03 October 2013

First Impressions

So we've been in Mexico for a bit now.  I always like to read about my first impressions of a place to see what I thought at first.

The traffic is nowhere near as bad as I had been led to believe, both in aggressiveness and in congestion.  Maybe I'll actually drive here.  I won't need to, usually, since I can walk to most everything I need.  Even Walmart.  But I am pretending it doesn't exist. Also, there are many speed bumps here. 

I have to keep my mouth clamped tight whenever someone is speaking Spanish to me because I can only get Russian to come out. I always tell them I don't speak Spanish right off so they know where we're at, but since I often understand what they're saying to me, I keep forgetting that I can't say anything back. If I don't have any context for the conversation, I'm not likely to know what's going on, but most of the time I know why the person is talking to me, so I can figure out more of what they're saying. It would be lovely but impractical to go through life understanding Spanish but never having to speak it.

The whole context thing is a huge part of why I hate talking on the phone in another language. You don't see what vehicle they arrive in, you don't know why they are calling, you don't get any clues from their body language, and so much more. There are so many non-verbal things you can learn when you're talking to someone in person.  

Arab tacos.  I had no idea these were a thing.  My husband was, as usual, quizzing our taxi driver about all sorts of things and asked if there are Arabs in Guadalajara, which there are. So we asked about restaurants and the taxi driver told us there are Arab tacos stands.  Since we needed dinner, he dropped us off by some tacos stands, including an Arab one.  It turns out that they're basically shwarma tacos which is totally awesome.  They came with three sauces- yogurt, a hummus-like one, and a smoky spicy one.  

We also tried a regular stand and got quesadillas, vampiros, and gringas. The quesadillas here are better because they fry the cheese (I love watching that).  Vampiros have fried cheese with the tacos.  I lost track of what made the gringas special.  We also got at least five different toppings and some chips.

Taxis seem to be at least three times as much as they were in Bishkek. They're still really cheap from a North American perspective, but since I've only ridden in them in the Middle East and Central Asia, they seem kind of expensive.  Also, the street food doesn't seem all that cheap to me, although it's definitely less than a food truck in DC.

The rainy season isn't quite over which is nice.  It's too warm in the afternoons, but it cools off quickly in the evening and doesn't warm up too quickly in the morning.  I am missing fall though.  It doesn't feel at all like October.


  1. This was so fun to read! Thanks for posting. I love reading first impressions of a new country too. And those Arab tacos sound delicious!

  2. I've been wondering how you were doing. Keep the first impressions coming.