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Though I have been in India for a week now, I almost went to Mexico instead, because my Indian visa arrived just one day before my departure date. Mexico would be a good alternative because the two cultures have a lot in common. Both have:

>>Handy, short suffixes that, when added to the end of someone’s name, express affection. In Mexico Juan becomes Juanito. In India, Ghandi becomes Ghandi-ji. (It just shows that they just have lots of lovable people in India and Mexico.)

>>Notoriously hot, spicy food. (That my Midwestern parents think is sheer torture to eat.)

>>Languages with rolled Rs. ( I guess they do that to cool their tongues after eating that hot, spicy food.)

>>Tropical fruits, like papaya and mango, so sweet and delicious they qualify as desserts. (Ah, now I know what makes Mexican and Indian people so sweet and lovable.)

>> Street vendors who sell corn-on-the-cob slathered with lime juice and chili powder. (“You’re welcome,” Mexico says to India, since both corn and chilis originally come from Mexico.)

>>A mustache on every man’s face. (Indian men must get their fashion style from Mexican telenovelas—or vice versa.)

>>Phonetically challenging street names only locals can pronounce. Mexico: Tlaxcala, Tehuantepec, Popocatepetl. India: Melpatti Ponnappan, Vijayaraghavalu, Prasanna Vinayagar Koil. (I feel sorry for the people who make the street signs.)

>>I have to be delicate with this last comment, but, did you know that in Singapore they punish litterers by making them clean streets wearing a bib that reads “I am a litterer.” Well, I’m confident there’s no such law in either Mexico or India. But if you ever read that they’re enacting a bib law, especially here in India, that would be an awesome time to invest in a company that makes “I am a litterer” bibs!

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