Welcome back Tangerineys. If you’re new here, my name is Maddie, I’m Jordan, and we are Tangerine Travels. We have been travelling around Mexico for about two years now, driving around in our little tangerine mobile with our husky; Laska. My name is Laska… I love belly rubs! And after two years, we decided to reflect on some of the unexpected struggles that we encountered after living here and traveling all across the country. If you missed our last video, we will link that above and down in the description. Today is like a continuation of that list. First on the docket this morning is something that I personally struggled with for 2 to 3 weeks when we first came to Mexico and oh boy! I did not expect it, and I was not happy, not happy at all! Mangata, Puerto Morelos. Hello, good morning! Hello. Good morning! Cheers! [Laughter] Thanks! (Sarcastic) Cheers. No boys allowed! Oops! [Laughter] Okay, so we’re going to talk about coffee. For the first 2 to 3 weeks you guys, those of you who have been following along since the beginning or binge-watched our videos, You probably saw my frustration trying to find coffee in Mexico and this was primarily when we were in Sonora and Sinaloa (Huatabampito, Sonora). I did not anticipate what a rarity and a treat it would be to find coffee anywhere… It seems like that’s not a thing. I’m not sure if Mexican people are just not ever caffeinated. Maybe they have some other great alternative, I need to find out because my caffeine needs are not being met at this time. We were looking for coffee everywhere. Didn’t know where to find it. I was so confused because I thought Mexico had amazing coffee from various regions but we couldn’t find any and when we did, they would be serving me a cup of hot water and this powdery stuff – instant coffee which gave me stomach aches, and a headache, and also taste kind of like… poo… to me, some people like it but I didn’t. So that was a huge struggle and I don’t really know what the deal was, I guess in some regions you can’t find it, but when you get into places like Veracruz, Chiapas, Oaxaca – amazing coffee! We have a Facebook group that’s totally dedicated to Mexico and in it we asked what struggles that other people had when they first came to Mexico. Scott is my spirit animal. He says, I’ve always been a bit of a coffee nerd and was excited to go to a coffee-producing country, figured I’d get some excellent cups. Imagine my surprise when every time I ordered I was brought a cup of hot water, spoon, and a jar of Nescafe. Finally after being in the country for a few weeks We were wandering through the Mercado in Oaxaca and I smell it – the distinct scent of roasting coffee beans. My nose leads me to a tiny stall bursting with the most magnificent smell containing a small man with the tiniest roaster, I’ve ever seen. With my eyes bulging and senses alight I asked him for the strongest ‘mas fuerte’ and was rewarded with a bag of the most magical caffeine powder in the land! We started driving through Mexico, driving through Sonora. And driving through Sonora is like driving through Texas; it’s enormous. There isn’t regular coffee there. A lot of restaurants they won’t even have it on the menu and if they do, it’s instant like Maddie was saying. But there’re tons of great coffee in Mexico. This is not a struggle in most places. We discovered this amazing breakfast place here in Puerto Morelos Oh, I’m sorry. Trisha discovered this amazing breakfast place. [Laughter] And told us about it. Yes. Thank You, Trisha because this is so good! I usually get the eggs benedict (145 pesos – $7.69 USD) and they’re amazing with this like slow-roasted beef that they cook overnight. And what do you get? (170 pesos – $9.02 USD) BLT with gluten-free bread. This is one of the only places in town I know that has gluten-free bread, so I gotta get it while I can! But yeah, really good drinks, excellent food here! We love this place, highly recommended. Mmm-hmm! That’s going to be a bite! [Laughter] Something else that that’s a struggle for foreigners in Mexico Is figuring out cell service. And this is as simple as before your trip here, you go to Verizon or whatever Service provider you have and you’re like, “Okay, how do I get service for Mexico?” You set that up. And then you come here and your phone doesn’t work. Because they didn’t tell you that you have to go into your settings and turn on data roaming in order for it to work here. But then, for us, we came here, we originally had T-Mobile back in the U.S because it had coverage in Mexico but then they ended up kicking us off. I have no idea why T-Mobile would have kicked us off their service when all we did was upload like 3 gigantic video files while tethering our phones to our laptops to use the internet in Mexico. Weird. The day after we uploaded a video, they’re like, “Your service will be discontinued in 30 days.” [Laughs] After doing research, we ended up getting Telcel and we pay about $15 a month per person. So, it’s a pretty good deal and they have really good coverage. Something else we’ve struggled with so much Is figuring out how to call numbers from our Mexican number. We’ve asked before in videos and people commented “Oh, you just need to type in this number before your number if you’re calling a landline outside the U.S or calling a cell phone outside the US. Despite people telling us exactly how to call Mexico numbers or numbers outside of Mexico with our Mexican numbers, this