Since You Asked…

Photo: Google

Dear Caroline,

I arrived in Mexico from New York about a week ago. Yesterday, I happened to ask my Uber driver if he had any children. We got to a stoplight, and he turned around with his phone and started showing me photos. When the light turned green, he left the phone in my hand and kept telling me to scroll through the photos. At each of the next four stoplights, he turned around, scrolled to another album and told me more. By the time I got out of the Uber, I had seen photos of his wife, his brother, his sister-in law, his nieces and nephew, his 50th birthday party, his dog and the new patio he had built. Do you think he mistook me for another passenger who already knew him?


Dear Perplexed,

Welcome to Mexico! No, your Uber driver didn’t mistake you for someone he knew. In the United States, asking “Do you have any kids?” is often a perfunctory question. Mexico, however, is a much more family-oriented society. If you ask a Mexican about children or grandchildren, be ready to commit to the conversation and admire the photos. If you have time and are in an appropriate setting, you in turn should show a few pictures of your near-and-dear ones as a simple social grace.

Once you decompress and get into the pace of life here, you’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll get used to the warmth and civility you’ll find.

Here’s to adaptation,


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