People / Language, Tijuana
In case you haven't noticed, I love the service I get in Tijuana restaurants. Of course the Servers love me too! I treat them respectfully, they treat me like a queen. I tip generously and they eagerly welcome me back! This picture is of the welcome given to my Slovak cousin by the waiters at the Guadalajara Grill upon our return. They catered to her every whim and she had a wonderful time. You can too!
It is a custom for roving Mariachis or a single guitar strumming singer to enter a restaurant in Tijuana and offer to play a requested song for you at your table. This is not only for tourists, it is also true for Tijuana residents. Of course, there is a price to pay and it should be negotitated before the song begins. Just ask how much for a song and decide if you'd like one or not. If you'd rather not, just say, "No Thank you."
This was our Troubador. His song price $2.00 and he sang his heart out and a bit out of tune but when he got to the melody, the song became recognizable. We chatted with him and found out that he was 86 years old and proud of it. He offered us a song without charge and meeting him was a highlight to our visit.
If you stick to the tourist spots, like Revolution, you will find that language isn't an issue. Most of the shopkeepers speak English very well. It does help to know spanish, but it is definitely not a requirement.
O.K. If you are a Mexican Man reading this please don't take offense but I feel I can say this since I am Mexican. Mexican men are well known for their piropos, they are simply a way a man flirts with a woman by making flirtratious comments about or to her. If you have never been around this you might find it offensive but it's not meant in a derrogative way. Of course, like any other thing, you might have a bad one out there but you just ignore those. You might hear, 'Tantas curvas y yo sin frenos" or "So many curves and I'm without brakes", I've heard that one so many times in Tijuana, you choose what to do, ignore it or smile and keep going. I hope that by sharing this with you, I have kept you from forming a bad impression of those men out there if you happen to get a piropo, it's simply a part of the Mexican man's life. It's all in good fun and simply a way for them to compliment you.
Mexican people are very warm and friendly. You should always show respect to people bye first saying, good morning, good afternoon, good evening in spanish. This will break down any barriers to get to the real questions you may have. Smile and always say thank you!
Seems as if most Americans never heard this before!
Typically, dress is casual and comfortable, and surely related to the purpose of your visit. A few nightclubs and restaurants as I know do have dress restrictions, so call ahead to check if you are in doubt about what is appropriate.
The weather can be really hot (in summer) in Tijuana, but bring a sweater or light jacket for cool days or nights, especially in the winter.
I am not sure about it but I noticed that they paint quite a lot of buildings just in green; not pastel green like in many European Mediterranean countries (Italy) but bright, vivid green I could say. Hmm... I have probably never seen such green till that time.
Why just green? Is the bright green paint cheaper there he? Or maybe it's national Mexican color? The flag of Mexico is green-white-red.
From my friend Dee (Yaqui) from Tehachapi, California, USA:
You got it, they love green because it's in their flag. White is too bland and red is considered a little loud to them.
Thank you, Dee.
Mexico is a country where tips are expected, as in many other countries.
In hotels and restaurants, tips are absolutely required.
In restaurants, a 15% tip is customary.
In hotels, tips for bellboys are usually based on the number of pieces of luggage they handle. In other situations, tips are given at your discretion.
Taxis do not require a tip, except for a special tour or service.
Enlarge my picture, please. You can see two Mexican guys: one wearing baseball cap (American style, I could say - they love baseball :-), the second wearing a hat, Mexican hat, am I wrong? Isn't Tijuana a city of mixed culture?
Hmm... I saw world famous somebreros only in stores there.
Warning: it's a kitschy tip.
OK, enlarge my picture. There are a lot of such figures in various sizes made usually of plastic in many kitschy and not so kitschy gift stores of Tijuana.
Hmm... I have never seen sleeping Mexican boys (shepherds or who?) in bright red hats (sombreros) by dark green cactuses. Should I go more inland to see them, he?
I noticed a few times local families with 4 or even more kids. Do they really have many kids? Is it a culture thing? A catholic religion influence? Illegal (socially or/and by law?) abortion and contraception? Higher fertility? What do you think?
Hmm... not at all - most locals I met in Tijuana looked Latino (is it correct word?) - people with a little bit darker skin and black/dark hair, are there any blondie Latinos?
And I saw a lot of White people and a few Black people as well in Tijuana - locals or just visitors?
I noticed that most U.S. visitors to Tijuana leave their kids - especially smaller ones - at home. Hmm... I wonder why. What are the parents afraid of? Lower hygiene and/or security conditions?
But... look at my picture: as you can see there are couples with very small kids there as well :-).
There are not many local women just on a street in Tijuana. Do they stay at homes and take care of their - ususally numerous kids?
But I found this woman as on my picture working as a street vendor although this profession seems to be mostly reserved for men. Am I wrong?
Like many local women she wears clothes in very bright (pink?) color. And she smokes a cigarette in public (almost impossible to see it in California).
More about local women:
They love to speak very loudly and smile very loudly hehe.
Sorry, it seems (like in most countries) that local ladies (older ones especially) are quite often (but NOT always) over-weighted - what do they eat?
It's interesting that (in contrast to many countries) local guys are rather thin - do they work physically so hard? Maybe I should spend more time in Mexico hehe.
It's a hat with a wide brim (= part which sticks out all round), worn especially by men in Mexico.
Hmm... I didn't see any Tijuanian wearing sombrero but I saw a lot of sombreros in numerous stores there. Do they ever wear sombrero in Tijuana?