is still something to this day that we’ve not really been able to figure out. So, we got the app called Text Now, which is not the greatest app – there’re ads all over it but it gets the job done. As I’m walking to the car here, I’m reminded of another struggle that we’ve had since day one all throughout Mexico And that is, it can be a struggle to walk on sidewalks without tripping and almost killing yourself because there are very often not standardized sidewalks, maybe there aren’t at all. In some cities, they are using slick stones that, even when they’re not wet, they’re super slippery, so this is a problem for us and we are completely mobile but it would be an even bigger deal if you’re in a wheelchair or had trouble walking or something especially in cities where they let the tree roots kind of pull up the sidewalk. All this to say, you really got to watch where you’re walking in Mexico. This video would not be complete if we didn’t bring up Spanish, of course, the language of Mexico. And it’s not unexpected for foreigners to struggle with Spanish if that’s not their first language But what is unexpected, the struggles that we have faced, are times that we thought like I mean okay, if we get stuck we’ll just plug Google Translate and like we don’t have to know the language perfectly to get by with a little aid like that. But there’re some situations that you can’t do that. Uh-huh. Just imagine how many times you have to call someone, how are you going to use Google Translate over the phone? Or if you call and there’s an automated system, heaven forbid it’s a robot talking in Spanish then like forget it! Then you have to know enough Spanish to get through the automated systems. So, there’s a lot of people who come to Mexico with the thinking like, “Oh, I’ll just use Google Translate for everything” And while it’s a great tool for a lot of situations, it can’t get you through everything. No, it can’t. And another thing we’ve really struggled with is Staying motivated to continue learning Spanish. And this is something we’ve fallen off the wagon a little bit these past few weeks. I think they’re like partly because of frustration like they’re just some times, some days, or some weeks where I feel like I’m not getting it and I can’t communicate what I want to say and I just get embarrassed and flustered. And then it just makes me want to like throw the towel. “I’m done with this! I can’t do it!” “I’m never going to be fluent!” And then I also think being in this area too, there’s so much English spoken that it’s so easy to just be like “Oh they speak English so I’m not going to bother Practicing my Spanish.” Yeah, they have an English menu. I can go to a restaurant with an English waiter or waitress and there’s always someone to communicate with me in English. But like you were saying, the key is consistency. Like we were so good for like 2 years about doing a lesson every single day and that’s how you keep it fresh in your mind, that’s how you keep making incremental progress, and I know we’re making progress, but it is still frustrating sometimes. I’m glad that we found the program that we did to learn Spanish. Yeah. And our favourite program, the one we think we get the most value out of – we’ve tried a lot of them, that is Rocket Languages. And coming up here in a few days after this video is released. They’re having a sale. We recommend going to TangerineSpanish.com which will take you straight to our affiliate link, where you can sign up for a no credit card required free trial. And then if you do that, they’ll e-mail you when the sale starts. Yes, always like to bring it up when they’re having a sale so that you guys can save some money and learn Spanish with us with this program that we really enjoy. And it makes it so easy like bite-sized chunks every single day. There’s visual lessons that you can read. There’s audio lessons. So, it’s kind of made for every type of learner, which is really helpful. So anyway, if you guys want to try out rocket Spanish, you can go to TangerineSpanish.com that link will take you right there and you don’t even have to give your credit card or anything. And if you do make a purchase through that we really appreciate it because since we’re affiliates we get a percentage of the sale which really helps us continue travelling and making videos like this one. So, one thing that was a personal struggle Especially for me was getting used to the fact that there is such a thing as MST, but it’s not Mountain Standard Time, it’s Mexican Standard Time. [Laughter] People aren’t always punctual. And I was raised to be somewhere 15 minutes before whatever it was, was happening. So, needless to say, it’s taken a little bit of an adjustment and it’s been a struggle to realize that people are just generally not on time. Punctuality is not such a prominent thing in Mexican culture. Yeah. I can’t tell you the number of appointments we’ve had where they either didn’t show up at all or they were 4 hours late and almost always, there’s no notice given. Like, they just don’t bother telling you, They just show up the next day or something like that or excuses – that’s the thing too. It’s like people don’t really apologize either because that’s just how it is in the culture that people are late. And that’s just kind of how it is. So, there’s no like “Sorry for arriving late” like ‘I’m sorry for arriving late or getting here late.” It’s just, “Here I am now!” [Laughter] For all