Metova iOS Developer, Matthew Sij recently took the opportunity to relocate from Metova’s base of Arkansas to Metova’s office in Guadalajara, Mexico. This is giving Matthew a great opportunity to work with Metova’s talented team in Guadalajara while experiencing different cultures, seeing beautiful sights, finding interesting leaves (see below) and enjoying new, amazing food. We also learn about Matthew’s life amid the pandemic and how it has pushed him to be more flexible and healthy.
How do you pronounce your last name?
It’s pronounced like “sigh” – or the “j” is silent.
How is Guadalajara?
Guadalajara is pretty incredible, great weather, better food. There are so many trees in the city, it’s awesome. There’s nothing better than always being able to find a nice leaf.
How are you getting around in Guadalajara? Do you have a car or plan to get one?
Right now I’m here trying to get my visa, so everything is still very temporary. I’m walking most places or taking a rideshare if it’s too far. The public transportation here is also really nice, there’s tons of buses always running, so I might just try living without a car for a while.
Were there any unique foods in Guadalajara that you would recommend someone try?
My first day here, Arturo had me try lengua (tongue) tacos. Honestly, they were good. The texture was different for sure, but I would definitely eat them again. 8/10. I’d say that if there is ever any food that makes you go “Wait, what? No way that’s good”, you gotta try it. People like it for a reason, might as well see what the hype is about.
Are there any assumptions you had about living in Guadalajara that were just wrong?
This is my first time in Mexico. I decided to move here sight unseen & knew that I had no idea what it was gonna be like. Everytime I’d try to imagine what it would be like, I could never picture anything. I just had no idea. The most interesting thing is watching how I behave & react in a new culture that I have no connection with. It takes away so much of what you thought your identity was.
How is Metova’s office and workspace in Guadalajara?
It’s incredible. I’ve only seen Fayetteville’s office (which is also incredible), so I was super pleased to have such a calm workspace with plenty of space & an incredible view. Nothing helps me refocus better than just staring out of a window for 5 minutes.
It’s been quite a year for the world. What are some changes to your life and activities you have made in the past 6 months?
Well for me personally, I’ve had no stability. In the past six months, I’ve lived alone in an RV, slept on the floor of my friend’s one bedroom apartment, and now live in a tiny room in an Airbnb in a new country. With every move, I’ve had to recreate the structure of my life, and it’s always looked different. You need different things in every environment. Before I moved, I made a huge effort to improve my physical health. I couldn’t bend over and touch my toes at the beginning of quarantine, so I started stretching & doing yoga everyday. Now my highest priority is learning Spanish, it’s so frustrating not being able to express myself or communicate.
What are (or were before COVID-19) some of your favorite things to do or places to eat in Fayetteville?
Farrell’s Lounge, it’s the spot. Really great burgers, and the best veggie burger I’ve ever had. Top-tier french fries, and some incredible mac & cheese options. I also love Green Submarine, which has more incredible sandwiches than you can count. My favorite sub from there is the Veggie Caprese. If you’re in Fayetteville, you gotta eat at both those places.
How is your dog doing? Do you have Zoom meetings with him?
I think he’s doing good haha. I’m not really a helicopter parent, I left him at a good home & haven’t really worried about him. That being said, I do really miss him & can’t wait to move him to Mexico with me.
What types of development projects are you working on?
For Metova, I’ve been focusing on Bambu. Which has been an interesting project. I think I’ll also begin cross-training into .NET soon, which is something I’ve been looking forward to doing.
Mac or PC?
Mac (or Linux) for development, PC if you’re trying to game.
Android or iPhone?
iPhone, but the best phone design I’ve ever had is the original Pixel.
Alexa or Google Assistant?
I’ve got enough wiretaps in my life thanks.
What technology are you excited about becoming mainstream in the next 10 years?
Hopefully self-driving cars. I’m ready to just mentally checkout on the highway.