Aunque en algunos pasajes se nota que el libro fue escrito hace cuarenta años, su aguda crítica y excelente sentido del humor lo hacen más vigente de lo que debería para un país que ha cambiado tanto (y tan poco) como México. Recomendable.
If you are a parent, you have most probably encountered the huge need babies and toddlers have for routine, structured, predictable days. We share most of the activities together with my wife, but I usually take care of the end-of-day routines. Furthermore, I’ve taken to mark each step by singing a different song.
I use TuneIn for listening to internet radio stations. Since most Mexican stations play the national anthem at midnight local time, I will usually sing it when I’m preparing him to go to daycare at 8 a.m. Finnish time. Think of it as a small scale “honores a la bandera”.
If I’m around when he takes his mid-day nap, I’ll sing him this:
To brush his teeth then we’ll come with this:
When it’s time to go to bed it’s the turn of “La familia Telerín”:
Putting his pajamas will be to the tune of “Juan Pestañas”
And in case that was not enough and he can’t sleep, then stronger measures are needed
A couple of European colleagues joined me in my last business trip to Mexico and they seemed genuinely surprised by what they saw. It was not as unsafe as they were led to believe, the people were more ethnically varied than they expected, it was not as poor (even though of course they did see a cross-section of Mexican society from wealthy city denizens to farm hands in the hills) and the food was better than they thought.
Also at some point I spent some time with a group of Finnish gentlemen who had a lot of questions about the country, which I did my best to answer in the little time we had together (personal favourite: why do all houses have water tanks in the roof?).
Maybe the place is indeed quite misunderstood as I’ve been saying all these years. I’m not saying it’s better or worse, it’s just not what people abroad without previous experience of the country think.
A veces me da pena pensar que aunque me sé comunicar más o menos en ocho idiomas, todos son de origen europeo. Quisiera aprender aunque sea un poco de náhuatl o maya yucateco, pero probablemente tendrá que esperar a que me retire.
It’s always a pleasure to visit Spain, even if for work. I’ve always found it funny that for the Finns Spain equals sangría & beaches, whereas for Mexicans Spain is all about our shared culture & history. This time I did have a slot to walk through the city after my meetings, so I used it. I’ve always been treated well in Madrid (even if they immediately know where I’m from due to my accent) and people more than once remarked how Mexico is the closest of the Latin American countries to Spain. It was however funny to feel that, as close to my roots as it is, it is not home this side of the pond.
One of the things that always strikes me about Madrid is that since it was founded at more or less the same time as the colonial cities of Mexico it tends to have very similar buildings (unlike, say, Toledo).