you Mexicans watching this video I’d be very curious to know if you consider this a part of the culture or if this is something that annoys you as well. Oh yeah! I’d love to know that! [Screws up and starts talking in a hillbilly accent] For foreigners. For foreigners coming to Mexico. [Laughter] For foreigners coming to Mexico, a big struggle a lot of people have is either Making a living or figuring out how to budget the funds that they do have. People living here over the past decade, at least, those coming from the U.S., have been fortunate in that about ten years ago, the exchange rate was something like 10 pesos to the dollar and now it’s been bouncing around 20 pesos to the dollar. So, your dollars have gone a lot further but in the upcoming decade, the exchange rate could easily go the other way and 10 years from now it could be 10 to 1 again. So, that would be really tough to deal with when it comes to budgeting. You have a fixed income and prices are always changing. So, that is just a struggle that many foreigners deal with and often it is unexpected like you talked about. No one can really control the exchange rate or how much their dollar is going to buy in Mexico. So, that’s a struggle that even though you might know that it could be the case, it’s still going to be unexpected as each year passes. So, the next thing is not so much of a struggle, I mean, calling it a struggle would be a little bit of a stretch but coming to Mexico, I was totally not anticipating that Mexicans would be so helpful, and kind, and generous, and welcoming, And loving. So being around people like that when it’s more common, I think in the U.S I mean, it depends on the situation but my reaction would first be like – if a stranger, out of the blue, is being super helpful and really nice to me and like I think my mind would be like “Is there a catch?” like “What’s going on?” Because I don’t think it’s quite as common for people to have those traits that aren’t actually like, looking for something. I’m not saying nice people don’t exist in the U.S by any means, of course there are. But I think for me it was a little bit of adjustment to realize that Mexicans are just kind of awesome. And you don’t have to worry about them being out to get you all the time. While I totally 100% agree with what Maddie just said. Thanks. There are some exceptions, like anywhere, there’s some shitty people here and people who are trying to take advantage of you, scam you, rip you off, things like that. I have to say though that 90% of that, from what we’ve experienced, happens here in Quintana Roo. From Cancun or Playa del Carmen or Tulum, this whole stretch of land right here on the coast, sad but true. Use your common sense and Trust your gut if it doesn’t feel right. Yeah, definitely. And if you’re coming to this region, the Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo, have your guard up a little bit more than the rest of Mexico because I don’t generally think Mexicans are out to scam you but in this region something about it – something about the tourism that this area brings; just brings out the scammers – it brings out the scams. Fortunately where we live in Puerto Morelos, I feel like a lot of that has skipped Puerto. Yeah, there’s not as much here. Not as much that we have to look out for, still the cabs but what are you going to do? Do you want to tell them where we are? Oh, yes! We are at what used to be Chilpayas. It’s now called Escochín. Same menu, same recipes, same amazing stuff except for instance, we used to love “Enchilpayados” like salsa… Thier house sauce. Yeah the house sauce, now it’s “Salsa de Escochín.” I found out they have flan here and I’m kind of like newly obsessed with flan. [Laughter] You got… I got shrimp. This place is super good! If you guys are in town, definitely come check it out. No video that we make in Puerto Morelos would be complete without of course going to our favourite restaurant; Lola & Moya – It’s so colourful and beautiful and all the food is delicious. The coffee is my favorite in town and Same great food, same great prices, but just like a totally new look. We just love coming here for so many reasons Including the owner, Ivett, who is just a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day, every day, all the time. A video about unexpected struggles in Mexico will also not be complete unless we brought up The baño. The bathroom. The bathroom, yes. So right now I am standing in front of a public bathroom. I was not really familiar with having to pay that frequently in the U.S to use a bathroom. Like on road trips and stuff on the highway, you have public restrooms which are like pit stops for truckers and anyone on the road and you just get to use those facilities for free. But in Mexico You typically have to pay between 1 and 5 pesos. Sometimes, they give you toilet paper, other times you have to have it, so that’s something that we’ve learned to always have on us, or like a travel pack of tissues, or a little bit of toilet paper rolled up and also in public bathrooms you sometimes have toilet toilet seats, and soap, and towels, and other times you have none of that, and you just have to squat and use your own hand sanitizer. Ahhh! Ewww! Gross! Oh my gosh! It was sucking all of my blood! I’m getting dengue for sure! Ugh. I am so over this park, it is filled with mosquitos. Oh, let’s talk about To flush or not to flush. One of the longest-running debates on