Starting out life in a new city isn’t easy, especially when your grasp on the native language is slim to none.
In April 2013 I packed up my flat, left my full-time job and went to live in Mexico. I could lie and say I made the choice because I can’t get enough tacos, but who am I kidding. I travelled half way around the world for love. It was not lost on me that I flew out on April Fool’s day.
These are the notable things that I realised in the first month:
1) Drugs are easy to get.
On the flight to LA, the elderly man next to me offered me a sleeping pill.
“If you want a pill love, I bought a few from a doctor I know. Gives me the strong stuff”.
His wife lent over him and said,
“He’s not going to take advantage of you while you’re sleeping, I’m his wife, that’s what I’m here for”.
Touche`elderly couple. Touche`.
2) As much as I care about animals, the assumption that going to Mexico would not contribute to eating my body weight in meat products was unrealistic.
3) People everywhere love farts. Especially old Mexican women on tiny, stinky buses called collectivos.
4) Miscellaneous meat (also known affectionately as ‘misc meat’) is by far the tastiest you will ever eat. I think it’s the fear of parasites that heightens the flavour.
5) Going to a city where you are sure to be shot in some kind of drug/ gang related violence is only likely if you get involved in a Mexican drug cartel. If you are eating churros, being ripped off at fruit and vegetable stalls and visiting the Frida Kahlo museum, you are obviously not bad ass enough.
6) Mexican women wear a disproportionate amount of lyrca.
7) No matter how much of a local you think you are, you will still be known as a pinche gringa or a guerro. Don’t be offended, it’s because you are white, have blonde hair and are trying to speak spanish like a child with a learning disability.
8) Machismo is a “thing”. Machismo means that groups of older men can leer at you from street corners and call out delightful propositions like “I LOVE YOU” or “MARRY ME” or even just “SEXY” . They might also just hiss at you, which I always find quite complimentary.
9) Taco stands bring a whole new meaning to the ‘drunken munchies’. You will be munching like a drunk from dawn to dusk and let me tell you, it’s going straight to your butt. (Which is lucky, because Mexican’s love that).
10) You will start purchasing lyrca outfits and actually wearing them. Because of the enormous amount of tacos you have been eating, your butt will bulge like a tightly wrapped chorizo. You will be deluded into thinking this is the best you have ever looked due to the constant and inappropriate male attention.
Reflecting on my time in Mexico, I not only realised how generally hilarious my life was there and also that I could happily eat endless tacos and wear lyrca on my chorizo butt forever. I guess I found my true calling.