- Sitting down for a meal you recognise that there are no sauces or condiments and you immediately feel deprived of something essential. “At least some Valentina please!”
When I arrived in Mexico everything seemed spicy to me and habanero (a very hot Mexican chili) horrified me. One and a half years later whilst having dinner with some visitors I recommended a sauce saying that it was not spicy and they started hating me when their tongues started burning like hell. 🙂 At that moment, I understood how Mexicans can say that their sauces are not spicy. They eat hot stuff from early childhood, even many candies contain chili. Last time I went to Russia I felt how addictive spicy food can be because I started feeling withdrawal.
- You become angry when people call Tex Mex – Mexican cuisine and mole – chocolate sauce.
Burritos and fajitas are not Mexican cuisine! Ok, people eat them in the north near the US border, but Mexican food is so much more than that. It is incredibly rich and very ancient and I believe that unfortunately very few people abroad have any idea of what Mexican cuisine is really about. It can be due to very few Mexicans living in other countries except the US. For example, “escamoles” (ant eggs) is a pure delicacy and they add it to guacamole or even risotto. “Huitlacoche” (corn fungus) is also a common traditional ingredient, but have you ever heard about either of these? There are dozens of types of chilies that they use on a regular basis. Imagine the plethora of different sauces that they make. For example, mole (chocolate sauce) sometimes includes more than 30 ingredients and just a few squares of chocolate.
- You`ve learnt to let go
Dealing with Mexican bureaucracy or having one sided conversations by email where you never get any response is a nightmare. In the end, you come to understand that you can`t fight against the whole system on your own and you let go. You get used to situations where you ask for something, receive something completely different and simply accept itJ Just today they politely offered me something to drink in a nail salon. I asked for a chamomile tea without sugar. Guess what I got? Green tea with sugar 🙂
In the beginning, I was surprised and even uncomfortable, but now I observe and collect funny anecdotes because Mexico is magical and completely surreal. One Spanish teacher said – “Imagine that you are in a surreal dream and your life will be much easier in Mexico city.” I am trying 🙂
- You`ve learnt to be extremely polite
Unfortunately, in Russia we are too straight forward and lack social intelligence. Here it is the opposite – a lot of peasantries are needed before getting to the point. Everybody is very nice, always smiling and very rarely do they raise their voices even if they are saying something that the other person completely disagrees with.
- Newly acquired gestures
You give people the side of the hand as a sign of thanks and you make a little worm with your pointer finger to express your agreement.