Leaving Mexico today and heading back to Korea – most likely my last trip to Mexico for awhile as we finished one project, hit some key milestones on another, and were able to consolidate the teams on the third project so that I could return to my real job. Mixed feelings leaving as I really enjoyed Queretaro, San Miguel, and working with our combined Korean-Mexican team (although I won’t miss the standard 15 hr day). My biggest takeways from my time here is a new stereotype I have about the Mexican people (they are probably the genuinely nicest people you will ever come across) and reminding me that most illegal immigrants in the US were the poorest of the Mexican and central american people and they come to the US because poor in the US is big step up from poor in a developing country. Unlike other places I have been overseas, there generally is not a strong desire to move to the US for most people – it is a growing economy that needs to get through the crime issue in many areas to continue developing. It is a bizarre contrast – you have to always have a high-level of situational awareness and contingency plans to avoid being in a kidnapping situation and at the same time everyone is so nice to you. At first, you are paranoid that there is another motive, but there isn’t. To be clear, Queretaro and San Miguel are very safe – but you still have to think. I still encourage everyone to visit Mexico and just check State Department website for travel warnings before you come.
For those that didn’t see the news, OSU beat OU. I have a new lucky routine for the Bedlam – go to Buffalo Wild Wings in Queretaro – leave at end of 3rd and drive back to condo to swap the car off and then hook up the slingbox right as OSU scores on a long pass and the rest is history. Will be hard to replicate in future years but whatever it takes. My Korean work colleague that went to law school at OU was talking lots of trash – he stays in a different town so we couldn’t watch the game together and he hasn’t yet responded to my latest email after the game.
My primary work colleague was telling our Brazilian translator and I that he was going hore riding. It took while but the translator did eventually get him to understand he was leaving a key letter out (“S” at the end of a word is hard for them to hear). He thought it was funny and much more appealing. But then the conversation shifted to his horse riding experience –he rode before in Korea on small horses but our translator had him convinced (and never recanted) that a Mexican horse rides different that a Korean house (or a Brazilian horse or a Spanish horse). He survived.
One disadvantage of the assignment – missing great events back home and I was really bummed to miss a certain holiday party – I am sure it was great.
Only one picture attached – a great view of Pena de Bernal