Total emersion is the best method

Trip Start Jun 16, 2006
Trip End Sep 05, 2006

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Flag of Mexico  ,
Thursday, June 22, 2006

OK, so this is going to be much longer in the end but I want to add this now so people who are watching my travels can have an update.
I am in Tuxpan, Veracruz working with three civil engineers from Mexico City. Two of them speak ok English, and I am doing better than I expecting at spanglish. I have been here for three days and already I am counting and thinking thoughts in Spanish. Itīs a total sensory overload, Iīm pulling memories out from my high school Spanish classes after they have been buried in my brain for five years. It was hard at first but itīs like riding a bike, you fall down alot and people point and laugh. Iīve been successful in not drinking the local water, but itīs really hard, you have to use bottled water to brush your teeth, you have to make coffee with bottled water, donīt eat steamed vegetables, which is not a problem for me.
I arrived in Tuxpan on Tuesday night, my luggage made it to the airport about 29 hours later, I smelled like a freaking......forgive me, dirty Mexicans. Speaking of Mexicans, I will never call a Mexican lazy for taking a siesta at noon, if you were working in these conditions for this kind of money, believe me, you would take a big break in the middle of the day too. The minimum wage in Mexico is 40 pesos a day, that 50 American cents an hour for you math majors out there. Now I understand why people will risk their lives to come to America to work, a person can earn a weeks wage in a day. Look at the stuff Iīll do for a decent wage, Iīm willing to travel the globe and give up my summer and eventually commit my whole life to my job and I barely get two times the minimum wage. Imagine what I would do for 7 times the minimum wage. wait... stop imagining, Iīm blushing here. I had lots of questions about Mexico. Some of them I found answers, some I did not. Here are a few;

How many lanes are in a Mexican road that doesnīt have any markings on it? well, How many cars and motorcycles fit in itīs width without hitting each other? there is your answer.

what stuff is cheaper in Mexico and what stuff is not? well the internet is about a dollar an hour. Steaks are 8-9 dollars, Beers are 2 bucks average. Anything your used to in the United States like Red Bull, McDonalds, trendy clothing and stuff like that is about 20% more than it is in America. I assume this is because Americans want their creature comforts when they are abroad, and Mexicans want to cash in on American Tourisim. Besides, they donīt Know what a Quarter Pounder is anyway, with cheese or without.

whatīs the deal with these peso thingysīs anyway? Back in the day, it was like 100 pesos to the dollar or something crazy like that. So the government made a NEW peso in the eighties maybe. At that time 1 peso was equal to one dollar, but because of inflation and things the NEW pesos are back up to 10 to 1 dollar. Some businesses take dollars but most do not, some businesses like hotels and nice restaraunts take credit cards, most do not. I thought Visa was everywhere I wanted to be?

Is Tequila better in Mexico...Iīll answer that one with three words YES IT IS.

How many Mexicans can you fit in a Ford Explorer? well, How many Mexicans need to get to the destination? there is your answer. I saw one with eight. Two in the front and six in the back. Iīm sure they could have fit one more in there, and possibly one on the roof and one on each of the running boards.

Can Mexicans drink our water, can they even drink their own water. The surveyors from Mexico City can drink the water from Mexico city, but they have to be just as careful not to drink the water out of the pipes in a small town like Tuxpan. Most of the large restaraunts that take credit cards have caught onto people not drinking the water and they use purified water for serving. No Montezumaīs revenge yet. In fact... itīs kind of the opposite (if you know how I travel). About the worst thing I got was some kanker sores in my mouth from the spicy picante.
!! as I was sitting in the internet cafe writing this I was hit up by a child selling chiclets gum for a peso (10 cents) I had to buy it just because itīs stereotypical!!

If a person in Mexico says something will take two days, it will take three or four, if they say an hour, it will take two, and if they say they will be back in five minutes, find something to do for a half hour. Itīs more like people here say how long they WANT it to take, and then it just takes as long as it takes in reality. After drinking in a bar one night the boss told me we would be at breakfast at six thirty the next morning. I grudgingly drug myself to breakfast at six thirty only to drink coffee until about 8 oīclock when the rest of the crew arrived.

You can be stopped at any point in time on any road in Mexico by a military checkpoint, they can search your car without warrant looking for drugs. Who says Mexicans arenīt fighting trafficking, weīve been stopped twice in our large Chevy 10 passenger van with tinted windows. (I guess we look like drug lords. maybe itīs my watch.)

Did You know?
Trash fires in old coffee cans can double as road flares.

Mexico has a Navy. And ships to sail around on.

Anything for sale in Mexico has a $ sign on it and never has a price. This is for bartering. I got screwed on a soccer shirt already, though it was still a deal by American standards.

keep it real, live life a little slower for a change.
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