Top 10 Reasons To Visit Mexico – & Top 10 Reasons Not To Live In Mexico!

Jan 28, 2013 5 Comments by

Top 10 Reasons To Visit Mexico – & Top 10 Reasons Not To Live In Mexico!

- by The Guru

 

Mexico is a popular tourist destination, mostly for US and Canadian “snowbirds” fleeing the winter cold but also for many others drawn by its natural beauty and friendly people.

 

Here is the truth behind the music and smiles!  Be warned.  It might shatter your illusions…

 

The Good -

 

Beautiful scenery - Mexico is one of the most beautiful countries in the world if not the most beautiful country.  From stunning beaches to rugged mountains, there is something for everyone and the sheer scale of the country means there is plenty of beauty and space for everyone.

 

Friendly people – Mexicans are famous the world over for their warmth and hospitality.  They love to party and welcome tourists to their country.  You will be an “amigo” (friend) instantly and they will go to great lengths to make you feel welcome.  Mexico still retains that old-world quality of life where family and friends come first.

 

Climate – being such a vast country, there is a wide choice of climates from tropical beach locations to arid mountain planes.  Since Mexico is in the tropics, the differentiator is the altitude.  The higher you go, the cooler it gets and there are some very high spots!

 

Food – much liked by Americans, Mexican food is very rich and varied BUT rapidly changing to the junk food sold in the US as “Mexican”.  If you seek out traditional Mexican restaurants and bars you will find real Mexican food and be overwhelmed by the flavors and colors.

 

Value for money – Mexico is one fo the cheapest countries in the world and represents exceptional value for money when you see the quality of life available and the relative low cost.  Hotels and restaurants, cars and fuel, fruit and vegetables are all so cheap and so good.

 

End of list.  Sorry, but that is all for the good list!  Now the bad news…

 

The Bad -

 

Traffic & Driving – without a doubt, Mexicans are the worst drivers on the planet.  In nearly two years living there and traveling all over, I never ever saw a driving school or a learner driver so it is clear that there is no structured tuition.  When a driving test is generally bought, there is not the need.  When coupled with the sheer ignorance and laziness of Mexican drivers, the end result is hell on the roads.

 

Mexicans almost never use their indicators (turn signals) which results in chaos all day long from overtaking maneuvers that defy reason to buses stopping and pulling out with no warning.  Mexicans will never, ever give way (not even to a pedestrian) or let you merge such is their lack of respect for others.  Scariest of all is their total disrespect for signals or rules – you can never safely go on a green light as there is often an idiot jumping the red lightfinding an illegal U-turn or simply blocking the road to whistle at a girl.

 

There are no rules for old cars and trucks on the road so they regularly belch out smoke, have no lights at all, drive all over the road and generally present a hazard.  Also, the buses and trucks simply push their way through the traffic.  There are many accidents because of this but the drivers of these public and commercial vehicles are protected by strong unions so nothing will happen to them and they know it.

 

But perhaps the single most annoying and dangerous aspect of driving in Mexico is the “tope” (speed hump).  There are millions of these all over the country placed with no logic and often unmarked on a stretch of main road.  They are not gentle either and so hitting one at high speed will completely ruin your wheels and/or suspension if not cause a serious accident.

 

The only way to escape topes is to use the toll roads “cuotas” and these are of better quality generally but be aware that the tolls are the highest in he world at between 1 and 2 pesos per kilometer – no wonder they are virtually empty!

 

Noise – Mexico is probably also the loudest country in the world.  No event gets to miss out on music and it has to be cranked up full volume to count.  The average concept in the US or Europe of normal or acceptable volume can be doubled in Mexico and since the locals have grown up with it form birth, they think it is normal.  You will not….

 

A trip to the circus is spoiled by clowns shouting so loud into the microphone children are covering their ears, a nightclub is more than deafening and any party anywhere will have music booming around the neighborhood until daybreak.  I was once in a large hotel in Guadalajara one Saturday night.  I returned after a night out at 2am.  There was a wedding around 1 kilometer away outdoors and the music was so loud the whole hotel, all 28 floors was shaking with the windows rattling.  You have been warned!

 

Pollution – this is not an issue particular to Mexico but it is an issue if you are used to being able to breathe as you walk down he street.  All the major cities of Mexico and some large towns suffer form awful pollution. The only areas free of it are small villages and towns in the mountains or near the coast where the pollution cannot accumulate.

