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Being on Mexican Time

Jan 17, 2012 | No Responses

Nothing is always as stated in Mexico and this type of flexibility can do a number on your patience. Mexican time truly does exist and applies to most appointment scheduling in Mexico. This can be a problem but on certain occasions it is actually a bonus. For example, a restaurant may state that it closes at 10pm but at 10:30 (or 11 for that matter) they will never come around to your table and politely kick you out. On the flipside, you could show up for breakfast at 9am only to see the doors shut and lights off, very frustrating. In the Hotel Zone or more touristy areas you won’t experience this type of laxidazical behavior but in El Centro don’t be surprised if you do come across this laid back mind set.

With friends and personal appointments you really have to accept this way of living. To curb disappointment always tack on at least half an hour to every plan. My first encounter with lateness was when I travelled to Cancun by myself to visit Mexican friends. Our plan was to meet at the house for 10am, load the car and head to Tulum, about a two hour drive. We were only going for a night so, in my opinion, time was of the essence and there was no room for dilly dallying. Well, at the 10:20 mark I started to get antsy, pacing back and forth, constantly checking my watch. The only thing my friend said to me over and over was ‘tranquilo’, relax. Are you kidding me 10:35 and you want me to relax.

Finally 10 minutes later the crew lazily filters into the apartment. As each one walked by me I offered my two cents about punctuality and respect of others time etc. etc. etc. but not one flinched. Not one was even fazed by my anger. This made my blood boil even more until one turned to me and simply stated, “You’re on Mexican time tranquilo”. At this comment I couldn’t disagree as I was no longer in Canada living on structured time, I was just going to have to get used to it.

Since that first visit I’ve learned to live on Mexican time and to be honest, I actually enjoy not having the pressure and stress of being late lingering over my head. Taking time lightly makes life that much more enjoyable.

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Author: Janelle Brandon

As our dedicated travel writer, Janelle scours Cancun and the Riviera Maya for all the cool things to do around here. From working and living to getting around, and, of course, the best beaches (she loves her sun and sand). Janelle lets you know how it is. As our Chief Operations Officer she makes sure we are not skipping out on work to laze on the beach (although sometimes she joins us). She's a pleasure to have around and always making us laugh with her crazy stories.

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