I feel so priviledged to see more of the real Mexico than the average person who goes there for a week! For example, while standing in line ups at the airport, waiting to leave that paradise, I heard many people complain or comment about how there were beans on everything! I hardly saw a bean the whole time I was there! It was an ingredient in an enchilada I had, I think (which was great). I miss the food! Anyways, I have a theory about beans now, that there are a lot of them in Mexico, but the Mexicans are not overly fond of them (no more than anyone else) so they feed them to tourists! This could be part of a cruel joke, or maybe just due to their surplus! 🙂 Mexicans don’t seem particularly cruel, although when dealing with tourists day in and day out, anyone could get grumpy! 🙂 I had tamales for breakfast most mornings (I think I mentioned that already)… here is a picture of what they look like (half-eaten)! They’re made of corn, sometimes with pineapple added (yum).
Other observations of Mexico… the women seem quite concerned with their appearance. It is for this reason I say that if you’re a missionary who likes manicures and mascara, Mexico is the place for you. You’d fit right in! I never saw anyone in a regular, plain shirt, baggy pants, or without their black eyeliner (I must have looked not only very fair but also very plain to them)! There’s an awful lot of make up in Mazatlan! And sparkles, and tight pants… you get the picture. Christian ladies were more modest, but still seemed to care what they looked like. This point was driven home recently on my way back to High Level, when I stopped at a Tim Horton’s and observed what the women there were wearing! Dressed like Mexican bag ladies, mostly! 🙂 A lot of solid colours, baggy/comfy stuff and not much make up or fancy hair. Aaaah, I’m home! So, I am forced to wonder why the Mexican women are this way… are the men overly concerned with women’s appearance too, or do the women dress this way out of competition? I have no answer for that! Theories, anyone? The men, by the way, sometimes wear very flashy shirts… rivalling any rhinestone cowboy! In fact, there are lots of Mexican cowboys, and it seems at least somewhat fashionable for ordinary people (non-cow-folk) to dress this way. But I saw lots of average men dressed for work, or in grubby clothes.
So many times I was wishing I spoke more Spanish! I managed to learn about 50 words and a few phrases before I went, and I picked up more while I was there! But the time I wished I knew more Spanish the most was when I was helping Mary at the sewing class. She goes twice a week to a very seedy neighbourhood (“colonia” in Spanish) and helps a lady from Saskatchewan teach a sewing class! Pretty cool! But, the ladies there speak virtually no English, so I was feeling kinda useless. But, the Saskatchewanian woman managed with gestures and hand motions, and most people were able to figure out what she meant! (The pastor’s wife was there also and would translate if we got really stuck.) The second day I went, I started substituting French a bit, or forms of French, since it struck me that the languages really were quite similar! It helped a bit! 🙂 See the pic at the bottom of Mary and Irma presenting a new sewing machine to the spanish ladies… The machines they had were very old and I spent quite a bit of time just trying to get them to work right!
That’s all for now, I guess! Stay tuned for more blogs about Mexico! It’s the most exciting thing I’ve done in a while! Hopefully, you won’t get tired of it!