things to expect, part I
Here are some observations I made in Mendoza so far…..
1. Expect to pay to have your backpack stowed away in a locker while you shop at a supermarket (or actually, most stores). Security is tight at the supermarkets, so if you walk in with a large bag or a backpack, they make you pay (or sometimes they hold it up front) to have it stuffed in a locker.
2. Expect to share saliva. Always. Whether it’s food, drinks, or mate, you WILL share saliva with others. 😀
3. Expect to touch people. At first, I thought I was doing people a favor by not greeting them on the cheek when I was sweaty or something, but it’s actually rude to NOT do it. And on that note, people touch, all the time. Hugs, pats, etc.
4. Expect to see PDA. So many couples here……lots of hand holding, but also lots of frequent and passionate make-out sessions in all corners of the city.
5. Expect to see streets full of stray dogs and cats. Sometimes they’ll follow you, and sometimes they’ll be cute; avoid touching them at all costs!
6. Expect to walk through litter, cigarettes, dog poop, and acequias. Keep your eyes peeled!
7. Expect dulce de leche, cheese, fernet, coke, and meat everywhere.
8. Expect to not see toilet paper or soap in public bathrooms. Usually, you’ll have to pay for your use in public venues.
9. Expect class to start and end late.
10. Expect stares, but don’t feel like you need to avoid anyone’s gaze!
11. Expect people to ask you where you’re from.
12. Expect to lock and unlock your house door twice each time.
13. Expect to get lost, with your map in hand. The streets are very long and change names without warning!
14. Expect streets to be silent during siesta.
15. Expect to specify the type of water you prefer: cingas (without gas; “normal” water) or congas (with gas; sparkling water).
16. Expect mate parties! Especially during classes, with the teacher involved.
17. Expect to eat dinner late.
18. Expect delicious food! Desserts, emapanadas, pasta, dinner dishes, etc. are SO available and muy rico!
19. Expect to triple check just to cross the street.
20. Expect to walk everywhere 😀