Mexico City, Mexico


Marry Voon

When I saw an advertisement on Cultural Exchange Programme to visit Mexico, there was an instant attraction on my part to go.

Apart from the long 22 hours flight time and 18 hours of endless transit & waiting time, everything else about the trip was pure bliss thereafter (at least for me!). We were tired when finally our UA flight touched down at Mexico City airport and were so excited upon seeing Martha, Javier and Javier Junior waiting for us. They recognised us instantly!

The first thing I noticed when the plane was landing was the endless stretch of lights that was visible. I realised later that the congestion with many cars, buildings, residential areas and people are all due to the fact that the population of Mexico City is 23 million !! (1 million more than the whole of Malaysian population!) If I used to think Malaysians are driving fast, I got to see the many cars in Mexico City going even faster. But what amazed and impressed me most was I did not see one car accident on the road in my 11 days in Mexico City. It goes to show how alert and careful these drivers are compared to us here! I couldn't understand the route system here though, it appeared to be very complicated for me but I had the privilege of sitting beside the pro: Ms. Olimpia (my host) who is extremely well versed with all the roads in and out of Mexico City. To the extend she is nicknamed "'the ex- taxi driver"' by some of Mexico members!!!

I'm thoroughly impressed with the historical sites and how well they were preserved and maintained after all these years. The Archeological Museum is full of artifacts that our one-day trip enabled us to finish barely 60% of the displays. The Teothehuacan pyramids are majestic and beautiful. Most of the old churches are ancient and I was dumbfounded to see how breathtakingly beautiful the carvings are.

Our boat ride in Tochimilco canal was such a relaxing experience. Flowers grown at both side of the canal beautified the site and the canal has a long history to it as related by the boatman. We were so excited when another boat with Mariachi musician passed by. Their fee per song was a bit too exorbitant that we pass.

One other thing that is very impressive about Mexico is to see the culture of Mexico still alive everywhere. There are so many talented musicians who could still play all the traditional music, people who are still dancing and singing to the tune of pure Mexican music and dances like Salsa, Samba, Rumba and many others. (I can't remember all the names I was introduced to).

The activity time was next which we had most fun. Kids were excited over the dances and games we played. We exchanged ideas, we sang and learned languages of many countries. Suib and I had the pleasure of telling everyone here of Malaysian culture, Malaysia lifestyle and taught a few Malay, Chinese and Indian word!

It's beautiful to see how far apart we are geograhically and yet close in many language similarities. How wonderful it feels to accept one another's differences as unique and embrace it with amazement. For me, that is what Mexican is all about: we are one big family in homestay program, ultimately. I'm looking forward to having Mexican members here in Malaysia so that we could share Malaysian friendliness and hospitality to all the wonderful people of Mexico.

I enjoyed every moment I spent in Mexico. I'm glad that I stick to my decision to go there and did not allow any negative views of people whom I tried to seek input prior to the visit shook my stand. I'm proud to say that I love Mexico as much as I love Malaysia and I'll be going there again.

by Marry Voon, Executive