What’s my favorite thing about Mexico? I love the food, the cobblestone streets, colonial architecture, ancient ruins, beaches, the food, the relaxed way of life, how they drive, the fact that movie seats are reserved… But what do I love most? The people. The warm, compassionate people.
After Spanish class yesterday, I began wandering through the beautify streets, marvelling at the colourful colonial architecture, glancing in shops, smiling at passers-by. I saw cute little bookstore and thought I should but a book in Spanish to practice.
I entered the store and was quickly greeted by two ladies who could have continued on with their conversation until I interrupted, but they didn’t. In my broken Spanish, I asked for a book to help me learn the language. One of the ladies started speaking to me and led me towards a language-learning section. When I realised what I asked for, I quickly clarified- that I want to read literature, not a self-study course.
With her warm smile and pleasant attitude, she happily redirected toward to literature section. She proceeded to help me find a couple books I had read about and took the wrapper off one book so I could read a little bit. She did her best to communicate with me despite my only understanding half of what she said. She never once showed frustration- only pleasure to help me. When I told her I’d find wifi to do some more research and return later, we said goodbye and I left.
15 minutes later, I returned with a new book in mind. This time the other lady was alone near the door and she happily looked up and found the book I wanted. While I waited, lady 1 saw me and asked if I needed help. I told her I was already being taken care of and we exchanged a couple remarks back and forth. All with a happy smile.
You see, she enjoyed helping me. She enjoyed our exchange. And not in the same way an American or Canadian would enjoy it. She gave off a certain warmth, compassion that you really have to experience to understand.
Of course, not all Mexicans are like this. Some don’t enjoy their jobs, some aren’t happy to interact with you. But in general, this is what I’ve experienced. And it’s my favorite part of Mexico!
Carlos in corner store. Lady in fruit store here.