It is time to wrap up our last month with numbers again! I like numbers. They can be fun. And when you start breaking things down into numbers they can become especially insightful or sometimes just plain weird. Here are a few fun number facts I found on the internet:
67.8 – In decibels, the loudest purr by a cat named Merlin. In comparison, a vacuum cleaner is about 70 decibels and conversation at a restaurant is 60.
395,605 – miles traveled by a toy mascot, a bear named Raymondo. Raymondo has traveled through 6 continents and 35 countries. Bob (Our bobble-headed sombrero-wearing mascot), who has only been to two countries, is really, really jealous, and now thinks we are super lame.
24,250 – The weight in pounds of the largest space telescope, the Hubble Space Telescope.
But before we get to OUR numbers here is a little wrap up in words. December was all about Mexico! We worked our way down the western mainland coast then cut over into the mountains. We stopped in Guadalajara for a while due to our broken computer, then headed south to meet some friends in Pátzcuaro, Michoacán on our way to Mexico City where we finished up the month. It has been quite an experience so far. We have seen lots of great stuff and have learned a few lessons. Enough of that. Lets start ticking off those numbers!
12 – Nights free sleeping in the van:
- 7 – on the beach
- 1 – scary dark parking lot
- 2 – on a volcano
- 1 – parking lot of an archeological site
- 1 – parking lot in a tourist area
16 – Nights paid sleeping in the van:
- 1 – hotel parking lot
- 7 – RV park
- 1 – behind a restaurant
- 1 – state park
- 5 – gated urban parking lot
- 1 – Walmart parking lot
3 – Nights not in the van:
- Airbnb in Mexico City
7 – Mexican states visited. Sonora, Sinaloa, Nayarit, Jalisco, Michoacán, México, and Cuidad de México!
4 – How many times Americans spoke to us in English in Pátzcuaro. I think people see us and figure it is pretty safe to assume we speak English. Most of these people were Mexican-Americans (from as far away as Connecticut!) who were visiting their family and sharing their history and their ancestry with their children.
3 – Friends from Atlanta we’ve met up with in Mexico. We spent several days with sailing friends and Mexico residents Jules and Jeff in Patzcuaro (post to come) and shared an Airbnb in Mexico City (another post to look forward to) with our friend Wayne who flew in from Atlanta for vacation.
12 – How many grapes I ate on New Years Eve. It is a Mexican tradition to eat one grape for each chime of the clock at midnight on NYE. We did it a little differently – starting at 11:48 we ate one grape every minute until midnight sharing a reflection about the past year and sometimes a hope for the future.
5 – Things more likely to slow you down in the road in Mexico than in the United States:
- Topes (speed bumps)
There are an abundance of all these things no the road in Mexico. Potholes weren’t a big surprise since we saw plenty of those when we were in Baja last year. And we certainly knew there would be topes, but I was a bit surprised at the frequency and the places that we come across them. They can be found just about anywhere – on steep cobblestone streets I wouldn’t have guessed that anyone could speed on to major highways.
We have been a bit surprised by the amount of dogs (there are dogs everywhere – luckily all the dogs we have seen have been super chill and have seen few that looked like they were unhappy), the tractors, and livestock we find on the road.
But really there are lots of things that slow us down – like a street designated for two way traffic with parking on one side that is barely wide enough for us to travel down without hitting the parked cars with our passenger side mirror, a lake-side town with flooded streets, a million trucks on the two lane free roads (as opposed to the many 4 lane toll roads zigzagging across Mexico) who are too cheap, like us, to pay the tolls, a giant tumbleweed – it’s a running list.
3 – things we’ve learned traveling around Mexico
- Look for street signs and street direction signs (for one or two way streets) attached to the corner of buildings. Doesn’t matter if it’s your home or office building, if you are on the corner the name of the street will be attached to your structure (that is if there is a street sign at all).
- If we see a hand written directional sign, follow it no matter what Google Maps says. Don’t get me wrong – I love Google Maps but I’m not sure GM understands Mexico nearly as well as Mexicans do.
- How to find water. Last year when we were in Mexico I used the iOverlander app to find water. This year I have figured out the magic word to search for in Google Maps to find places to fill up Ballena Blanca’s water tanks – “Purificadora.”
3 – Things that I find amusing or interesting about Mexico
- Crosswalk signals are different here in Mexico. Instead of a little white guy ambling across the street the signals show an animated green guy running across the street. As your time runs out to get across the animated running guy goes faster. As amusing as it is, it is really quite accurate as how you should approach crossing a busy intersection – very quickly. The don’t walk signal is usually just a red guy standing still – but sometimes you run across a little red guy impatiently tapping his foot.
- Generally when greeting people on the street instead of just saying “hola” (hello) people say “buenos días” (good morning) or “buenos trade” (good afternoon). Not only does this seem a little more formal but it also means that you need to keep track of time. Greet someone with “buenos días” at 12:01 and you will get at “buenas taaaaaardeeees” in return.
- Poinsettias. Poinsettias just grow in peoples yards, at campgrounds, at ruins sites, in cracks on the streets, anywhere here in Mexico. And I just thought they were potted plants bought only at Christmas which promptly lose their red leaves and are unceremoniously thrown away.
* Click pics to enlarge and open into a slideshow.
What numbers have been significant in your life lately? Do you know any fun fact numbers?