beautiful flowering trees in Cuernavaca
Before continuing my trip to southern Mexico, I made a little detour to Cuernavaca. The city is located in the state of Morelos, about 1.5 hours south of Mexico City. Because of its year-round pleasant climate it is also called city of eternal spring. For a long time this made the city a preferred palce for a weekend home for the inhabitants of Mexico City and also a popular destination for foreign visitors as a retirement home or for learning Spanish. In recent years, however, Cuernavaca has been plagued by increased crime, particularly kidnappings, which has led to a sharp drop in the number of visitors.
Nevertheless, the city was worth a trip for me, also because my Mexican friend is from this city. Together we visited her family who built a house there. I was very curious to see what Mexican families are like. In my imagination there existed a macho father who gives me a roasting, what this Gringo - a derogatory Mexican description for Americans (but sometimes also for Europeans) - appears here with his pretty daughter.
But, no, quite differently, the father was very interested in me and proudly showed me his extensive collection of coins from all over the world. It was also the only person I could talk to because he had learnt English during his stay abroad.
"Family" has another value in Mexico
But the central person that day was the mother - it was Mother's Day. The mother seemed to be the person who wears the trousers in the house and has everything under control. Also in this house lives the sister of my friend including her two little daughters and the two brothers of my friend, whom I rarely got to see, because they seemed to be glued to their mobile phones. In addition, there is a little dog and a turtle.
So there's a lot going on in that little house. For Germans it would be impossible to live at such a small space with so many people, not even family members. There would be murder and manslaughter. Family enjoys higher value in Mexico than in Germany.
The family was very hospitable. When something was not there, the father immediately ran to get it, and the mother also prepared a vegetarian meal for me.
Nothing goes without chili
Cuernavaca is a rather small city and of course does not have as many sights as Mexico City, but there are a few nice places. I visited a museum and could pick up some information about the history of the city. Hernan Cortés, the conqueror of Mexico, had his fortress here, which still stands today and is therefore one of the oldest colonial buildings in America. The trees in bloom in the centre were beautiful to look at. My friend, her little niece and I visited a garden together, but it was already quite old and under construction.
In between we had a Raspado, something like water ice with taste. The flavor was here: Chili. The pineapple I later had was also flavored with chili. Even jelly is available here with chili spices. There is probably nothing that Mexicans do NOT combine with chili. What salt is to the Germans, chili seems to the Mexicans.
Gate communities are standard
The house itself is located in a gated community behind a heavy steel door. In such complexes, several houses or apartments share the same entrance mostly with doorman and strong security measures. I had never seen this before in Germany but very often in Latin America.
My apartment was a little outside and also in a gated community. While getting there the father of the family accompanied me in the taxi, so that nothing happens to me or the taxi driver rips me off. Everything went well. After an one night stay there I finally continued my journey to Oaxaca.