Friday, November 07, 2008

Things I really learned in Mexico

Here are some lessons/thoughts that I brought home with me from Mexico:

* Everyone sweats. No one cares. The Mexicans do construction work in the 100 degree heat and humidity while wearing sweatshirts. This is kind of a big deal for me because I sweat. A lot.

* 100 degree heat and humidity feel much different in an oceanside city than they do in the Midwest.

* Running in that climate = sweating in places that you didn't think actually sweat. I would look down while I was running and my shoulder and biceps were sweating... I never sweat there. Totally weird.

* I can eat chips and guacamole every day and that is one of the things I miss the most about our trip.

* Real Mexican food is much different than American Mexican food (mexican food in the states). We have a very favorite Mexican restaurant by us - El Cortez. We LOVE it... mmmm, I'm getting hungry. But Mexican food in Mexico is much different - at least in the coastal town that we were in. They used very little cheese, unless we actually ordered nachos. We hardly saw cheese. We didn't eat any ground beef. Tacos were not on the menu at any of the restaurants that we ate at (with the exception of fish tacos at a few of them). They use fresh foods and lots and lots of vegetables and very little cheese. The food wasn't greasy at all and it didn't cause internal intestinal distress which sometimes comes along with American Mexican food (tmi?).

All of this may not be the case for all of Mexico, but it was for this area. It was MY IDEAL FOOD - I loved every bit of it and wish I could eat like that every day... it was much healthier than at home. In fact, I ate 3 good sized meals everyday, desserts on a couple of nights, chips and guacamole at least once a day, and had at least one beer every day, sometimes two - probably more than twice as much as I eat normally at home - and I didn't gain a single pound. Not one.

* Mexican salsa is much different than salsa you buy here in a jar - or even salsa that I've made from scratch. Basically, they chop up tomatos and onions, add a little bit of jalepeno pepper and some fresh chopped cilantro. Thats it. It was sooooo good. It wasn't soupy like what we eat here, but fresh and chunky. I LOVED it and plan to make it that way all next summer. Mmmm.

* Time is never an issue for Mexicans... We ordered room service for breakfast every morning. One day it would come in 15 minutes, one day it would be 45 - and we always ordered the same thing: granola, a fruit plate and either waffles or french toast and orange juice. One night we were coming home from Cabo and had gotten the 9pm shuttle back to the resort. Our shuttle was full - packed. We were sitting very close to each other and it was hot. Our driver decided that it was no big deal to sit outside and chat with his friend for 20 minutes while we sat and waited for him. What? Can you imagine if that happened here? There is simply no sense of urgency there.

* Unfinished projects do not seem to bother anyone - I would totally fit in there;) For example, our resort had started a new development project behind the building we were staying in. They got the support beams up for 5 or 6 new 4 story buildings. And then they stopped. Not sure why. But there the "buildings" stood with no one working on them. We saw other examples of this throughout the week... things that had gotten started, but never completed. This is totally me.

* When ordering water in a restaurant it was IMPERATIVE that you order house water instead of bottled water. If you didn't specify that you wanted house water"you would get bottled water and be charged for every bottle they used to refill your glass. One couple told us that they went to dinner and had $60 (US) in charges just in water. House water was water from a pitcher and it was fine - we drank it all week and had no problems whatsoever.

* The crime rate in Los Cabos/Cabo San Lucas is extremely low because everyone has a job. I learned this from my surfing instructor, Manny. After hearing that, Cornbread and I realized that while we were exploring the town on Monday we had felt very safe - never felt uncomfortable, never felt the need to look over our shoulders, just very safe. Probably safer than we feel sometimes in Chicago (depending on where we're walking).

* Surfing is the most exhausting, but exhilirating thing I have ever done. Most of the time is spent paddling against the waves and being beaten up by the waves. You fall off, get back on and paddle back out to wait for another one, which you may or may not get on and which will last all of 30 seconds. But holy crap, the challenge of it all is amazing... the learning process... the fun and elation of actually standing up and riding a wave all the way to the beach... the challenge of finding and trying the next wave... It is nothing I can describe and nothing I've experienced before. It was amazing.


Jen 11:28 AM  

MMM. . .up here they call Mexican salsa pico and it is yummy! We have a fave local Mexican place. Our waiter has told us that Mexican food is very regional.

heidi jo 1:28 AM  

in crete (greek island) they had SO MANY buildings with 2nd or 3rd or higher floors NOT finished. i thought it must just be a lazy people. but in actuality they were taxed more for having a FINISHED building - so people would start a second floor and never finish it on purpose, so their taxes would be lower. isn't that crazy? wonder if cabo was similar.

Kary 10:03 PM  

You had a surfing instructor named Manny? That only happens in cheap romance novels. Sounds like a blast.

JCarey 10:47 PM  

Ahhh, my younger days - I have had the joy of surfing and you are right, there is nothing like it

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