Mexico Trek!   Trekkers DISPATCH: September 20 Monica's Log

"$24 for a box of cereal?!?" — A Tale of Culture Shock

On the car drive on the way home, the radio played smooth jazz and some sort of saxophone song. I didn't like it and tried to find the Spanish station. When I did, it was a mariachi group, and Shawn and Silvia and I all started clapping and cheering and bobbing our heads along to the music. We're having culture shock after getting used to life in Mexico.

¡Hasta La Vista México!The plane from Mexico City landed briefly in Cabo San Lucas, on the southernmost tip of Baja California, where tourists visit a lot of vacation resort hotels. Prior to our landing, the conversation level seemed low and polite, but at Cabo, a whole bunch of sunburned, loud people from the US wearing shorts and tank tops came on, and the conversation level jumped about 12 decibels, it seemed.

And all of a sudden the captain and the flight attendants started speaking mostly in English. Shawn and I groaned — we had gotten used to Spanish and now we would have to get used to English again.

Yesterday night, I went to "Salon Maraka," a huge dance hall with salsa and merengue music. Two live bands played, and I learned "No rompas mas, mi pobre corazon," which has the same tune and step-dancing as "Achey-breaky heart." Tonight, the car drove down a busy San Diego freeway, which seemed very dark — no neon signs, no billboards in Spanish, very orderly — no cars weaving in and out of the marked lanes, and very quiet — no beeping horns, no hum of people talking, no loud music.

We visited Ralph's grocery store and all the prices were WAAAYYYYY expensive! Silvia pointed out a box of cereal for the "Everyday Low Price" of $3.09, and I nearly screamed. That's 30 pesos! For 30 pesos, I could buy a dozen tacos at the "puesto" in the street! And have some left over to ride the metro! So if tacos here cost maybe 80 cents, it would be like going somewhere and seeing a box of cereal that costs $24!

Reentry is painful, but we're getting used to it.



Related Dispatches: 
Silvia - Torn Between Two Countries: American Cousins in Mexico
Monica - "$24 for a box of cereal?!?" — A Tale of Culture Shock

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