Dancing around the heat in high heels
It has now officially been one week in Mexico. Temperatures in Veracruz were around 50 to 52 degrees Celsius, which is about 124 degrees Fahrenheit. We also got fevers in the 100’s, so we didn’t explore much of Veracruz. However, before we got sick we fortunately made it to the Acuario de Veracruz (the Aquarium) and went to the plaza where there was a band playing and some dancing, so we joined in and danced some rumba!
We arrived to Xalapa last Friday (June 11). The bus system is as good as greyhound here but about a third of the price. Our apartment has all the necessities, meaning a bed, shower, bathroom, tv (one or two channels come in, enough to see a good Mexican Soap opera or the World cup) and a stove (lit with matches).
Everything has been very busy since we got here; we went to a folkloric ballet, the anthropology museum and various bars and restaurants with the other foreign students here.
Everything is very different in Xalapa. I did laundry yesterday, which was interesting. Here you drop the laundry off and pay 10 pesos per kilo, which is a little under a dollar. Then, the next day you pick it up and it’s clean and folded definitely a lot easier than the U.S.! Taxis are very inexpensive here, about 17 pesos and you don’t tip. Also, it’s very common to dress up here and most of the women use heels every day, even the crossing guard who stands and directs traffic every day wears heels! The women and men wear very tight clothing and usually long sleeves and pants despite the heat.
Classes started on Monday (June 14). I really enjoy my Culture and Civilization Class. Although it’s all about the past, starting around 1492 with the discovery of America, my teacher relates everything to the present. Yesterday, I learned in class that for 8 hours of work, the minimum salary (which of course still varies from job to job) is around 52 pesos, which is $4.13 American dollars. Also, the average salary for a police officer is 2000 pesos a month, $158.19 American dollars; which explains a lot of the corruption of the police force.
Mexico relies heavily on the money that is sent from the United States to Mexico. Someone in class asked why Mexicans don’t try to start a revolution: Mexicans would rather earn sufficient money to keep their family fed and safe, than try to start an up rise. Also, the mentality of the young is to migrate to the United States as soon as they can. However, since all of the adolescents try to migrate to the United States, the work force is leaving Mexico, which leaves the question, what will happen to Mexico in 20 years?