Fall in Mendoza

Fall in Mendoza
View outside our house

Monday, June 14, 2010

First Few Weeks - Impressions

So I continue to catch up the world on my adventure.  I had only been to Mendoza once before, 3 years ago.  My first impressions back then was that It was a nice place.  Very picturesque with the mountains and vineyards everywhere.  Of course back then I had no thoughts of living here, so I just looked at everything like a tourist.  That is, with blinders on - just seeing the pretty things.

Fast forward three years and I see things a bit different.  Still very pretty - big mountains, that at times look fake against the blue skies.  The vines are now in their dormant phase.  Things are a bit dusty here.

It seems like the planners of Mendoza wanted the city and departments within the city, to have a more rural, organic look and feel to the streets and boulevards.  There is plenty of dust in the air because of this.  Where in the States their would be grass on the sidewalks, in Mendoza there is...dirt!  Because of this lack of landscaping, the city seems to be more dirty.  This with-standing, the city is full of trees everywhere - very impressive - huge trees.

We live in Lujan de Cuyo - a department within the city of Mendoza.  Lujan is like a suburb if you will.  Lujan is known for its vineyards and unimpeded views of the Andes Mountains.  We are about a 25 minute drive south of downtown Mendoza.  Downtown Mendoza is like most metropolitan cities.  Busy, lots of traffic and the usual cadre of store fronts, pedestrians and apartment living.

What will stand out to most Americans, if that around 1pm, most stores and restaurants close.  Close as in, "We are closed come back later."  Later is around 4:30 or so.  This is called Siesta!  Mendoza fully embraces this old world custom.  Most people go home, eat lunch and take a nap.

Now of course I love a good nap, but when you are trying to do business, you must remind yourself that if you call in the hours of Siesta, no one will pick up he phone.  Very frustrating to get used to.

Next post...grocery shopping...I miss you Publix!

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