They’ve made me wonder, empathize, laugh and sigh. Cultural differences that aren’t right and aren’t wrong, just different.
It was a common phrase we challenged every Ventana student over the years. Just because something is different than what we’re used to doesn’t mean it’s wrong. It might look strange to our American eyes, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t work.
After living here for a decade I thought I’d seen almost every quirky cultural thing Mexico had to offer. Then I started looking for the unusual and taking pictures.
You might think selling boots, eggs and honey on the same table is weird. Locals would call it convenient.
Not right, not wrong, just different.
I felt like such a tourist taking these. But with you in mind, it was worth it.
Rule #1: Spanish doesn’t usually translate word for word. Hence this fabulous sign at the beach: “If you are on risk. Rise up your hand like a signal help.”
Looking for a bird cage? Check the tortilla factory first.
When installing boats on your cliff, make sure one is anchored with a telephone pole.
Boots on a wagon, eggs by the dozens and honey in wine bottles. Eat your heart out, Super Walmart.
If you don’t have a stable, your front yard will do.
When you can warm your feet without getting burned, bonfires make more sense in old washing machine drums.
When the seats at church rip, you give thanks it’s just the back and move on.
Why do the chickens cross the same road every day?
Maybe to get away from these guys. Five in a row, tic tac whoa.
When your friend brings her new babies in a front pack, try not to laugh while meeting them.
You know it’s been raining hard when the greeter at church is replaced by a water-catching bucket.
How sweet it is when boys use math skills to realize they could pool their pesos, buy ingredients for Churros Locos, make their own concoctions and save some coin.
Praise God they didn’t choose to buy these. Cow stomach or tongue for dinner? #costco
See? I knew Craisins had a lot of sugar. #candyaisle
Australian guy marries Chinese girl. They move to Baja, buy product from a gringo missionary in board shorts and call it a day. Makes sense to us.
When preparing desserts at a fancy outdoor restaurant, two barrels and a door do wonders.
Diagonal crosswalks in Ensenada = no pedestrians getting mowed. #takenotesamerica
Setting up your donut crate across from the elementary school at 3pm? Brilliant marketing.
When your doctor’s late to your appointment, be thankful you brought something to do.
Middle school meetings aren’t just for moms and preschoolers. #straydog
Speaking of dogs, our neighbor prefers to get in the can instead of tipping it.
Second double-decker bike in town. First old guy on one.
When your friends treat you to lunch and the wife is deaf, be thankful she brought her husband.
Proof they’re real. Buy local, eat feathers.
If you, the white man, get recruited to rep the U.S. at church, don’t forget your cowboy hat.
When it rains it floods.
So if you can’t beat it, floor it. #mudboggin
To you it’s a trash pile. To my 4th-grader it’s the beginning of a fort at recess. #tetanus
When walking your goats, watch out for the new tour buses. #welcome! #gohome
Hippo crossing in the wine valley. Because that’s normal. #kidpark #zooahead
The city sidewalks have tons of holes. Be thankful for the ones with wood.
When riding your horse to church, make sure to arrive early for a good spot in the shade.
Sometimes it’s financially beneficial to be a lady. #allyoucaneat
When new gringos move to town, you break them in with your kids’ Mexican Revolution Parade.
And then you remember your truck’s carrying the local queen. #mustache
The day you realize your favorite hairdresser is pretty short. #claudia
When the delivery truck can’t fit under your power lines, leave it to the tallest guy to figure it out.
Fresh octopus and distant cousins. #p.u.
Cane in one hand, dead chicken in the other. Feelin’ spry.
Sometimes sticking your phone to your face is easier than holding it. #handsfree
If your horse gets arrested and tied to the police bumper, don’t be surprised if he’s a little depressed.
How our water and propane get delivered: through the neighbor’s lot.
Proud of them for trying to recycle. Now what? #cokeforbreakfast
Volatile underground pipes call for warning markers.
After two weeks of a leaky shower, I finally have proof our water is salty.
Buying and selling hay is more fun when you shoot the breeze with a fellow cowboy for 30 minutes.
I wanted a picture of the sheep. Then the owner stepped out and I got a whole lot more than I bargained for. #tuckinyourbag #porfavor
Don’t be nervous when your favorite restaurant specializes in goat and then hangs these outside.
When you’re the only white kid, you throw signs and hope the W stands for “Win.”
I’m guessing this guy down the street hasn’t driven his truck since the ’80s. Maybe the ’70s.
Now I understand why getting water to our house is occasionally an issue. One-inch PVC.
Sometimes we have to hire people. Hope he knew what he was doing. #zap
When your friend’s wedding cake falls over in the truck, her mother teaches you a lot without saying a word. #attitude #keepsmiling
You’re still with me? Lucky you–I’ve saved the best for last. I had to hide behind our palm tree like a creeper to get this, but yes–it was worth it.
Behold, the Donut Man. Five o’clock. Every day. #donas
” D o n a a a a a s ! “
Not right, not wrong, just different.