27 March, 2015
Things i have learned by living here
1) Humanity creates words to succinctly and effectively describe our experiences. I love that every country has words that other countries do not find importance in creating.
(literally “over the table”). It is a time to relax and connect. For instance:
"Por favor no deje a prisa. Estamos a disfrutar de sobremesa."
Basically, “Please do not leave in a hurry. We are going to enjoy sobremesa.”
2)The storefront displays at clothing stores change every single day.
This makes it both enticing as you pass by and a little irritating because it’s easy to forget exactly which little store had that lovely blue blouse you saw yesterday.
3) Deli meats are a new kind of scary in Mexico. Here hot dogs, salami, ham…it’s all pepto-bismol pink. Or, as you see in the photo below, strawberry smoothie pink. Forget all the pig parts in my salami, why the F*** is it that color?!?!
4) Many of the stone buildings in the neighborhoods we live in were constructed in the 1700-1800’s. It’s mind-boggling to think of the human history contained within these walls.
5) Conservadores are preservatives found in food, etc. Preservativos are condoms. This is an important distinction, particularly in polite or professional conversations. I discovered this by accident when I informed my Spanish teacher that sometimes there are condoms found in baby formula.
6) The best way to deal with the immense sorrow of Mary, mother of Christ is to party like a freakin’ rock star. We happen to be here during ‘Dia de los Flores’ and ‘Viernes de Dolores’ (Day of the Flowers and Friday of Pains, respectively) This two day holiday recognizes when Mary came to discover Jesus would be crucified and the sorrow she endured. This is a national holiday, but it is very special to Guanajuato, as the mothers of the miners felt a special empathy with this pain as they sent their sons into the mines. Thursday the streets become filled with colorful flowers and egg baskets and bands play all night long. There was a crazy loud outdoor rave across town complete with flashing lights that kept us entertained until after midnight with its good music. This morning the all night partiers treated themselves to ice cream and agua fresca, both of which are supposed to somehow represent Mary’s tears and sorrows. The city gave out these things, as well as flowers and cake to those milling about El Jardín. We witnessed quite a few hung over men with heads bowed and scantily clad women teetering down cobblestone roads in their mini skirts and stilettos, grasping one another to prevent a broken ankle. All in the name of Mary and Jesus, naturally.
What are some of the cultural insights and experiences you have had in your travels?