Topics include Dining Scene, For Foreign Visitors & more!
The classic study of the 'Mexican mind' is "Labyrinth of Solitude" by Octavio Paz. More fun is "There's a Word for it in Mexico" by Boyé de Mente!
In Central Mexico, the state of Michoacan in particular, the following was observed:
Children appear to be well behaved and stay close to their parents. Simple things like a balloon could entertain a child for hours.
Sunday is family day.
There are no meters in the cabs. Find out the price beforehand. Taxis were honest. The people in general are honest.
Drivers cross themselves as they enter the freeway or pass a church.
If there is an accident on the road driver flash their lights to oncoming traffic for a couple miles. People didn’t think of themselves when driving, they were considerate. Many streets have no stop signs and people let every other car go without hesitation.
There was no rush to eat, dining was at your leisure and as long as you like. The big meal of the day is between 2:00 PM and 4:00 PM. It is called "la comida". People eat lightly in the evening. Perhaps a hot chocolate with some sweet bread, or a tamale.
The official minimum wage (2009) is between $4.18 and $4.50 a day, depending on the rate of exchange and the area of the country where one resides. This is what the tortillas costs daily for a family of four. For poor people the tortilla supplies 60% to 100% of their daily calorie intake.
All over the people are very friendly. If greeted with a smile and "Buenos diás, buenas tardes" or "buenas noches" they invariably respond in the same. People shake hands when meeting people and say their own name and say, "mucho gusto" - meaning "much pleasure". They may also give a cheek kiss when meeting or leaving. When eating in a restaurant many people will pass ones table and say "Buen provecho" -- vaguely meaning, "Enjoy your meal". It is appropriate to do the same.