Today is my third day here, but there are just so many thoughts I have on my experience so far. So I apologize in advance if my writing is all over the place.
My interactions with the local people outside of the conference and the hotel have been interesting. I find them warm and helpful. I found the Guatemalans more reserved and weary with strangers than the Mexicans. I was told that the attitude stemmed from the bloody civil war past. The scalpers and people selling souvenirs in ZH and Isla Mujeres can get on one’s nerves after a while, but they were much less insistent than the Cubanos wanting your CUC (this is the currency only foreigners are allowed to use and own – the Convertibles. Owning CUC gives the locals better earnings and purchasing power).
What surprised me is the fact that none of the Mexican participants in the work event really bothered to network with me. I guess I have lost my charm LOL. I actually enjoy that the male species here are quite respectful.
All is not lost however, I had my spanish immersion yesterday when more than half of the presentations were delivered in spanish. That was GREAT!
Yes, my spanish level is still decent, but actually the Mexicans speak clearly and they do not speak so fast. When I arrived in Guatemala, it took me a while to adjust. Guatemaltecos speak slow, but they speak with different diction.
And of course, I have seen very little so far, but it seems that the European looking mestizos are in the cushier jobs. It is a topic closed to home. I will probably not discuss this matter further to avoid any polemica on my blog.
I am sooo looking forward to Sunday and the start of my personal trip and to see more of what Mexico and Mexicans are all about. Unfortunately I will be on the tourist trail this trip.
This brings up another matter of course. Being on a tourist trail gives one a sense of safety. There are many tourists around if you need help. There are other potential victims of petty crimes apart from you (lol). The locals are used to strangers. There will be decent medical clinics. More tourist police. Eateries with decent or good hygiene standards (not that I care that much if you have seen my food posts! Dingier the merrier!). It is easy to meet people. But, but, but, the trip so far has felt so sterile. There is not much sense of adventure. No fear of the unknowns! Not that I am into death-defying activities, but an authentic experience would have been nice. I enjoyed my market visit because I came and left before 10am when the tourists start coming. But otherwise, I do not feel like I am in Mexico apart from the food and the language.