We went to Mexico on Monday. Our second trip, and it surprises me how quickly we adapt. The first time, I was riddled with trepidation about going. I'm not a "people person" by any means, so I don't like the thought of crowds. I also do not speak Spanish, and I think it's arrogant of me to go to a country and not speak their language or even have a passing familiarity with it. (Sure, the merchants all speak English for their livelihood, but that's not my point.) I felt bad and even more out of place. I had also heard many a story about beggars and street urchins, so I was picturing all sorts of thievery and squalor. So basically, my first trip to Mexico equated to me being an anti-social, linguistically-challenged, hyperactive guard dog in 100 degree heat. Not a lot of fun for me.
The recent trip was better. Not because I've had a crash course in Spanish, and certainly not because I've received lots of therapy or lots of drugs to counteract my anti-social tendencies. The main reason it was better for me was because it was about 50 degrees cooler this time around. The temperature was in the 50-55 degree range. Despite the balmy December temps, I saw more than one person wearing a heavy winter jacket. I'm talking the big, puffy, Michelin Man-type jacket. Zipped. I grew up in upstate New York. The weather there now is about -10 to -20. Without the wind chill. At those temperatures, parts of your body will break off if you're not careful. To see people dressed as if they're going off on a polar expedition when it was 55 out... well, that's just good comedy right there. All I needed to see to make it better would have been a sled dog pulled by chihuahuas. I was wearing a T-shirt and jeans, and feeling a bit warm. (Stupid pants.) More than one merchant wanted me to buy a jacket. I laughed. To be honest, I wished I could have laughed, made my eyes glow, and said: "No necesito una chaqueta. Soy el chupacabra!" But that's mostly because of the whole anti-social thing.