17 interesting habits in Mexico
I spent 3 months traveling around Mexico back in 2011 during my first time in Mexico – from the centre, West, South, East and back to the centre. And being a European visiting a Latin American country for the first time, some things, situations, habits and places I saw there, I found kind of weird, strange and very interesting habits in Mexico:
1. So many weird cars I had never seen in my life. Some very old that one would say they cannot move even a centimeter but they still run :D
2. The people involved in the drug traffic have different cars than all the others, they are visible at the first sight – extremely huge cars with black windows, all shiny. Remember the black non-transparent windows.
3. I did not see many zebra crossing all over Mexico. It means that if you have to cross the road/street, just run in between the cars. Yes, seriously! (Sorry mum, hope you didn’t read this!)
4. The Mexicans eat just 3 times per day. All of them. I could not manage to survive with my minimum 5 times per day like most of the Europeans.
5. The Mexicans put the green lime (which they call lemon) into every food, including soups. I have never seen there a yellow lemon we use in Europe. I still ask for the lime but squeeze it into my water.
6. Not many meals are eaten without a salsa in Mexico, mostly a spicy one, very spicy! And I mean VERY spicy!
7. The Mexicans do not eat a lot of vegetable. And they eat cucumber together with fruit. And the breakfast is huge!
8. They eat a lot of junk food, cookies, chips etc. Horrible!
9. You can’t drink tap water in most part of Mexico. Maybe that’s why they do not really drink normal water, they buy coke and all those sugary drinks!
10. Plenty of sugar is put into everything, all the drinks have it, Jamaica/pineapple/melon/papaya water. Each time I asked for a water without sugar, they looked at me as if it didn’t exist.
11. Many Mexicans swim in the sea/waterfalls/lakes/rivers with the clothes on. I asked so many times different people WHY… Or it is not too hot for them as they are used to the heat, or they are ashamed of not being skinny? This was their answer … but I don’t have a clue!
12. I do not want to sound like a racist or something now, because I am not at all, but I have noticed that those of white skin are richer than the native Americans.
13. You have to give tips everywhere, they expect them. The minimum is 10% of the price. I have even seen how the waiters run after you when you do not give them at least 10%, as they mostly live of the tips, not the salary. I was not used to give tips, but then I was happy to get the better service. The Mexicans do try to be nice and helpful, it is logical, they know if they behave better to the customer, they get more tips.
14. Almost all the tour guides are men. During 3 months in Mexico, I saw only 1 female travel guide (and she was awesome!), no idea why.
15. The same with the waiters, most of them are men, while in Europe it’s more women. The Mexican women do work in VIPS and Sanborns restaurants though.
16. The local buses usually stop anywhere, so you can get on/off wherever you need. You do not see this in Europe. I explained the topic more in the post transport in Mexico.
17. Being a third world country, it really surprised me that the public toilets in Mexico and also those in restaurants, parks and everywhere else, are pretty clean. I’d say cleaner than in Europe. Wondering why? There is a cleaner lady all the time and she does work a lot as you tip her there. I even saw for the first time in my life how she gives you a tissue to dry up your hands once you wash them. That’s service! You can even take a nap in the bathroom, e.g. on a sofa in the Sanborns restaurants.
Do you also find these habit in Mexico a bit strange? Are they the same in your country?