It’s The Little Things


Like unrefrigerated eggs and milk.  At first this is a little weird and you are down right suspicious of them but they turned out to taste better than the ones from Safeway.  Did I mention that they are expensive?  About twice the price of Safeway.  Health-wise, according to Google, you are less likely to get sick from them because they have not been power washed or cleansed to a fare thee well.  Power washing the eggs removes the protective membrane around the shell that keeps germs from getting in.

Like women dress here very conservatively.  It’s rare to see a woman wearing clothing that shows more skin than necessary to stay cool.  They wear mostly capri pants or dress/skirts.  I always dress according to local cultural norms unless I am on the boat.

Like it’s hard to find little things that you need.  I’m still looking for sewing needles and rubber stoppers to put on the ladders on the side of  the boat.  All of the little shops carry different things and you just have to keep looking until you find what you need.

Like the general politeness of everyone.  They all seem genuinely interested in helping us get to our destination.   When we are going to a new destination, we ask the bus driver where to get off.  Everyone is curious about the gringos on the bus and when it comes time to get off the bus, they all yell “Hombre, get off here, get off now.”  And point us in the right direction.

Like milk comes in litre cartons, unrefrigerated.

Like when you are driving and need to make a left turn, you have to pull completely off the road to the right-hand shoulder, come to a stop, and wait for the traffic to clear enough to ZOOM fast across all traffic to make the turn.

Like the walk/don’t walk signals.  The signal for your time to cross the street shows the guy running, like an all-out, full-on, arms-pumping, legs-flying, run for your life, run.  And we do.  No prissy shoes for me!

Like the streets are not paved,  They are river bed rocks, pounded into a road bed with dirt to hold them into place.  Unless it rains.

Like there is no drainage system to accommodate the rain and the streets flood easily regardless of the amount of rain.

Like there are many articles and news reports stating that Mexico has improved it’s water quality.  For the most part, Mexico has begun using the desalination (reverse osmosis) process for producing purified drinking water.  But they did not improve the delivery of the water.  The infrastructure for getting the water into the homes and businesses hasn’t changed so the water is still suspect.

Like you can’t go anywhere without being harassed by street beggars.  They come up to us everywhere.  Sometimes even the bathrooms.  Always when you are eating or having a beer at the bar.  Lots of them.  I used to be gracious about saying “No gracious.” I’m over it.

Like how many micro business are here.  Small little rented spaces, card tables, a guy selling fresh-ground, organic coffee out of a wheel barrel he pushes through the streets, stalls with tarp covers, and people selling the same merchandise in every stall, and thus far, every town.  Like there was only one huge manufacturer of shoes and every one sells the same stuff but different prices.

Like Mexicans don’t trust Americans and follow us around when we enter the department stores or grocery store.  They always inspect my bags or I have to check them in at the entrance and the Mexican women don’t.

Like the grocery stores are small and the food is old and dirty.

Like there is no refrigeration and the food is simply picked from the field, tossed into containers and delivered to the store for sale.  The vegetables that were picked first and tossed into the unrefrigerated truck for transport are limp by the time they make it to the market.

Like there must be tons of food that goes to waste because no one wants to pay extortionist prices for wilted, damaged vegetables.  Fruit and vegetables get scrutinized by everyone and you see the employees taking all the rotted, unwanted fresh food and tossing it in the trash.  Not even the pigs get this food which would be a help to the pig farmers but it isn’t going to happen.

Like not one single Mexican resident will or possibly can discuss issues with their government.  We overheard one person, a former US resident, state that it could be a death sentence.

Like the majority of the population does not have televisions, internets, computers, or cell phones.

Like you can never flush toilet tissue down the toilet.  It all goes in a trash can.  But the weird thing is that the bathrooms are always clean.  There is rarely much in the trash cans and the bathrooms are monitored for cleanliness.  The trash gets emptied at least every hour.

Like the cost to see a move is 45 pesos (about $4.oo)

Like there is little diversity in food choice whether at the grocery store or eating out.

Like it’s almost cheaper to eat out than to grocery shop.

Like in some ways, you find Sams, Costco, Walmart, and the stores are laid out the same but the merchandise is so much more expensive than in the US.

Like there are LOTS of small grocery stores, about the size of a walk-in closet and we are amazed that they do enough business to stay in business.  On any given street, they are situated every 10 feet, one after another.  They are more expensive than any convenient store in the states.  Hard to figure out how they stay open especially in the off season when there are few tourists.

Like the only sport is soccer.  It’s hard to find any American sport.

Like they don’t like Americans but every billboard, every commercial features an ‘all American’ white person.  Never a Mexican.  Even maniquens in the department stores depict sexy Americans in American outfits, American stuff.



One Comment Add yours

  1. Don & Mickey says:

    The last comment we posted was really for this post…not the one that we posted too….we have to get the hang of this blogging stuff. Sorry. M&D

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