1. Don’t use your suitcase as a makeshift laundry basket. This seemed like a perfect solution at the time, especially for sweaty sports kit. However, 6 weeks into my trip when I had to pack again, some serious airing was needed. Not my smartest move!
2. Running as a coping mechanism has its drawbacks. (Not that many though.) The day before my 24th birthday I was getting slightly nervous about the whole affair. I wasn’t looking forward to spending my birthday away from friends and family, and I was certain homesickness was going to set in in a serious way. So my evening jog on the treadmill turned into a 90 minute run, which hurt knees, ankles and spirit in equal measure.
3. Even if a taxi driver charges you on the meter, there are different meters. I have to make an effort not to get the “gringo” rate. I spend so much time and energy arguing with Mexican taxi drivers that our CEO even had to have a word with me. Like, ‘Pippa, you’re arguing over less than a dollar. It’s okay. Just pay the extra and stop arguing with strangers. For your own safety.‘
4. Never make assumptions. During the very first market visit to Mexico, our Marketing Director’s luggage got lost somewhere between London and Madrid. Being the only Spanish speaker, I took it upon myself to get him to the nearest mall for some replacement kit. We duly asked at hotel reception, explaining that we needed to be back by 11 to leave for our first meeting. Having taken a taxi to the mall, we were shocked to find that none of the shops opened till 11. You’d think someone would have mentioned that to us.
5. The weather in most parts of the world, including Mexico, is fairly predictable. In the UK, the weather does whatever the sweet fuck it wants. However, in Mexico things are slightly more predictable. For instance, if there was a thunderstorm yesterday at 7pm, and the day before, and the day before that, it’s probably gonna storm today. Don’t leave the office at 6.45 without an umbrella.