17 Things Mexicans Can't Stop Doing When We Travel

by Juan Pablo Mazorra Oct 28, 2015
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1. Seasoning food.

It’s not just about just eating spicy food, it’s about adding spices and flavour. “Do you have a little bit of pepper, clavo, basil , thyme , cilantro or parsley?” “Or how about a sprig of laurel or azafrán?” Not to mention the obsession with adding lime juice to everything.

2. Having a Mexican birthday.

When you’re in Mexico, you limit yourself to a meal with friends and then hang out at a bar or a nightclub. But if you celebrate your birthday outside of Mexico: you want cake, you want to bite it (face-first), you’ll do anything to get a piñata, you demand that las mañanitas be sung and you miss your aunts making a porra.

3. The albur.

The albur is a must for every Mexican. Its goal is to cleverly use words with double meanings in order to make a joke or a word play, almost always sexual in nature. Your new Spanish friends may think they understand you but they probably haven’t.

4. Eating a big breakfast.

Who told foreigners just a cup of coffee is a breakfast? And they feel lucky if they get some toast! Mexicans need chilaquiles with shredded chicken and a scrambled egg, or an omelet with sausages and bacon, and a delicious milkshake with chocolate and banana. At least one tamal and champurrado.

¡Mi reino por unos huevos divorciados con frijoles refritos!

5. Testing your friends.

You are in a foreign country, they speak a different language, and they will correct your pronunciation more than once for sure. You have two options :

A) You receive the advice kindly, you work on your pronunciation and eventually you will become an expert in their language.

B ) You say ‘Oh really? Can you say Popocatepetl five times?

A true Mexican will always opt for option B.

6. Copying the accent.

In some cases it’s just about showing off but often it’s just inevitable to start copying the local accent or slang (boludo, mae, tio, che, guay, etc). Unless you are norteño, in which case you can’t get rid of your accent for anything in the world.

7. Saying yes with your finger.

Dear foreign friend: If a Mexican raise his index finger and bends it several times, he is saying yes.

Dear Mexican friend: Stop moving your finger because nobody understands you! If you’re like me and you can´t stop, eventually you’ll get used to giving the same explanation of what finger moving is. A good tip is to compare it with the “eso, eso eso ” from El Chavo del 8.

8. Crossing the street improperly.

How difficult it is to resist the temptation to cross the street when there are no cars, or even go through the corner when the light is not green for pedestrians. As much as I try, there is always a moment when I do it unconsciously. What a bad habit!

9. Taking a shower every single day.

Mexican friend: let me tell you something, if you plan to travel you´re going to find out that people are used to the real smell of humans. In many countries, especially European ones, taking a shower every two or three days is the norm. Mexicans have the “strange” habit of showering daily and using deodorant, powders and perfumes.

10. The sobremesa (after dinner conversation).

Many of the most important events in a Mexican’s life include a Mexican meal. Even a small visit to a friend’s house always ends with snacks and beer. It’s almost a ritual and even if the the food is over, guess what? The visit it is not.
Foreign friend: if you invite a Mexican for lunch, make a space in your agenda because WE LOVE THE SOBREMESA.

11. Swearing.

It doesn’t matter that in Mexico you hardly swear. It’s a fact that your language will become extremely “flowery” once you live in another country. But don’t worry, the foreigners love it.

12. Saying “mande?”.

Personally this is a habit that bothers me but I can’t eliminate it. I grew up with my grandmother, my mother and my aunts saying: “say mande instead of que!”.

13. Talking a lot.

Talking a lot is a Mexican skill not to mention we do it very fast. This is why and how you become friends with strangers within minutes. It is a habit that allows us to adapt to new environments and often we become the spotlight of parties. But beware, this habit can get out of control after two or three beers …

14. Using refranes.

It’s a Mexican habit to talk with refranes (proverbs). “La chancla que yo tiro...” “El que se fue a la villa …“. If my grandmother heard me speaking with refranes she would be very proud of me.

15. Having altars.

The room of a Mexican abroad always has a corner for their catrinas, Mexican flags, mariachis, hats or indigenous items.

16. Using gestures.

Mexicans are very expressive, we use many gestures. We gesture to decorate the story and explain our emotions accurately. Some people even use sounds like special effects, in a more advanced level, some of us stand up to recreate entire scenes.

17. Getting excited about anything Mexican!

No matter how long you’ve been in another country, whether it’s a week or two years, we inevitably stop to read the menu of a Mexican restaurant, smile if we see our flag, and we feel ñañaras when we see skulls. We quickly identify shirts with prints of Frida Kahlo or Aztec symbols. Not to mention the overwhelming feeling of finding another Mexican!

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