Scarlet and I have been running around Mexico getting things in order, and although most things are very different here (compared to our lives in San Francisco), one thing remains with us at all times – our iPhones. Everything is new and interesting, so we’ve been using our iPhone cameras like crazy, attempting to capture it all.

The other day, when we were trying to solve our Internet woes, our friend David took us to a shopping mall in Guadalajara. It was just like a shopping mall you’d see in the United States – multiple levels, stores of all kinds, air conditioning, and lots of people. Very familiar and comforting. However…

Scene from a Mexican Mall

Scene from a Mexican Mall - Kids in huge plastic bubbles having fun. (Photo by Grover)

I can tell that I am a real gringo because I’ve noticed that there are certain times when I see something down here, and the first thing on my mind is, “Holy shit, there is just NO WAY this would ever happen in the USA.” So when we were walking through the mall, and saw children jumping around inside of giant plastic bubble balls floating in a pool of water (having a seriously fun time), I couldn’t help but instantly think that no insurance company in the U.S would ever allow this to happen.

They filled these bubbles up using a leaf blower, and all the kids were instructed to cover their ears because the leaf blowers are so loud. After the balls were filled up with air, they were sealed up air-tight, meaning that as the kids were jumping around they were burning off the available oxygen inside. See what I mean?! Insurance risk!!

But damn, it looked like fun. Too bad we can’t have any more fun in the U.S. – let’s thank the insurance industry for that.

I digress. Lots of friends are contacting us, saying they plan to visit – which we’re really excited about. Our apartment is large and nice, but when you’re on the sidewalk, looking at the front of the apartment, someone from the States might be worried. In Mexico, people are more interested in the condition of the inside of their houses than the condition of the outside. The streets are dusty and filled with potholes, and the sidewalks are cracked, uneven, and in some cases missing entirely. (Again, the American insurance industry would have none of this.)

Horse Parking

This horse was parked across the street from our house in Tlaquepaque, right in front of the NO PARKING sign. (Photo by Scarlet)

So, to all our friends – don’t be scared when the taxi takes you into our neighborhood, and drops you off in front of our house.

The other day, as we walked out the front door of our apartment, I heard Scarlet say, “OH! A horsie!”

I turned around, and saw a horse (looking old and very tired) tied to the garage door directly across the street from our house. The garage door has a large “No Parking” sign painted on it. Immediately funny, of course. Scarlet instinctively reached for her iPhone to get a picture of it.

Once again, we encountered a Mexican anomaly, just a few steps from our front door.

Yesterday (Thursday) we completed our first distillery tour with some new tequila friends, Ryan and Clayton. We woke up early, and were driven to the Highlands to visit the distillery that produces Sol de Mexico and Corrido tequilas. (We reviewed Sol de Mexico already, and will soon do a review of Corrido.)

Corrido Tequila Distillery

A worker empties Corrida tequila from oak barrels in the Jalisco highlands. (Photo by Grover)

As we were walking through the distillery, some workers were emptying barrels, so I pulled out my iPhone and snapped a few pictures. I love the sights and smells of a tequila distillery. The aroma swirling around a room filled with tequila being aged in barrels is instantly calming. I want someone to make a scented car air freshener with this smell because it would definitely calm me down as I drive.

Speaking of driving… we’ve been in enough taxi cabs to realize that, in Mexico, stop signs are merely suggested safety devices, everything is a passing lane, speed limits can be safely ignored, there is no reason to slow down for potholes and speed bumps, and it’s totally fine to ride inches from someone else’s bumper, there is no such thing as “child safety seats”, it’s OK to pack 15 people into the back of a pickup truck and drive on the highway, and nobody ever honks their horns and flips the bird.

NO WAY this would ever happen at home.