 

The cause is unregulated traffic and industry.  Buses and trucks belch out black smoke and factories emit noxious fumes into the middle of residential areas.  Vehicles are not checked for emissions and neither are factories – the result is  some of the worst pollution in the world.  Mexico City, the largest city in the world, had the worst pollution but this is now slightly better thanks to measures to improve it.  Guadalajara now holds the accolade of the most polluted city…

 

Unreliability – Mexicans have a very fluid concept of time, to say the least.  If the Spanish are famous for their “mañana” (tomorrow) attitude, then the Mexicans would be well into next week.  Simply said, there is a less than 10% chance a Mexican will turn up on time and less than 50% chance he or she will turn up at all.  It is not considered necessary to call to say they are running late either.

 

Some people say this is just the normal way of behaving and everything should be adjusted accordingly but this is not true.  When there is money at stake such as salary or any other payment due, they are early.  IN a serious business setting, they are on time but it is almost a show of their status to keep the other party waiting – as a non-Mexican you are ranked very low on the ladder of social status hence you will wait…

 

Ignorance – standards and access to education are low in many areas of Mexico so for many people, good manners are few and far between.  Amongst those educated to higher standards, it can also be a challenge to find good manners and knowledge of life as Mexicans are remarkably stubborn by nature.

 

Mexicans are rarely rude and confrontational but simply do not often consider other people.  This ignorance manifests itself as not seeing the point of queuing, not apologizing for a mistake, never ever taking responsibility for anything and driving and behaving generally as if no-one else exists.

 

It is difficult sometimes to differentiate between innocence and ignorance as things do just work differently in Mexico and what we might feel is ignorant is not meant to be at all but you have to work out for yourself if a country where people have so little consideration for others is where you want to live.  One example would be at a road junction – they sell everything and try every way to make money.  For me that is fine but I object to two large guys literally jumping on my car to clean the windscreen despite my waving no and saying “no thank you” in Mexican.  They simply ignore you and clean your windscreen regardless then demand money.  You have no say…

 

Racism & Classism – Mexicans are know all over the Americas for their racism, perhaps because of the poor way they are treated by Americans in the US.  They look down on and openly discriminate against those from neighboring poorer countries and actually deeply resent “gringos” (Americans).  They will not openly show it but any chance to cheat or take advantage of the “gringo” is not missed.  Being British I have had many Mexicans confide this to me.

 

Once historically a very poor country, Mexico now has a rapidly growing middle class.  Sadly many of these people that could be described as “nouveau riche” revel in their chance to put down their poorer compatriots.  You will see the most outrageous treatment of waiters and cleaners, porters and other service staff at the hands of arrogant middle-class Mexicans.

 

Laziness – the funniest thing I was in a long time was a discussion on another forum as to whether Mexicans are lazy or not.  The overwhelming majority thought so but a recent report named them as the hardest working nation in the world.  This is measured by how many hours are worked each day in each country.  France, by the way, was the laziest in tis survey.  One lady on the forum was championing this report and said, “you see how hard working they are!” only to receive a reply form another lady saying, “onky when someone’s watching!”  I tend to agree with this…

 

Mexicans might well work long hours but most of those hours are spent sitting around chatting and not achieving very much form what I can see.  It takes several people with several people watching to achieve what one able-bodied person could achieve elsewhere.  Add to this any opportunity to get out of a job and you have the Mexican mentality!

 

Obesity – probably because of the point above, laziness, and the incredibly bad diet of junk food now replacing the traditional Mexican food and you have the obesity issue.  Mexico is said to have the second highest levels of obesity behind the USA but you could have fooled me!  I have never seen so many fat people in the US as in Mexico.  They are everywhere, waddling along, eating all day long, gazing blankly into their mobile phones in between bites.  I am sure more Coke and Pepsi is sold in Mexico than even the US as it is the choice of even the wealthiest

 

The old tradition of siesta time still dominates this country but the original idea of a meal then a sleep has turned into one long meal – for around 3 hours or more – every day!  You will never find anyone at work or any shop or service provider open between 2pm and 5pm or more, not even in a large business like a garage or telecoms company.  Whatever needs doing will always receive the answer “he’s not here;  he went to eat” – and will be gone for the whole afternoon!

 

Bureaucracy – Mexico is in the premier league for bureaucracy.  Every single task from the simplest to the more involved is mired in red tape and unnecessary paperwork.  As simple task like changing your name on a bill requires a pile of original documents and takes hours and will still need fixing again, probably.  It is no surprise Mexico still has monopolies for all essential services and no surprise the richest man in the world, Carlos Slim owns the Mexico phone and cellphone services – all of them!

 

Customs are so bad in Mexico for importation of goods or exports that it is nearly impossible to do either.  Look on eBay or Amazon and the small print always says “we deliver all over the world, except Mexico”.  It makes you feel like you live in a no-go zone and certainly seriously stifles business.

