Anneliese: Smells & Sounds of Mexico

Mexico has some fantastic attributes, it truly has become a place I have fallen in love with. There have been some brilliant memories made and it just so happens that many of these memories come with a distinctive scent or smell. Below are a few of the favourites.

Smells experiences

  1. Tacos
    A range of beef, pork, chicken, and any other kind of meat. It becomes a game of ‘I’m not too sure what meat this is but it tastes good anyway’. The smell gives a sense of delight and continues to intrigue us at every corner.
    The scent of corn is dominant especially on street markets, it’s slightly unfortunate that corn season has just begun back home as I definitely will not be eating it for a while.
  2. Churros
    León celebrated their birthday on the week of our stay. We were so fortunate to be staying across the road from this awesome fair. The smell of churros could be sensed as soon as you stepped outside the lobby, which made for a brilliant wake up motivation.
    Caramel definitely topped the chart as an interesting choice of condensed milk left us feeling a little queasy before our ‘one-day-made’ fair ride. I may add here that the ride was stopped after 30 seconds, in order to kick a few bolts in and then we started on up again.
  3. Sewage
    A common five second blow of sewage comes across on a casual stroll, usually every ten minutes. The further inner city you get, the worse it becomes. It really brings you back to reality when you’re walking through the prettiest inner-city street in Queretaro and get a breeze of your brothers fart after five cans of baked beans.
  4. Beers & cigarettes
    20 pesos drinks (coming to roughly $2 per drink – for any drink) was a real reality that excited us all. A miscommunication one night saw us receiving a 10-bottle bucket of beers for our ‘casual Monday evening dinner’. The smell of beer definitely remained throughout the course of the trip, getting more prominent as the night went on due to the increased spillage.
    The smell of cigarettes lasted even longer, with a slight tilt of the head you could smell it in your hair. Waking up in the morning to the intensity rubbing off on your PJ’s motivated the morning showers to be completed within record time. You didn’t even have to participate in the social smoking to experience this fame and glory!

Sounds experiences

  1. Crossing lights
    The sound of an injured bird is common to let pedestrians know it is okay to cross the road. It was a sound we heard multiple times a day at Monterrey, so we began avoiding the crossing and daring to cross halfway down the road, facing the crazy driving, to avoid the sound.
  2. Jaguars
    The pyramids were a gorgeous trip, full of history, meaning, sacredness and dogs. Among the tourists, there were the common market sellers, selling anything but common goods.
    At this particular trip, the goods being promoted were these frightening jaguar-sounding horns. The first few surprises were hilarious, but after the journey to the top, this had got to be the most frustrating sound in the entire world.
  3. Banging hammers
    Banging in the residences occurred 24/7. We had arrived to Monterrey residence, with a bunch of luck as our kitchen was being renovated throughout the duration of our stay. There’s always an up to a bad situation, as alarm clocks were no longer needed, you never felt alone, and our conversations were never in the hearing distance of someone else.
  4. Screeching Ubers
    I mentioned earlier the crazy driving in Mexico. One experience in particular occurred when another peer and myself were travelling home from a supermarket trip and a near crash accident occurred. I have become accustomed to the lack of safety while driving, however this experience really woke me up from my casualness.
    The second occurrence occurred in a more entertaining way.
    Coming home from a boat trip, on our way to dinner, another peer ran to our Uber, all five of us jumped in, while the Uber driver sat in a state of panic. Thinking that he was telling us off for having four in the back seat, we ran around the other side and continued to pile in. It took us a few more seconds of chaos to realise we had gotten into a poor stranger’s Uber who was just waiting for a red light. It really proved to me that us tourists are actually the scary ones in Mexico.
  5. Karaoke
    Karaoke was a theme throughout the four-week programme. It was a great bonding experience, brought a few people out of their shell and proved that absolutely no one sounds good singing karaoke.
    We never quite got used to hearing a familiar song, only to hear the Spanish translation instead.

    This has been an unforgettable adventure. I will be looking back on these days with a giggle, smile and maybe a wee tear. Every second of the last four weeks has either taught me, pushed me, made me laugh, sing, dance or smile.
    With a classic karaoke song, our favourite bus ride jam and our group meme, there’s no better way to sum up this entire adventure other than ‘It’s a beautiful morning’.
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