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In Mexico, there are two important idiomatic expressions regarding time. After giving the time, "a la mexicana" or "a la gringa" may be added. "A la gringa" designates a very precise time; "a la mexicana" designates a much more approximate time.

For example:
Son las dos a la mexicana. - It is 2:00 (approximately).
Son las once y ocho a la gringa. - It is 11:08 (exactly).

What makes these idioms really interesting is that Mexican time (a la mexicana) is approximate and whiteboy time (a la gringa) is exact. It really is telling of how Caucasians and Mexican cultures perceive time differently.


Elizabeth Devine and Nancy L. Braganti. The Travelers' Guide to Latin American Customs and Mannerss. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2000.

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