7 things to love about Mexico!
I love Mexico - I just can't help myself. I feel a joy whenever I am in its presence that I can't necessarily explain. Mexico is a country with well documented problems, I am not going to go into them here. Partly because the country gets enough bad press already and secondly I don't want to comment on things I really don't know that much about. Instead I will focus on the positive. Here are seven things I love about our southern neighbor based on our last 7 weeks spent in Puebla.
The food: It kind of goes without saying that Mexican food is great. In the US we eat tons of it every year. We ate very well in Mexico City and Puebla. In addition to the well known Mexican fare Puebla has the local specialty know as the amazing Cemita sandwich (move over Carls Jr - this is a massive sandwich as big as your head).
Tequila: We tried the Mescal too and while it was great, it is not going to replace tequila at the top of my list of favorite liquor.
The colors: Life just seems very bright in Mexico. The markets, the buildings, the processed foods! It's hard not to smile when you are surrounded by such joy.
Avocado never costs extra: Why have we been conditioned in the US to pay an extra buck or two for this wonderful treat. No one makes you pay extra for tomatoes! I can honestly say we never paid extra for avocados, and by the way the local store sold them for 7 pesos a kilo (less than 50 cents).
Inexpensive groceries: In supermarkets and local stores we could get our fill of vegetables, bread and delicious pastries for a fraction of the cost here in the US. As well as inexpensive avocados (see point above) we bought fresh baked bread for less than a dollar. Compare that to $10 freakin' bucks for a loaf of bread in a "natural food store" in Washington. Naturally we didn't buy it!
Cost of healthcare: We lead a pretty low-cost existence but still need to spend money on daily life. It was almost time for our regular dental check up so once again we had our teeth cleaned in Mexico. Last year we made a special trip but this time we picked a chain of dentists in a modern Puebla shopping center close to our rented house. The experience was fast and efficient,very professional and all for only $35 each. We also stocked up on medications, again for minimal cost compared to the US.
The people: Number 1, this is the best thing about Mexico. We found, almost without exception, the people of Puebla to be kind, patient (especially with our pathetic Spanish), hard-working and incredibly generous. We arrived on this trip under difficult circumstances and what really made the difference to us was the people. The staff in the hospital, the people trying to help us out in pharmacies and the family who were our AirBnB hosts. They, in particular, bent over backwards to help us at a time when we really needed it.
Given Mexico's reputation and the perpetual negativity in the media about it as a travel destination, it is a wonder anyone visits there. But I firmly believe the people who stay away or only travel to self contained resorts are missing out. It really is their loss since the country has so much to offer. I for one will keep it high on my list of places that I want to spend a lot more time.