11. We’re very Catolico down here, too.
Below is a link to a slide show from my trip this week – disfrutar!