Mexican Warning

March 31, 2009

Back from Mexico and our landlady asked if we’d had a “nice, safe, time”.  Americans have a strange attititude to Mexico. Before we left we told many friends and colleagues we were off to Mexico. Nine out of ten said either “Why ?” or “Oh !! do be careful, its very dangerous.” One time out of ten, however, a strange gleam would appear in someone’s eye. These folks requested that an important message be passed onto other Americans :

“You may have heard rumours that Mexico is a pleasant and interesting place to visit. This is dangerous propaganda. It simply isn’t true that people are cheerful, friendly and helpful. Statements you may have heard about almost all the drug related violence occuring near the US border, and so being irrelevant to visiting 98% of Mexico are unhelpful, as is the claim that crime is rarer in most Mexican towns than in the US. The idea that Mexican food is tasty, nutritious and interesting is particularly bizarre. There is really hardly any scenery of note, especially considering the samey dullness of volcanoes, deserts, mountain forests, and steamy jungles. Somewhere in the distant past, there were apparently some exotic ancient civilisations in Mexico, but almost all traces of these have vanished. There are very few historical monuments worth visiting.  It has even been suggested that the network of buses is cleaner, faster, more reliable, and more extensive than any public transportation in the USA. Absurd. Some have even suggested that Mexicans like visitors because the ones who visit are those who have believed these bizarre rumours, whereas those who know the awful truth about Mexico do not of course go there. Lets keep it that way.”