Travel Journal: Mexico
Life is full of little epiphanies; I think they just happen to be more frequent when studying abroad.
I know this is a journal where I’m supposed to tell you about my experiences while traveling—drawing parallels between cultures, imparting my knowledge of the delicate intricacies of the Mexican culture, telling you about all the cool things I’m seeing and doing while I’m here...and we’ll get to that. But right now I want to focus on relationships. Uh-huh. Relationships.
“Mexicans do not need to be reminded to ‘take time to smell the roses;’ they do so instinctively. Human interaction remains more important than efficiency.”
I like to think of myself as an efficient person—I live by my day planner. It’s almost embarrassing to admit that my life is blocked off into fifteen-minute increments. I am in love with structure and organization. I hate being late and because of this, I’m usually fifteen minutes early. So for me, early is on time, and on time is late. All of this is to say that I’m a bit of a freak.
I’m going to run the risk of generalization and say that most Americans run like clockwork. In America, we value time as a precious (and limited) commodity. There are only 24 hours in the day and we allocate them to maximize our efficiency—to start earlier, as “the early bird gets the worm” and to move faster and work harder because “time is money.”
Yesterday morning, I woke up at 6:30, showered, dressed, and was ready to head out the door at 7:15 when my host mom intercepted me with a plate of pancakes and melon. Me being one who usually skips breakfast, and knowing that the average breakfast with my host mom takes anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour, you could imagine my frustration at this relatively significant schedule-altering hiccup in my morning’s plans. Rather than creating a conflict (which would have most certainly been the case if I had refused breakfast), I sat down at the table, and began to shovel pancakes down my esophagus as quickly as possible. Watching in amazement, my host mom nonchalantly began her morning conversation starters—principally, inquiring when I was coming home for lunch.
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