Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Los viajes en México

The second half of last week, I had the opportunity to travel to Mexico for my first time ever.

This trip was through GM to visit another plant down there, working on similar tasks to the ones I tackled when I visited plants in the mid-west.  I was able to ressurect some of my 6th grade Spanish and at least make people feel acknowledged and appreciated down here by saying hello and good day/afternoon/evening.  I found out how to say check as well as what the peso:dollar conversion rate is - currently around 13:1.  It's funny to see most prices be in triple digits.

I have to say that the people at the plant down here were wonderful hosts and the food was amazing.  Everything from the hotel breakfasts to the plant cafeteria to the Argentinian inspired restaurants we went to for dinner was wonderful.  For breakfast, I would have a mix of a Mexican and a United States meal - a slice of french toast or a pancake with maple syrup, plus two enchiladas and some fruit.  I had seen blue corn chips in the states, but not tortillas.  At our second dinner, they were mixed in with the flour and regular corn ones that were brought to the table.
Dinner from the second night - roast pig with chimichurri sauce and grilled vegetables
Got to try some guacamole!
There's also a beer that's a namesake of mine.  I wish I could have grabbed the glass.
Also here, I got my first taste of higher elevations.  The plant is located in a mesa surrounded by mountains, so even though it looks like it's in a plain it's still around 9,000 feet in elevation.  Every once in a while I would find it harder to breathe than I thought it should be and that was when I was reminded that we were relatively high up (at least for US, especially east coast US standards).
Even around our mesa there were mountains
Roadside stores and restaurants
One thing that's definitely different is the colors.  Buildings and signs, especially the older ones, are all kinds of pastel colors from yellows to purples.  Cars are a mix of old and new, most are small.  I saw tons of old VW beetles as well as cars with a Chevy logo outline surrounded by a circle.  I think this was explained to me as being a joint Chevy/Opel international model (Opel's logo is a circle with a sideways lightning bolt through it).

Opel Chevy on the left and an ancient Dodge Dart on the right
In Mexico City we drove by buildings of the other big three:

Being driven around in a nicely equipped Suburban made me feel like I was in the mafia or something.  Neither the airport we flew into or the city we ended up in had any warnings from the US government about safety, but we still were driven around the entire time.  This was mostly because traffic was nuts.  If we had had rental cars, I'm not sure when and how we would have made it to the hotel or the plant.
Signs heading to the plant, this traffic wasn't bad
This was more like it most of the way
When we made it to the airport for our trip home, we had some lunch, checked out the duty free shops (the price on vanilla was fantastic!) and then headed to our plane.
The airport terminal vaguely reminds me of MIT's Simmons Hall, almost the whole terminal was constructed like this - concrete with lots and lots of holes

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...