A taste of Mexico
As I am writing this blog with a glass of vino tinto I take a moment to think about how different Mexico is from what I expected, even though I don’t know I had really strong expectations. I am amazed daily in this almost magical place by many things.
The art of commerce
I am amazed by the many people who spend their day on street corners selling anything from fruit to lighters, and by the many little stores and taquerias we come across on the road. Even the roads less travelled often have people selling gasolina or clothing to the very scarce crowd of people passing by. From the smallest mountain villages to the bigger almost American cities. Mexican people have made selling into an art form, practiced without a stop or fear of rejection. (Mind you it gets annoying after a while)
From African savannah’s to forgotten mountain towns
On this trip I have also been baffled by the wide variety of Mexican landscapes. We visited little towns by the sea, mountain villages lost in the fog, dense jungle and incredible savanna’s that almost feel like Africa. We have yet to see the illusive howler or spider monkeys, boa constrictor or jaguar, but the nature in Mexico is overwhelming in a way I did not expect. I never realise how much I miss nature in Belgium, until it is so undeniable clear we have none that is mentionable. If I would recommend anything on this trip is to absolutely get a car to drive around, so you have plenty of time to admire the nature.
I spend many a day rushing from work, to training or dates with friends and have to calculate my time meticulously in weekends to fit everything in which is quite the opposite of life in Mexico, where everybody has mastered the art of slow living. (Except while driving) People happily spend days on menial labour or sitting by a lake collection 20 pesos for a dive. I don’t know if they happily live this kind of quiet life or they are lacking the option to change it, but it' doesn’t compare in any way to our way of living.
A rich history
Everybody knows the tales of the Mayan culture far beyond the borders of Mexico. We tell our children stories of the offerings, the ancient temples and the jaguar warriors hidden deep in the jungle, but you will never know it if you haven’t experienced it. And I am not talking about a quick visit to Chichen Itza in the afternoon, I am talking absorbing the unbelievable rich history Mexico possess. Temples overlooking vast lands of jungle as far as the eye can see. I am talking about football games, where losing teams would die. I am talking about people offering their children to the Gods. Drink in the tradition and history of the place and you will be amazed.
A cultural story
The thing I like the most about Mexico is the culture. These people embrace life with all its ups and downs. From drinking on graveyards to honour their dead, to crowded markets with chatter and laughter all around. Mexican people are out there, they don’t pretend to be any different than they are. From bribing municipal police on beaches to random people helping us out by giving us meal or hotel recommendations. If a Mexican cannot stand you, by God you will know it. And to tell the truth, I wouldn’t want it any other way.