My Mexican Observations

Well, I have now been living in Mexico City for exactly one year and thirteen days, and I thought I would share with you some of my observations on various aspect of Mexican life that I have encountered:

The People:

  • The Mexicans are some of the most polite and courteous people I have come across (except when they are driving)
  • They dress according to the official season and not to the actual weather. If it’s supposed to be Autumn, they will dress for Autumn wearing jeans, jumpers, boots, scarves and jackets, despite it being sunny and 28°C outside!
  • Chivalry is still alive – as a woman you will never have to open a door, or pull out your own chair as long as you are here. Note: this does not apply while driving.
  • Plastic surgery is perfectly acceptable – the older you are, the tighter your face
  • Spending 3-4 hours in the salon every morning is the daily routine for the women of Polanco.
  • Tipping is a way of life. Be prepared to tip everyone you encounter – which means carry lots and lots of loose change.

If your a woman, especially if you are blond:

  • You just love it when men shout at you “hola guerra” loosely translated “hello blondie”
  • It is even better if that is followed up with a sharp sucking in noise.
  • All men think that you a fair game if you are out partying without your man, because naturally all blondes are tramps.

 Food and Drink

  • Food and drink is everywhere you look.
  • Tequila is an amazing drink that should be sipped and savoured followed by a spicy tomato juice called a sangrita, and not to be shot with lemon and salt at 3 am in some dodgy nightclub.
  • Mezcal is even better than tequila – and will be the next big Mexican export.
  • Mexican street food is fantastic.
  • Mexican restaurant food is over rated.
  • Its really difficult to find a bar where you can actually stand by the bar and drink and chat, but rather you have to be seated at a table with a waiter who will attend to your every need.
  • Apparently at the supermarket a lime and a lemon are the same things.
  • It is absolutely necessary to have a flat screen telly in every single restaurant – if its not playing football, it will be some music videos from the 1980s.

The Traffic

  • Is horrendous.
  • All Mexican chivalry and courtesy flys out the window the minute a mexican sits behind the steering wheel – it’s very Dr. Jekyll & Mr Hyde.
  • A journey that would normally take 10 mins without traffic, could take an excruciating 40mins
  • It is perfectly acceptable to drive a car the wrong way down a one way street as long as the car is facing the right direction.
  • Being a pedestrian in this country is a contact sport
  • Apparently if you honk your horn repeatedly you will make the car in front of the queue move quicker – even though you are 10 cars behind.
  • The bigger car nearly always wins
  • Its impossible to park your own car in a busy neighbourhood. You have to always pay for valley.

 The Police

  • For the most part useless, or as ‘C’ calls them are Umpa Lumpas
  • They constantly have their lights flashing – just to make sure you know that they are there. Or as one theory goes, to scare off any near by criminals so that they don’t actually have to do any work.
  • Will turn their sirens on if they are stuck in traffic – hmm I wonder why?
  • They always seem to be eating…
  • Umpa, Lumpa, doom-pa-dee-do…


  • Mexico is the only city left that still has organ grinders – unfortunately the organs have not been tuned since the beginning of the 1900s. The result? Sounds like fighting tom-cats…yet they expect you to pay for this listening pleasure!
  • Mariachi’s are only fun after a lot of tequila and after midnight.

Hmm, I am sure that this list of facts is not exhaustive and that it still has space to grow, but for now this will have to do.

Needless to say, this year has been amazing. Filled with adventure, exploration and new experiences, and I am looking forward to see what the next year will bring! Thank you Mexico.

5 thoughts on “My Mexican Observations

  1. Alex, just thought I’d let you know they are not calling you guerra (which means war) but guera. Since my keyboard is for english I will just copy here the wiki page in English with the correct spelling: Güero [ˈweɾo] or [ˈgweɾo] is a word used in Mexico to denote a person of fair complexion or with blond or red hair. The feminine form is güera. Although Güero/a typically refers to a blond person, in Mexico, it can mean anyone of lighter skin and hair, even a person with light brown hair, especially auburn hair. This is opposed to “indio”, “moreno” or “prieto”, who are of dark brown or black hair and of browner skin tones and/or Amerindian or Afro-Mexican origin. In Mexico, it´s a non-derogatory term and when used to refer or address a person of Caucasian descent, it is either neutral or slightly deferential. Mexican Americans might use it as a derogatory term due to inherent racial conflicts in the United States.
    Welcome to Mexico City, I’ve been here since 11/2010.

      1. typos are a problem when blogging I agree, typing in the post and then publishing seems to make visible all kinds of things we never expected to see when we did the last revision! Glad you know you not a warrior.

  2. Hi Alex, I loved your list and it made me giggle:) It is always interesting to me to see what foreigners in my country think about it. Though I’m not from el DF, from Jalisco you know where they drink Mezcal like it’s water, hehe. The lemon -lime thing made me remember how confused I was when we went to the states, then explaining it to my American esposo which just thinks it’s weird. I look forward to reading more of your blog. Glad you found me, y hasta luego:)

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