“How did it get so late so soon?”
― Dr. Seuss
I can hardly believe we are getting ready to bid adieu to 2018 already! This year has passed by at such speed that I sometimes feel as if I am going to wake up tomorrow in 2050!
This month I am also celebrating the 10-year anniversary of my restaurant, Café Juanita. It has been an amazing journey for me, and the women who work with me, as we have watched our business and Huatulco grow. To celebrate I have been working on a cookbook of our favorite recipes. We will have the book available for purchase at the restaurant and our Chiles&Chocolate Cooking School.
As we skid into 2019, I am immensely grateful for this beautiful piece of paradise. If you are reading this, then chances are you already know what a magical place Huatulco and Oaxaca are. If you are first time visitor, I encourage you to wander off the beaten path and explore all the wonder that this state has to offer. Go beyond your deck chair and get to know locals.
A few gentle reminders on social norms while visiting Mexico:
1. Be patient. People are often late.
2. It is common to greet strangers when you walk into a restaurant by saying ‘provecho’ – the equivalent of ‘bon appetit’ or ‘enjoy’.
3. Be effusive with the courtesy basics – ‘por favor’ and ‘gracias’ go a long way in making transactions easy and pleasant.
4. Public space in Mexico tends to be un-confrontational. If you are getting mediocre service, getting mad will only make it worse.
5. Tipping in restaurants is 15%. Tip anyone in service; the bell hop, room service, the gas station attendant, the person bagging groceries, the tour guide.
6. Proper greetings are essential in Mexico, which involve an initial exchange of pleasantries. Anything less is considered rude and impolite. Learn your basic greetings such as ‘hola’ and ‘buenos dias’.
7. Shirt and shoes in public spaces please.
See you in 2019!