our channel to date. We made a video a long time ago – Things no one warned us about in Mexico. Yeah and one of those things was that we had to toss in the toilet paper instead of flushing it and that sparked a huge debate. Some Mexicans are adamant, “Of course, you can flush the toilet paper! Eww That’s disgusting! Why would you throw it in a trash can?” Like always flush! And then, other people are like “No, you cannot because it’ll clog up the septic system” or “The pipes aren’t designed for that!” And on that video it was almost a 50/50 split being like “Absolutely, you have to throw it away” or “No, that’s disgusting, you should always flush it.” But, we’ve seen like to that point, we’ve seen signs in restrooms that say “Do not put the toilet paper in the toilet” and like “Please, use the trash can.” And that’s been all across Mexico. So, this is still like, for us, it’s always a “flush at your own risk” Kind of like notice whether there is a trrash can conveniently placed next to the toilet and if there is, it probably means don’t flush or you’re going to wreck the sewage. The more modern the building, typically the safer it is going to be to flush. We’re not going to spend too much time on this one, but something that is unexpected for some people is Montezuma’s revenge. If you haven’t traveled to a lot of other places before you might not realize that when you go to somewhere new you’re probably going to get sick a few times – sick to the stomach, as your body adjusts to the new bacteria and stuff and for me, I got sick to the stomach 3 times in our first month in Mexico. So, if you’re coming here, it’s probably going to happen to you at some point, so just be aware of that. And we actually made a video on this – the food and water in Mexico and how to stay safe, so, we’ll link that right here. Another unexpected struggle is Mistreated pets, and street dogs, and things like that, that are in really bad shape. This one really tugs at our heartstrings. I think this is maybe one of my least favorite things about Mexico as a whole. Like obviously, no place is perfect but something that we’ve seen time and time again throughout cities and states across Mexico are street dogs that don’t have enough food and no one’s giving them medical attention if they need it. And even people who own pets, like I think generally Mexicans don’t really view dogs as highly as people do in the U.S. So, we’ve seen people tie their pet with rope – a short rope to a pole and the dog will be there on a two-foot rope and that’s how it lives its life. That’s how it lives a whole life or even people who do treat their dogs well. We had a neighbor who had two dogs but he left them outside whenever he would go to work and then even if it’s raining buckets there’s nowhere for the dogs to hide. The dogs would be balled up crying and freezing. Yeah, they’d have their head hung over and they’re just drenched in water and nowhere to go. So, it’s totally heartbreaking and we always try – whenever we can, we try to go to the store and buy some dog food to feed any street dogs that we see but like, can’t save them all. The next thing we’re going to talk about is Water, and power, and internet, and how they pretty frequently go out in Mexico and I don’t mean to make it sound like “Mexico can’t get its shit together and have power” but you can probably notice why, when you look at like the power lines – the whole rat’s nest of power lines and probably internet lines all jumbled up in a heap or like in a small town here in Puerto Morelos, a big storm comes through and knocks out half the town. Yeah, I remember living in Guadalajara especially in the summer there. There were big storms all the time and it seems like we lost power once a week or something. I actually remember one time in Guadalajara, we looked out of our window and the power lines were on fire. Oh, yeah! On fire! Legit. I was very scared. I don’t even know how that happened. It was either the power lines or cable lines or internet lines. There were cords out there on fire. I mean, it’s just not something you want to see right outside your window. [Laughter] Yeah! So, that’s been a struggle and of course, we work online – everything that we do is online, so then, sometimes the internet goes out and like that’s it. You just don’t work that day. But, learning more about other parts of the world, I actually feel pretty fortunate for what we have because… Where? What we had in the U.S. or here? We have a friend… What we have here. We have a friend who lives in Nigeria, he’s the one who does captions for these videos. Thank you, Olawale! And in Nigeria where he lives, he might have power for just a few hours a day, most of the time it’s out there. So, I’m happy that we have it for almost every single day here. Yeah, I mean, we bring this up and like this stuff goes out occasionally, but it’s not like multiple times a day every day. But by comparison, I would say that like in Arizona where I grew up my whole life, (Mm-hmm) you would have your power go out maybe in a big storm. But it was pretty rare unless some like big thing happened, whereas in Mexico, it seems to be a little bit more common and not so easily pointed to a storm necessarily. And how about internet? – That’s something that’s been a huge struggle for us in our travels throughout Mexico. Yeah, internet. Fast… It not being fast. [Laughter] Opposite of fast…slow. The fast, fast internet! Yeah, the very slow