 

Corruption – this is allegedly improving but for now, expect every government official to be taking his cut form any project and so the common people follow the example.  Your new Mexican amigo will be so helpful trying to help you find this and that and buy this, for his cut!

 

Corruption is now so ingrained in Mexican culture, as it is elsewhere of course, that it is viewed as normal and an every day part of life.  No-one minds too much as long as they get their cut but the problem comes in where you get no service because you did not give someone a present whereas the next guy did…

 

You will note the huge drug trafficking problem is not mentioned above.  It is a huge issue but is not of most people’s or even most leaders’ making so it would be unfair to mention it as a reason unless the fact that almost everyone you meet has lost some family member bothers you!  The reality is it is a constant fear for most Mexicans but as a tourist you are far more likely to be run over by a bus or have a heart attack trying to get things done…

 

Unless you have nerves of steel and super-fast reactions or are deaf, the traffic and noise alone are enough to mean stay away until this country grows up!

 

What do you think?

The Guru

 

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Top 10 Reasons To Visit Mexico - & Top 10 Reasons Not To Live In Mexico!, 7.0 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
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About the author

I have traveled and lived all over the world - 95 countries and counting! I have information you can't find elsewhere and I share it here to promote healthy discussion about the world's people and cultures.

5 Responses to “Top 10 Reasons To Visit Mexico – & Top 10 Reasons Not To Live In Mexico!”

  1. Fred Morgan says:

    You hot the nail on the head about those damn beaners – corrupt to the core. You want a good police story?

    I was actually in Puerto Vallarta last year and hired a Jeep. This damn cop always had his eye on me and one day I turned into a street by the Malecon, parked up and he comes up and tells me I am wrong to turn there.

    Why not, I say and he says it is a one-way street… Yeah, right but no sign anywhere.

    He only tells me – wait for it! A good driver should know it is a one way street by the way the cars are parked and that;s why there is no sign.

    Christ! How Messed up Mexican do you get…..

    He wanted money but I argued him off so he then asked for a coke.

    That just about sums up Mexico in my opinion!

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  2. Doris Day says:

    You’re too hard on them, Fred. They can’t help being so intellectually challenged!

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    • The Guru says:

      Now, now… they are lovely people on the whole. I find the educated ones the worst though – more arrogant, more corrupt and more annoying…. The everyday folk are – well, MORE LOUD!!!

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  3. Diana Garcia says:

    You’re So Racist…. Mexicans aren’t racist.. Y’all Americans are the racist ones, talking about how Mexicans cross the border and stuff, well FYI not all Mexicans cross the border. And if we were racist we would put more strict borders so that AMERICANS won’t come visit our country. And You shouldn’t be talking about Obess Mexicans Because Americans are a lot more obessed that Mexicans with y’all’s McDonald’s and Other restaurants. Also Mexican’s aren’t as lazy as freaking Americans We actually work hard to maintain our familys, not like Americans who Are all over the streets asking for money because they didn’t get education. What if we’re loud… how is that even a problem it’s better to be loud than to be a party pooper. About the education, Americans are not educated anymore that Mexicans, It’s good to talk about others than about yourself huh? Look at all the high school drop-outs.”SIR, DO YOU WANT FRIES WITH THAT????” And The population is no problem at all, it’s actually an honor to have one of the most populated counties in the world, which means a lot more people prefer to live in our country than in others. If I was racist in this comment It was because I Don’t like Americans being racist. Go get yourself another one of those disgusting McDonald’s Burgers ;)

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    • The Guru says:

      Dear Diana

      First of all, thank you for your post.

      If I might say though, you are a little loopy…

      First off, I am not American. I am British. I came to your shores (Mexico) seeking a good life and all I found was crazy fat Americans and crazy fat Mexicans so what’s to choose between…

      Next, you sound a bit mixed up with your y’all the time. How Mexican is that? You seem like every other Mexican who hated Americans but can’t live without the benefits.

      Education – well, I agree with you there re the US but what does Mexico offer. One of the worst systems on Earth!

      Noise – please! “Empty vessels make the most noise” as they say so Mexicans must be about as dumb as can be….

      Work – Mexico is the only place I know you can do nada all day and never get fired as ou have a really stupid union and employment system. I know people desperate to fire staff but cannot.

      Fat – at least in the US fat women try and hide it a bit… in Mexico, you parade your rolls of fat as if it were cool. Tell me why all the high class ladies of the night in the Mexican cities are never American but imported from countries with more beautiful and slimmer women?

      In summary, you assumed I was American which shows your fixation on the US. You are very dependent on the US like all Mexicans yet you jump up and down and moan, like all Mexicans.

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