Tag Archives: culture

Libro Recomendado: Instrucciones para vivir en México

Instrucciones para vivir en MéxicoInstrucciones para vivir en México by Jorge Ibargüengoitia

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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.



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Mexico trip, November 2012

Visited Mexico for business and pleasure during November. We stayed in the Condesa neighbourhood in Mexico City and a short time in Acapulco. All the photos here in Flickr, as usual a selection below.

Day of the Dead candy
Day of the Dead candy

Day of the Dead altar in Plaza Satélite
Day of the Dead altar in Plaza Satélite

Bikers' pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Bikers’ pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Pancita
Pancita

Day of the dead altar
Day of the dead altar in the market square

La suavicrema
La estela de luz, a.k.a. la suavicrema

En camino
On our way

Day of the Dead altar at the hotel
Day of the Dead altar at the hotel

Parque México
Parque México in Condesa

Church
Church

Mexico Stock Exchange
Mexico Stock Exchange

Day of the Dead decor
Day of the Dead decor

Sushi street stall
Sushi street stall

Day of the Dead decor

Alebrijes
Alebrijes, nightmare creatures

Cochinita Pibil en Azul Condesa
Cochinita Pibil en Azul Condesa

Driving to Acapulco
Driving to Acapulco

Tough life
Tough life part one: coconut juice, coconut “fruit” and piña colada

Tough life
Tough life part two: the Mexican Pacific
Dawn sequence
Dawn sequence

Dawn sequence
Dawn sequence

Dawn sequence
Dawn sequence

Autopista del sol
Driving back to Mexico City

Autopista del sol
Guerrero State landscape

The importance of routines for toddlers

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

Funnily enough, if by any chance I miss or mix any of the songs, he will be very, very annoyed. I just hope he doesn’t grow up thinking life is an Andrew Lloyd Weber musical or a Pedro Infante movie. :)

Maybe Mexico is indeed quite misunderstood

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.

Madrid

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.

More pictures, as usual, in the set.

Crossing the Pyrenees
Crossing the Pyrenees
Dusk over Barajas
Dusk over Barajas
Walking through Paseo de la Castellana
Walking through Paseo de la Castellana
Colón
Monument to Christopher Columbus
Cibeles
Cibeles
Gran Vía
Gran Vía
Centro Histórico
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).
Palacio Real
Royal Palace.