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Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Discovering León

Aloha Everyone,

I like to eat fresh fruits with each meal. After getting the general direction from our hotel staff, we started to walk to yet another section of the city. People here are friendly. Even if they are not sure, they would not admit it. Everyone we asked gave us different instructions.

Luckily, J.J. and I only had to ask 4 times before we found ourselves in a central market. Vivacious stall owners were more than willing to help in choosing the perfect fruits for me. We bought more than enough until the two of us leave León.

Uriel explained to us that our Italian phone which we were able to use by changing the SIM cards in Spain and the Philippines would not work in Mexico. The solution was to purchase a basic phone. Even with paying for a new phone, it is cheaper than paying AT&T rates.

Glass case to replace J.J.’s lost case at an optical shop, packs of tissue paper which is “must have” were being sold at XOXO, the local equivalent of 7-Eleven.

Our lunch stop turned out to be special. We were seated in a beautiful, spacious historical building with split staircases and highly decorated ceiling. The restaurant was a pizza parlor but the place looked magnificent. I asked our server who proudly said that it was the home of Pancho Villa. He is considered a hero in Mexico and a bandit in the United States. There was no painting, statue or even a plaque to connect this place to Pancho Villa so I am not sure if the claim is accurate.

For those of you who are curious about what things cost in Mexico, here is a list of items we paid today:

Taxi - US$4.30 (about 10 minutes ride)
Fruits - $6.90
Tissue - $.33
Glass case - $5.40
Telephone and SIM card good for 21 days - $20.54
Lunch - $8.10 (inclusive of tax/tip)
Dinner - $12.16

Note that prices are generally cheaper in León than more touristic cities in Mexico. Also J.J. and I have only found family style restaurants so far to dine in.

We met Carlos and Mizuho at breakfast in the hotel restaurant. Mizuho is from Japan, but she has been resident of Mexico for 8 years. She confided that her first 2 years were very difficult learning a new language and adjusting to the lifestyle. But now Mizuho likes living in Mexico because it is more relaxing than Japan.  

Carlos is studying Japanese, but the conversation between them was in Spanish while I spoke to Mizuho in Japanese and with Carlos in English.

Aloha -- Cathi