La preparación es todo

Since our move to Mexico we feel how unprepared we were. I guess this goes for each move to any other country, but it is one thing knowing it and a totally different one to experience it. Questions you have to find answers to are (for instance): can you drink the water (better not); do they sell nice brown bread and decent cheese (yes and yes); can you flush loo paper through the toilet (no); where can you get your laundry done (lavandoria); would it be too dangerous to ride a bike here (think not); what route do buses take and how can you find out (no idea just yet); and so on!
And that does not even begin to describe, what it’s like to live in a country and not speak the language. When you are on holidays you do not need to buy a washing machine, a fridge, a car, cable, phone plans, etcetera, but now we do. In Spanish or rather Mexican!
Generally the Mexicans are really nice and very helpful. They just don’t speak English. I don’t know whether they are too shy to try it, or whether they really don’t speak a word. But we found a good way to work around most of it: we went back to school. I kind of hoped that the Spanish I once learned some 25 years ago would come back, but that did not happen. Instead I had to start from scratch. The 15 (!) different conjugations for the verbs (do we have as many in Dutch?) were discussed as well as a lot of words that might come in handy in my new life, such as limpiar, la comida, la refri, etc. Not very exciting, but it will keep the house clean and the food fresh.
In the meantime D. learned that the office starts at 9 and finishes at 6 with a 2 hour lunch break between 2 and 4. The lunch is usually eaten at home or in a restaurant and consists of a big meal accompanied with tacos (little flour pancakes).
Actually, all meals seem to be accompanied with tacos! The first time we had lunch in a restaurant we therefore ordered: tacos. They were served accompanied by a fork and it looked kind of like the picture. Maybe it was the jetlag, or maybe the novelty of it all, but we actually asked for knives to cut our tacos! The lady took one look at our white skin, which proved we had just come from a very different and very cold country and that therefore we had no idea how to eat tacos, and decided to take the easy way and give us the knives. In plain sight we cut our taco’s like little pizzas and ignored the giggles around us. Later we found out that you are supposed to use them as little mini-wraps. Ohhhhhhh…..

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2 thoughts on “La preparación es todo

  1. Ja, ik weet dat Spaans moeilijk is. Ik spreek het zelf ook een beetje. Ik kom weleens in Spanje, omdat m’n moeder daar woont.
    Vooral in het begin moet ik dan diep graven.
    Maar, je zult wel spoedig beter Spaans kennen dan ik. Succes ermee! Adios!

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