Je bekijkt de reis...
5 januari 2016
So the 18th of December started my holidays and we would go to the northern State of Sonora, to see the family of my host father.
Before leaving, there was quite a shocking earthquake in Tuxtla with a magnitude of 6,4! Even though I thought it was quite amazing haha it was actually very scary: i could never have imagined the idea of the ground going up and down like that... Really impressive.
But anyway, that evening we left at 5pm to Sonora, by bus.
Now as i may have told you yet, all the public transportation is either by bus, or by plane, and busses are actually a very good method of travelling in Mexico. So we went by bus, because the plane was way too expensive, to arrive in Navojoa, Sonora, 47 hours later. Yes... 47 hours by bus hahaha. The first 14 to Mexico City and from there to Sonora. I don't think I will ever make such a long trip again haha and it is definitely worth a story to my grandkids haha! Now even though this might seem pretty impossible to survive, it wasn't actually that bad, as the bus is really comfortable and you get to see the whole country's landscape.
Now about this landscape, from Chiapas to the southern region of Mexico city, it stays pretty much the same: a lot of forest. But from there on, it keeps getting dryer with more mountains with beautiful landscapes full of cactuses in Sonora.
So in Sonora I got to meet the whole family of my host father, who has 8 brothers and sisters... You can imagine it quickly gets complicated between uncles and cousins.
I stayed at the house of his mother, an old lady of 81 years old, who lives with her unmarried daughter and son. It is a very humble family, but their big hearts gave me everything they had.
In Navojoa, I spent my holidays until the 3rd of January. I spent a very nice Christmas and New Year's Eve, even though the spirit wasn't really there for me, as I am not with my real family this year. But anyway, I had a great time, I met a lot of new kind people, we ate a ham (which is the more traditional Christmas dish, together with turkey) and a ton of other stuff, we got to enjoy some fireworks and to experience the differences between the north and the south (more about that later).
Another mexican tradition for Christmas and New Year is to shoot bullets in the air using whatever gun available. This of course may sound pretty exciting but it is actually illegal and pretty dangerous, because of the falling bullets (which can actually kill you...). Peculiar custom no?
I also went to professional baseball games with the family, as they are pretty fond of it, and it is generally more popular in the north.
Furthermore, I went to one of the most traditional Mexican fiestas there are: a XV años. A XV (15 in Roman numbers) is The most important party for a girl next to her wedding, which is given at the age of 15. This age represents the transformation of the girl into a woman and it goes along with a lot of traditions. Firstly everyone is suited up and the Quinceanera is dressed up in a wedding dress. Next to that, the girl enters with flat shoes, which are then ritually replaced with high heels in front of everyone, after which the traditional first dance takes place, between father and daughter.
It is a really fun experience, there are a lot of people (this was, as I understood, a fairly 'private' party, as there weren't more than 200 guests... Haha), everybody dances until deep in the night and is having a lot of fun.
As I said, there are cultural differences between the north and the south, as Mexico is a gigantic country.
Firstly, the north is generally "richer" than the south, which you can see in infrastructure, houses, cars, people etc etc.
Secondly, Norteños (as we call northerners) have a really strong, singing accent and they generally speak a lot louder haha.
As i also said, the North is dedicated to baseball while the south is more focused on soccer.
They eat different things, as, for example, tortillas made of corn flower nearly don't exist (while this is the only thing we eat in the South). Instead of these, the more frequently used are the tortillas de harina, which are made with wheat.
Talking about food, the meat cuts (carnes asadas) of Sonora (and the north in general) are very famous, as they are indeed delicious.
Furthermore, the people look differently, as it is very likely they have less "Mayan" roots in the north, which the people of the south have. They're less coloured , can actually be BLOND of nature, while I haven't seen any blond ever in Chiapas, and they look more European. This had a very nice consequence for me, as I could finally be seen as a real Mexican :).
But the North is generally more dangerous than the south, due to cartels.
And finally, the north is a lot dryer, with respect to the nature, more desert, and because of the lack of indigenous influences, the food variety for example isn't that special as in the south.
One of the last days in Sonora I went to visit a very famous town, the town of Álamos, which they also call The Magic Town.
In the 18th century, a gold mine was discovered in Sonora, and Alamos was founded as a consequence next to this mine. It rapidly became really rich and famous, and even became the state's capital, as the "house of gold" was settled there. Great mansions and houses were constructed with the incredible wealth of the population.
But in 1731, a catastrophic epidemic of cholera was unleashed upon the town of Alamos, and a great percentage of the inhabitants died within a few years.
Due to this quick decimation, the survivors did not have time and space to dig new graved, and started to stack the death upon each other, which leads to a really impressive graveyard.
Hidden treasures and fortunes stayed behind in houses, and so it is believed that many mansions are haunted in Álamos, by their original inhabitant, and owner of the treasure.
So I guess now you know why they call it the Magic town. Next to the spookiness, it is a very pretty and authentic village, with a typical pavement on the streets.
And so here I am now, at the terminal in Mexico City, waiting with my host family for the bus to Tuxtla.
One more thing before I leave you, something that I have discovered about Mexicans is that they really take life as it is, and joke about everything, to make it the best it can be. From jokes about religion, race, their own people, jokes at funerals (which was my "what did he say?!" moment) are really a common thing and shouldn't be taken to seriously. Mexicans don't worry, they are hard workers and make the lemonade they can, with the lemons life gives them.
See ya later folks!
Foto's bij verslag (9)
5 januari 2016 21:48 | Door: Roturier familia
Leuk weer een blogje :)
Wat een kans hee, om heel Mexico door te reizen met de bus. Ga je nu weer naar school?
9 januari 2016 15:04 | Door: Roos
Super graag gelezen jouw reis van zuid naar noord, maar het is all over the world dat het zuiden een tikkeltje armer is dan het noorden , toch , ook in Europa is dat zo, haha, lucky you!!! Jaja Nilsito wat doe jij een dosis levenservaring op, ook dat is mogelijk omdat je in het Gooi woont, noord Europa dus hihihihahaha. De helft van je Mexicotijd zit er bijna op en begrijp dat je een echte Mexicaan bent geworden, maar hoop toch dat je straks weer graag een keertje bij ons in Apeldoorn komt, boerenkool, zuurkool, oliebollen met oud in nieuw, kan jouw maag dat wel aan denk je ? Zeker wel ! En ......oude liefde roest nooit
9 januari 2016 15:32 | Door: Hans
Hoi Nils, je weet ons goed op de hoogte te houden van je geweldige tijd in Mexico en al je ervaringen.Ben heel trots op je!! Voor ik het vergeet een heel gelukkig en geweldig jaar voor je . Tot schrijfs Opa hans
10 januari 2016 17:47 | Door: Hans
Hoi Nils, heb je foto's gezien :leuke meiden zo te zien
10 januari 2016 18:22 | Door: Oma
Potverdriedubbeltjes wat een schoonheden! Maar jij ziet er steeds beter uit, je word steeds knapper en dan die twinkeloogjes, jaja je hebt het reuze naar je zien dat kan ik wel zien. Houd je er rekening mee dat ik geen Spaans kan spreken, doordenkertje ! Veel plezier daar! Een dikke knuffel van oma.