Thursday, June 3, 2010

Seeing Differences

What was I saying? What similarities does Mexico have with the U.S.? Mexico city has 21 million people (Minnesota has 5 million...). The driving is insane here. Pedestrians do not have the right of way. It surprises me a lot that a culture that is so friendly and loving can have such aggressive and rude drivers. Because the traffic is so terrible at times, they have to regulate traffic. For one, the government has started a public bicycle system- use your card, pick up a bike, and drop it off any station that you want. Second, every Sunday a bunch of major highways are closed to cars and so thousands of people hop on their bikes to get anywhere. Finally, the cars in Mexico city have very specific licenses plates which regulate which days that you can drive, MWF or TTHS.

Something else that I have found interesting: Mexicans dislike the way that the world has portrayed Mexico City. First of all, the crime here is like any other big city of the U.S. like Chicago- Not less, but not more. I feel safe and siento como en casa. Second, the streets of Mexico City are very clean. Of course, I have only seen a small portion of Mexico City, but it was not as I had expected. It is cleaner than the cleanest parts of Costa Rica that I saw. Yes, the air is contaminated. Very. Irritatingly but unsurprisingly, my cough has come back; I’ve been hacking up my lungs >:( And I'm sure the altitude doesn't help...

Speaking of altitude, it's killer. I'm so surprised at how much it affects me. I have been constantly tired since I got here even though I have slept 12, 10, 9 hour nights... Alejandra told me that all of her students have complained of being tired at the beginning until their bodies got used to the altitude. I noticed the difference even more dramatically when I went for a run. The first thing I said when I came back home was he muerto (I have died).

Fun facts:
1.Did you know, Cinco de Mayo isn’t a big of deal here? You’re so wrong America.
2.Guess what? I saw a a magnet of Texas with a Mexican flag in the background.
3. The largest university here, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, has 85,000 students.
4. Today, my 60 year old professor said “See how Mexicans hug and kiss all the time? That’s why we have so many babies!” HA, HA, HA!!
5. The area that Mexico City is on used to be a lake. It was drained in 17th C. But the City is still sitting on saturated clay and so it’s sinking. Some building are obviously leaning...

1 comment:

Landon O. said...

Nice blog Grace, I like reading it! Kissing helps but I think Mexicans have a lot of babies because they are Catholic. But you never know...