as molasses internet sometimes. We’ve been lucky here in Puerto Morelos because we were able to get hooked up with Fiber-optic, which is available in some places – after being here a while. But we struggled with internet before we got that. But yeah, I think as a general rule, you’re probably going to be dealing with slow internet. Yeah. And usually, the bigger the city, the faster the internet is. Kind of a funny struggle in Mexico is Dealing with coins and change. In the U.S, you didn’t want that junk. No one wants it. And it’s funny unless you don’t have any change in Mexico. Yeah. In Mexico, you can’t seem to get enough of it and you always need it! And I almost think that’s because you can buy more with the change. Like how much can you really buy with quarters in the U.S these days? Whereas, like you have those diez pesito coins – 10 pesos ($0.53 USD). You could actually buy like 2 or 3 tacos with that. So, they’re much more useful to have and it’s much more of a pain in the patootie when you don’t have them. Where are you buying your tacos? The cheap tacos stands… [Laughter] The next struggle that I personally had is dealing with food allergies in Mexico and on the one hand, Mexico has been amazing and the fact that so many things – Just a leaf. Treacherous leaf – are made from scratch but on the other hand, I don’t think allergies are quite as common for Mexicans. So, when I say I’m allergic to gluten they can be like “What?” They have no idea what that is because not very many people are, So it has been a struggle to navigate my food allergies and especially since there’re so many dishes that we’ve never heard of before and even when we find out what it is, it can vary throughout the country. So, that has been a little bit of a challenge but one that I am happy to navigate because we love Mexican food! Something that some people struggle with when coming to Mexico is getting out of the Cancun Airport unscathed. When we come out of the terminal, they have you press a button and if it turns red you get searched and if the light turns green, you don’t and you’re free to go. And it seems like about 1/3 of the people get searched. For us, we are always… It’s like 4 out of 5 times! But they search our bags and we’re on our way. But we’ve had a couple people reach out to us saying they weren’t so lucky. For example, one person; it was this woman and she was traveling alone and she had a few cartons of cigarettes – which was still under the limit of what was allowed, but she didn’t know the laws on this I don’t think. They ended up extorting her for hundreds or maybe even a thousand dollars ($1,230 USD). And the guy took her aside, took her to the back room or wherever, for secondary searching. She was by herself. There was no other officer there. Putting myself in this woman’s shoes, I’m thinking if I was a solo female traveler I’m not sure I would think to look up the protocol, like if I was going to get taken aside for searching, what fines would I have to pay? What are they legally allowed to ask me to do or not do, like put my phone away or not Ask for a second officer to be there? So, I can see how that was just a… I would be so flustered and pretty much just do whatever they said. But the Cancun Airport, for whatever reason, is like a very scammy place, so the rest of Mexico, all the other airports that we’ve been to throughout Mexico, we’ve never had this problem but there, it’s like get out as fast as you possibly can, say no gracias to everyone, get your ticket for the ADO bus, wave at the taxi drivers but do not sit foot – sit ass in one – step foot, sit butt. Do not do it. Just get out of there as fast as you can or get your transport that you’ve already set up and be on your way and enjoy Mexico after that. But the Cancun Airport is like a magnet for scams it seems like, even with government officials, so you got to watch out for that. Second example of someone who reached out to us was them saying that they got searched and apparently while they weren’t looking, the person searching stole like a thousand dollars or something like that out of their bag, so just be extra careful and if you were in a situation like this, like the one where they’re trying to get a bunch of money out of you, what would you do? Let us know. Okay, we got to do this last one quick because it’s raining now and we’re really getting rained on. I can hear it picking up. It’s picking up. Okay. So, what is one of the biggest struggles that many foreigners that come to Mexico have to deal with? That is falling in love with it and realizing you have to go back home. But, fortunately for us, we live here! Fortunately for us, we’re going to hide under this play structure here because we don’t want our camera and microphone to die. So just a reminder, Rocket Spanish is having its sale in just a few days and you can go sign up for a free trial at TangerineSpanish.com That forwards you right to rocket languages. Also here on the end screen, we are going to link our binge-watch everything playlist, so if you want to become one of the Tangeriney elite you can watch our story from the very beginning – all the videos we’ve made up to this point. And if you enjoyed this video and you want to see more, please subscribe to our channel, but more importantly, one more thing! [Laughter] Like that? Yeah! Gong that bell! So you will be the first to be notified the next time we release a new video and we’ll see you muy pronto!