What's their food like? It's not just guacamole and chilli con carne – though it is pretty beany. And if you don't like chillis, well… Mexico isn’t for you. For something a little unusual try 'barbacoa' (a whole sheep cooked in a hole in the ground), 'pozole' (flatulence-inducing cabbage and bean soup) or 'menudo' (tripe soup).

Local tipple: Besides tequila (it makes you happy) there's the national cactus-based bevvy, 'pulque' – a drink so good it's called 'the nectar of the gods'. In reality it tastes of milky shampoo... so it’s probably best avoided.

Biggest cultural oddity: Ranchera music – which is like mariachi, except even more Mexican.

Most likely to kill you: No, not wild moustachioed banditos. And no, not rampaging, rabid bulls. Statistically it's heart failure, but Tabasco poisoning is pretty high up the list.

Phrase to memorise: "Vete al carajo!", which means "Go to hell!" Literally, of course, it actually means "Go to the penis!" If that's not up your street, try "Soy el chingon" ("I'm the fucker"),  "la chingadera no sirve" ("this fucking thing doesn´t work"), "vete a la chingada" ("fuck off") and "chinga a tu madre" ("fuck your mother"). A very emphatic people, these Mexicans.

Best place to visit: Heading to the not-quite-a-pyramid Chichen Itzá is a genuine must, if only to pretend to sacrifice your girlfriend to the gods. If you're weird.

National animal: The Chihuahua. No joke. Ok, well, fine, Chihuahuas do come from Mexico. It's actually the Eagle, as you can see from their natty flag.

Impressive pub trivia: The whole of California, New Mexico and Texas used to be part of Mexico until 1847. The current area of Mexico is 45% of what it once was.

Sports they would beat England at: They'd whip us at the snappily titled 'Mesoamerican ball game' – if anyone actually knew the rules. Failing that, we'd have no chance at Bullfighting either.

Would you want to live there? To show Americans the meaning of irony. That and to meet ludicrously hot women.