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Anyone who has lived anywhere that isn’t the place they were born and/or raised can attest to the fact that living in another country can change your perspectives, habits and opinions on things you thought were unshakeable truths of your life. Living in Mexico, for me, has been no different.
Who knew that two short years in and I’d want to eat pineapple with salt sprinkled on top, or enjoy dancing?! Well, I certainly didn’t. Here are just some of the unexpected habits you’ll pick up living in Mexico.
UNEXPECTED HABITS YOU’LL PICK UP LIVING IN MEXICO
BINNING YOUR LOO ROLL
Despite the fact that ill-informed readers continue to fight me on this, you cannot flush your loo roll everywhere in Mexico. If there’s a bin in the bathroom or the cubicle, the likelihood is you need to chuck it there rather than down the toilet.
Anyway, this is one of the weird habits that you’ll find hard to adjust to at first, until you find yourself accidentally throwing dirty toilet paper on the floor at home, that is. Yes, I have done it. And so has everyone else who’s lived in Mexico for an extended period.
I am not a person who typically says ‘bless you’ when someone sneezes, but I can’t shake the habit of saying the far less religious salud after living in Mexico.
EATING FRUIT COVERED IN CHILI
Some exceptions, like mango, aside, I have (finally) picked up the habit of eating chili flakes with my fruit. In fact, pineapple and watermelon taste infinitely better with salt too. Who am I?
Related Post: A Meat Eater’s Guide to Vegan Mexico City
NEVER COOKING, EVER
This is one that is perhaps unique to me, as many other people revel in the abundance of cheap and fresh food available in Mexico. I, on the other hand, revel in the affordable and abundant street food and my greasy face and depleted bank balance can attest to that.
Related Post: Unmissable Mexican Street Food You Must Try (COMING SOON)
I say this in English and confuse both myself and everyone around me as a result.
USING A MOLINILLO
Because no hot chocolate is better than hand whisked, ultra-frothy Mexican hot chocolate.
I am not a breakfast person. I prefer sleep. But Mexico opened my eyes to the virtue of a good breakfast and now I can’t get enough of tamales, chilaquiles and chocolate conchas.
I like my lunch at 2pm and my dinner past 8pm now, thank you very much. Although I’m pretty much happy to eat at any time of the day or night, to be totally honest.
Related Post: Why You Have to Eat Fast Food in Mexico
SITTING IN THE AISLE SEAT ON BUSES
This is frowned upon in the UK. Instead, you must sit next to the window, freeing up the aisle for anyone who gets on after. Alternatively, if you had the audacity to plonk yourself in the aisle seat, you have to shuffle along if someone asks to sit down.
Now? I’m guilty of employing what I like to call the tuck and twist, a.k.a. tucking in your legs and turning to the side so the person wanting to sit down can squeeze past you to the window seat.
BUYING BOTTLED WATER
Tap water is off limits in Mexico, so I’m slowly killing the planet with my bottled water habits. (Seriously, Better People Than Me, buy a reusable water bottle.)
DRINKING FIZZY DRINKS
There’s something so refreshing about anything fizzy when it’s hot and Mexican fizzy drinks are insanely addictive because of all the unregulated sugar content. That has led to my unsettling and unhealthy addiction to what is essentially fizzy syrup.
Related Post: An Introduction to 35 Traditional Mexican Drinks
TELLING PEOPLE THINGS AREN’T THAT SPICY…
…as if I’m some balls-to-the-wall Mexican spice queen. Yes, I have probably told you things aren’t too spicy to look tougher than I am. And yes, I have probably stifled my tears and swollen lips after dousing on too much hot sauce. Even so, I still class myself a spice fan…just one that likes to go a bit overboard at times.
To banda. Yes, really.
I never drank beer before moving to Mexico and now it’s pretty much my drink of choice everywhere I go. This may or may not apply to pre-Mexico beer fans everywhere, but for you non-beer drinkers, be warned, it’s a habit you’ll surely adopt at breakneck speed.
NOT USING A SEATBELT
Don’t @ me, OK? It’s a terrible, awful habit that I’ve picked up in Mexico and I judge myself for it. Don’t be like me on this one.
Unexpected habits I picked up living in Mexico aside, there are still truly unshakeable British traits that I just can’t get rid of. For example, I still don’t like to arrive anywhere late (although I embrace the use of the word ahorita, especially for things I don’t fancy doing), I prefer bread over tortilla and I find peeled cucumbers both delicious and unsettling. And vaporub? No thanks.
What habits did you pick up living in Mexico (or just, you know, anywhere that’s not ‘your’ country)? Tell me in the comments!