In this area there are at least two cultures mixed: Hispanic (Mexican) and Native Americans.
Haha, I tried to speak with these two young smiling people on my picture in ITL Coffee Shop. I must admit that I coudn't understand them although they were talking in English. They could understand me but I coudn't them :-(((. Did they use youth or Tucson slang?
It seems that the pronunciation of many words is quite different in Tucson. For example the word "saguaro" is pronaunced sah-WAH-row.
Turn your speakers on and follow the link below :-))
All people we talked to in Tucson were smiling haha. They smiled when we asked them for a road, when we looked at them and they looked at us, when I took them picture (enlarge my picture), when I ordered coffee etc., etc.
Hmm... sunny weather, happy population or they just accepted the world around them whatever it was?
From my friend LINDA (lmkluque) from San Diego, California:
When you see people smiling all over the place it is usually for one of two reasons. One, because they are happy people. Two, because the business they work for INSIST that they smile at customers. Of course, after one gets used to smiling everytime they see someone, it becomes a habit. :-)
Tucson’s Mexican and American Indian roots are ever present in Tucson. You will find that the Spanish language is widely spoken by its Mexican residents. Mexican restaurants, with its spicy food, may be found in large numbers throughout the city and the Tucson area. You may find Indian Fry Bread being cooked up outside of tourist attractions. You will also see many signs of the American Indian and Mexican influences on the city’s architecture. The buildings with their adobe like walls and flat roofs, which are often two stories and may have ladders resting against them are influenced by the early Indians that once lived in the area. The buildings with their adobe like walls, tiled roofs, and sometimes with lovely gardens enclosed in courtyards are representative of the Mexican influence. As you shop you will also find many items that represent these two cultures such as Navajo rugs, Pueblo Pottery, baskets, kachina dolls, moccasins, and gold and silver jewelry.
Shorts, t-shirts, and Tevas are appropriate for most venues and restaurants, especially in the summertime--hey, it's freakin' hot. Dress appropriately. Oddly, the exception to this seems to be churches (or at least Catholic ones), so if you're a midwesterner used to jeans and sneakers at 9:00 mass, uh, you might want to throw on a pair of khakis.
Tattoos and multiple piercings won't get you a second glance, unless someone stops you to ask where you got that totally amazing tat done, or how much you paid for your eyebrow ring.
And at least in Midtown and the university area, nobody really gives a rat's ass if a couple walking hand-in-hand is of mixed races or matching genders. It's very much a live and let live kind of place, as long as you treat people decently. And yes, this is a good thing.
It can help to be bilingual..I really should know more Spanish than I do..Tucson is a melting pot, we have a large Hispanic population, and Native American population. Don't treat the people like dumb hicks..they're not...