People in the Chapala area are accustomed to helping the English-speaking community function. You will find many Mexicans who speak English. However, you should try to speak Spanish, as a sign of respect and a gesture of gratitude for the hospitality of this country. Usually, Mexican people will respond graciously to your attempts.
Words and phrases you need to use and recognize:
Please - Por favor
Thank You - Gracias
Hello - Hola
Goodbye - Adios
What is your name? - Como se llama?
How much does this cost? - Cuanto cuesta?
At your service - A sus ordenes (Store clerks say this to you.)
No Parking - No Estacionarse or No E
God bless you - Dios le bendiga
If you need:
- groceries, look for ABARROTE
- hardware, look for FERRETERIA
- tires, look for LLANTAS
- a newspaper, look for DIARIAS
- furniture, look for MUEBLES
- a haircut, look for PELUQUERIA or ESTETICA
- a pharmacy, look for FARMACIA
Some important things to remember:
- Slow down. Things happen at a different pace here. You might as well enjoy it because you're not going to change it.
- Mexican people are very polite, and they deserve the same from you.
- "C" on the water faucet stands for "Caliente," which means HOT!
- Speed limits are posted in Kilometers per Hour.
- In most places, you must pull off the road to the RIGHT and wait for traffic to clear before you turn LEFT.
- Your left turn signal can also mean "Pass Me" to the driver behind you, so be very careful.
- Watch for TOPES, speed bumps that can be anything from a painted yellow line to a small mountain range across a street.
- Smiles are bi-lingual.
- God is still in charge, no matter where you are, and He still loves you very much.