THE TALON

My Trip to Mexico

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My Trip to Mexico

For this winter break, my mother decided that we were going to Mexico for the third time, for her, and the fourth time, for me. This winter break, since it was only my mother and I, we decided to travel by airplane. Traveling by airplane is okay unless there are children screaming when it takes off and lands. My trip to Mexico was good, considering I went to see my family. I was really keen to understand the differences between Mexico and the US because my mother would always explain to me how great Mexico is to her. She absolutely adores “her país (country)” as she would say. Even though, there were some aspects that would freak some people out, Mexico is a magnificent country.

Let’s start with how people drive. Lord Jesus, take the wheel for this one because people drive like maniacs over in Mexico City. If you think people in the US drive terribly, then you should really see Mexican drivers. The majority of people in Mexico City drive like there is no tomorrow. There are a few of people who do drive safely there but that’s also putting it lightly. They just attempt to not cause a car accident. In other places, like Huejotzingo, Puebla, there are much calmer drivers. So don’t worry about the whole country being terrible drivers, it’s just a selected few.

Now, let’s talk about the relationships between people. They are really not like over here. Over in Mexico, people are much more comfortable with each other. A little skeptical of some people that give them shady vibes, obviously, but the community is pretty…well, close. Everyone greets each other (unless they’re just shy or stuck-up) and they always make conversation. It’s really not like that in the US, at least from what I’ve seen. Only workers really greet you here but over there, it can be random people walking to their destination. The majority of the people know each other’s names and they can tell who is new to their city just because they do not recognize them. The people who are really close, though, have nicknames for each other. My oldest sister’s friend, Laura, is nicknamed “guera” because she is pale compared to her family members. Guero(a) is a Mexican slang term that is typically used for people who have a fairer complexion or have lighter hair or eyes. It is NOT the same thing as gringo(a). It is also NOT an offensive term. There’s your lesson of the hour.

A yellow building under the sun that was about to set.

The buildings over there are really different. In the US, I really feel like the majority of the homes are the same colors, just maybe in different tones that are lighter. White, a very light brown, light grey, sometimes light blue, and maybe even an occasional pastel yellow. Oh, and also brick houses. Even trailers are the same colors. In Mexico, though, the buildings are all different colors. Orange, red, green, a really hot pink, you name it. The buildings are just extremely colorful. There are some buildings that are made of all glass windows or bricks and concrete. However, the houses are the ones that are most colorful. Some parts of Mexico even have graffiti. In Mexico City, there are drawings of many well-known faces on the poles (I don’t know what they’re actually called if they aren’t called poles) that are under highways to hold them up. In addition to their buildings, their roads in some parts of cities are also like rocks instead of just pavement.  I thought it was pretty cool because sometimes there are paintings on the ground.

So a really weird fact that I learned my time there with my family was that they do not use coupons. It’s not necessarily because the coupons don’t work there, it’s just that no one, in general, uses them. There are probably a few that do but that’s probably only when they’re in retail stores. Where my sister lives, there aren’t any retail stores such as American Eagle or Old Navy. There is also no Walmart or Sam’s ClubThe closest Sam’s Club is like a city or two away, which is a pretty long travel because they’re like an hour, minimum, away. The closest thing to a Walmart that they have are small grocery stores and even corner stores. When I say small, I really do mean small. It’s probably about the size of just half or less of the food section in Walmart.

There are other things that I have learned on this trip, such as how there are a bunch of stray dogs or how Saturdays are what they call “día de venta,” but these were major differences between the US and Mexico. I hope this will give you a reason to explore and gain knowledge about Mexican culture, even as a tourist, because I absolutely adore Mexico. Just don’t be frightened about the driving in Mexico City, you get used to it after awhile.

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